If you haven’t checked out the you tube sensation that is hologram Tupac at Coachella, do yourself a favour and check it out, then come back and read further. It is a game changer. Some people might say it is just light on stage, or a projection of a once popular rap star. I think it’s is a wink to the future of the music business and the whole concept of touring as an act.
Way back we would dip our hands in berry juice and press it against the cave wall, then grunt triumphantly at our cave mate and beat our chest, in the process getting fresh berry juice on our best Sabre Tooth Tiger skin. Doh! Some smart aleck, lets call him Thog, then thought if he made careful observations and controlled his pressure and line thickness he could make a likeness, on the cave wall, of the things that were important to him, the animals he ate, the people he loved and the aliens that gave him life and fire (oops, thats a topic for another blog all together). Anyway, countless generations passed and we got a lot better at painting. Then came photography, the process of capturing a moment in time. Again, some smart aleck named Muybridge came along and took multiple photographs that when viewed in order gave the simulation of motion. Fast forward to the newest smart aleck, Dr. Dre who brought the likeness of Tupac to the stage at Coachella. I know it’s a bit over simplified but what do expect from a free blog!
24 frames a second gives us the illusion of motion, we have been using this basic process for a long time now. We may mess with it a bit, maybe bump it up to 30 frames per second, even 60, maybe add more resolution like HD or superHD, and add effects like 3D (which isn’t really 3D, more like 2.5D). But now we have true 3D, holograms walking around in three dimensional glory. The jig is up and no glasses are required.
Will artists need to tour now or will they just perform in a studio, then beam it to 8000 venues around the world? Or better yet will you have a private concert in your own living room from a Hologram Lady Gaga or Madonna? Maybe even a virtual lap dance for those who pay extra? Okay now it’s getting creepy. But I digress, what is stopping the artists from pre-recording their likeness and having someone else control them like a giant meat light puppet? I’m sure Tupac didn’t have creative control over how he grabbed his virtual junk in the performance at Coachella. What is the next step, bring back all of the dead celebrities, like glowing, star wars ghost like zombies? Maybe this is how it all ends, no one dies anymore, they just become zombie light meat puppets. Okay I’m not liking this whole direction already, but get used to it, cause over 7.5 million views on Youtube in two days means people are digging this new thing and it is only going to get worse. Success brings copycats and copycats bring mediocrity, so soon you will see holograms everywhere. From Elvis to Betty Boop, James Dean to Princess Diana. You know they are all coming back from the dead and their glowing three dimensional likenesses will be on everything from billboards to restaurant menus. Imagine Elvis telling you in person to shake, rattle and zip after you use the urinal, no thanks, I have enough performance anxiety in public restrooms without The King standing beside me, and don’t forget to wash your hands, ah…thank you very much.
So get your meat light puppet likeness ready, go to Digital Domain Media Group (the same people who made Tupac dance) and set up a meeting. Then crash your brothers birthday party while you’re in Mexico on vacation, or have it show up at work for you. It could even fill in for jury duty. Heck I may even just check out of my life all together, let the hologram take over and I can start again. But what happens when someone turns on the lights? Oh well…back to the digital drawing board I guess.