Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Gorillaz... Live?


I lifted this story from Drawn!, you can download the video and watch it here: http://www.devilducky.com/media/37886/

This is the cooooooolest thing I've seen in a long, long time. How this was accomplished isn't exactly out of Snow Crash, quite the opposite. If you follow the Drawn link to the London Times article, the method is found in an old theater trick.

It may be "all done with mirrors," but this is some serious science fiction shit.

I'm talking about the concept of artificial stage presence, found in numerous sci-fi yarns from Star Trek to Macross. But two things are happening here, as exampled by the Gorlllaz: The talent and the art. The literal musical talent speaks for itself, as does it's multi-million selling album. The art is taking this to another level. I was immediately snagged by Jamie Hewlett's character designs the first time I saw the Clint Eastwood video, you can't say the Gorillaz don't have style. Seeing them on the Euro VMA's it's clear they've been translated to 3D, but the designs sure held up well. For a stage show, a 3D model is much more economical, as models only need to be built and rigged once, where as 2D work needs to be created from scratch every time something is added or changed.

So maybe the Gorillaz take the next step and start messing around with holographic laser-gas projection do-dads or whatever, and they pull off this "live tour" as the creators originally planned it-- with the Gorillaz' band members existing as distinctive entities and eventually mimicking some sort of concert-like interaction with crowds. Then imagine the step after that as some snazzy AI is put into place and they actually do interact with the audience. Yes, things begin to get very cool. There is some sweet AI floating around right now, and it ain't just for playing chess or Nintendogs. This can lead to some very interesting things, like maybe the Undead Rolling Stones as envisioned by Mike Mignola. Or in what I guarantee is in the not too distant future, A Michael Jackson concert where Jacko performs on stage looking like he did for any given video. The best thing to come out of this is already heralded by the Gorillaz-- fictional creations built around new material.

It doesn't have to stop at music or stylized constructs. We could see long dead actors return to broadway or historical figures make presentations at schools. And the porn, my god, think of the porn! Or don't. But I will.

PS, here's a phonepix I snapped at Kid Robot in Santa Monica of some cool "tangible" Gorillaz figures:

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