Would it really be art?

Posted: June 21, 2005 in Uncategorized

In an interview for War of the Worlds, Spielberg sez that five to seven years from now directors will be able to make movies without real actors…"a fully digital human being that would interface with other human beings and would be undetectable. You will not be able to tell the actor from the digital actor."

He sez it terrifies him, and crosses a moral boundary. But he follows by saying it’s an art form, and that there’s nothing wrong with that.

Let’s look at this from the point of music. Let’s say Brian May writes a new masterpiece, and he needs Freddy to sing it to achieve the vision he has. Decades of tapes are digitized and software analyses is done on every attack of each vowel, each nuance, each moment when he needs to inhale before hitting the next falsetto attack. A facsimile is compiled for every individual note, categorized into a massive library, and meticulously gone thru to find the closest match for each moment of the new songs, manipulated for both lead and harmony tracks.

It’s perfect. Exactly what Brian envisioned for his latest work. And therein lies the problem.

Queen was never a one-man band. Each member fed off the other. Each provided their own talents and visions, each helped the others achieve a new enlightenment of their own capabilities, each helped the others realize their potentials as individuals and as a team. They utilized this group synergy to grow, to strive for greater understanding of their talents, and to build upon their past and future accomplishments.

Brian would never be able to achieve any of that with a "fake Freddy". Whatever he could have come up with, past or present or future, could only be realized…and improved upon…by a real-life Freddy Mercury.

And that’s where the masterpiece would fail.

People have an emotional pact with music that shapes their lives. They remember the song playing during their first kiss, they have songs that make them feel better during times they feel down, they have many different songs that are tied into special memories. And movies provide similar types of feelings or escape…and have special memories of the actors that made those movies special.

To think that something fake can create a special feeling or memory in the human psyche is against eons of how people associate feelings with art.

Spielberg shouldn’t feel terrified. He should feel pity for those who take the very core of what makes movies great…the actors…and provide something else that is totally fake as a way to entertain people.

People don’t trust things that are fake. And without that trust, people won’t love the movie.

And that means it’s not art.

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