Time Travel, Make Believe & Resurrections
Posted on April 17, 2012 by Bambi
‘Coachella 2012’ has been the buzzword on everyone’s lips for the better part of the last year, and yet in one fell swoop, all the glory of the long-awaited festival was eclipsed by five minutes of expensive and breath-taking light.
Last night, as I’m sure everyone on the planet knows by now, West Coast rap legend Tupac was resurrected in holla-gram (ha… get it?) mode to ‘perform’ his track Hail Mary alongside Snoop Dogg in a stunt sure to be remembered for decades. The production was the responsibility of Hollywood effects house Digital Domain, and took many months and, allegedly, hundreds of thousands of dollars to plan and execute.
With Coachella attracting the attention of performers, media and audiences both live and digital, Digital Domain’s contribution to the spectacular show received the necessary exposure to classify the feat as benchmark for this latest leap in technology and entertainment, but it was not the world’s first. Hologram technology has been available to us for a while now, with entertainers and other public figures experimenting with its potential to lend elements of innovation and surprise to their presentations. In 2005, the Gorillaz appeared as holograms on stage with Madonna and, more recently, a digital Richard Branson buzzed into being to launch the Virgin flagship London Megastore.
Other feats of 3D light production have thrilled audiences of late. Projection seems to be a favourite mode, or gimmick, of event designers, with the Vivid festival illuminating Sydney every winter, and companies like Hot Wheels using building facades as their preferred blank canvasses for marketing opportunities.
The news of Tupac’s digital resurrection raced around the world faster than any other display of its kind, however, and it’s exciting to think what kind of possibilities this technology may present us with. At the very least, we got another five minutes with our number one love, and at the most…? Well, that remains to be seen…