e85. Digital Acting (and Deep Fakery)

(Repost! This is a repost of an earlier posted blog that was lost in a server crash and upgrade)

We live in the future. We live in a world where we carry supercomputers in our pocket, we have cars that talk, and we can bring long dead actors back to life to star in movies. It’s that last bit we want to talk about on today’s show. We now have the technology to reanimate a performer digitally, creating a performance that the actor never actually “gave.” Peter Cushing “starred” in Rogue One IN 2016 (22 years after his death) and James Dean was recently announced to be “cast” in an upcoming Vietnam war drama (and he died 64 years ago, BEFORE the war even began). Or we can create convincing actors who never actually existed, like Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Racoon, Vin Diesel’s Groot, or Andy Serkis’s… EVERYTHING! But what do these performances mean for the centuries old tradition of acting and theater? Is this new technology a boon to the arts or will it mean its death knell? Is the technology even new? And what do we make of the dangers that virtual reality actors pose OUTSIDE of the entertainment industry. It has the potential to be used for everything from non-consensual porn to misleading political ads. On today’s show, Mav is joined by returning guests Stephanie Siler, Meron Langsner and Michael Chemers to discuss the psychology, history, dramaturgy and cultural impact of deep fakes and digital acting. Give it a listen and let us know your thoughts. 

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