Thanks to the advances of technology, real actors can now be digitised, aged or regressed. Yes, it's true! All visual effects need to do now is take a few pictures from which to build a three-dimensional model of a star, and the rest is easy for Digital Domain in Los Angeles. They can superimpose that head onto another body. Jeff Bridges has just been given back his youth for the movie Tron: Legacy, in this way, playing the same character he did in Tron, released in 1982. With minute facial movements recorded digitally, they can be superimposed onto a digital model of his younger self. It actually opens the way for the big names to stay at home and just licence out their image! Somehow, I don't think they would get the same sense of pride at doing that, even if is easy money.
Now they only need one actor to play themselves from youth to old age instead of many carefully selected actors. The interesting thing about this is that technology could create realistic and really handsome men and beautiful women from a composite of images formed from several different people. But would the public be happy with that? Can anyone fall for a computer creation, for example? And if the did, how sad is that? Even sadder if they think it is a real person they are swooning over.
In years of late, we have seen that you can no longer believe what you see in the film industry - thank goodness, when it comes to those living dinosaurs. Yes, technology is great, but where will it go next? (I live in fear of the cloned-dinosaur, by the way. I don't dare to imagine zoos of the future.)
One thing, at least, seems safe. You can hardly press a button to get a computer to write a novel in an author's style - yet. Writing has always been more labour-intensive than most art forms. Weird then, isn't it, that unless you write a bestseller, you get such a poor financial reward as an author?