On Sunday May 18th 2014, the world, or at least the small part of the world that bothered to watch the Billboard Music Awards, was presented with a performance of a new single by Michael Jackson, featuring a holographic interpretation of the deceased King of Pop. The performance is imbedded above. Reactions to this video were mixed, ranging from "What the fuck is this shit?" to "Oh God, why?" to "Turn it off! TURN IT OFF! IT'S SUCKING MY WILL TO LIVE!!!" I, for one, am impressed by this groundbreaking use of holographic technology, but think that we need to put it away for a while. We need to stop using holographic technology untill the quality of the video that it can render reaches Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within level of quality.
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is a movie put out in 2001 by Square Pictures, the only full length movie that studio ever put out. Rather than using real life actors for this film, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was made entirely with computer generated graphics. The quality of the CGI in this film was so good that it made Alex Baldwin, one of the films stars, look almost human. Although it lost more money than it took it, the movie left a distinct impression on the viewing public. For the first time, many movie goers saw movie shot entirely in CGI as a worthwhile venture.
If the level of computer created graphics in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within were deemed to be subpar by the movie going public, we might not have seen movies like Avatar and Tron: Legacy, movies that were greatly enhanced by their utilization of CGI. The holographic performances we see today, most notably with Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakur, contain a level of graphic acuity that is definitely subpar. Untill such a point as we can say that performers can be reproduced at a level that looks at least somewhat realistic, we need to put this technology away. If not, holographic performances may have the same reputation that stereoscopic 3D movies did in the 80s and early 90s. So please, for the sake of this technology, just stop. That is unless you plan to recreate Mick Mars. That guy's been dead for years, right?