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The Face Booth

Scans audience faces into movies...
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Back in the day, if you wanted to be in a major motion picture, you would need to have one of three things: obvious sex appeal, a cousin in the business, or a willingness to spend some time on a producer’s casting couch. Thanks to some tremendous advances in the field of digital technology, anyone with $15 and a face can now have a part (albeit a small one) in the next Hollywood blockbuster. Here’s how it will work: Certain theatres will be equipped with a Face Booth in the lobby and a digital projection system in the theatre. When a patron purchases a ticket to the movie, he / she can request the Face Booth, at which time they are asked for their age, sex and race (as well as an extra $5.00 on top of the price of the ticket). This information is coded into a magstrip card that is readable by a machine in the booth. When the patron enters the booth, it takes an extremely high resolution picture of their face and stores it in memory. Since all the extras (those people you see moving around in the background of a shot) are wearing blue masks which completely obscure their faces during initial shooting of the movie, the Face Booth computer is able (in real time) to digitally insert the facial images of patrons who have had their faces scanned in the booth onto those ‘faceless’ extras who appear during the course of the movie.

The magstrip card containing personal information ensures that the face of, say, an older Black man will not accidentally be superimposed on that of a little Asian girl who appears somewhere in the movie.

Patrons also don’t have to worry that their faces will be shown in other films or for other purposes…the Face Booth memory is automatically purged of facial images and placement information after every showing.

If successful, the Face Booth concept could be expanded one day to include those actors with speaking parts: when a patron enters the Face Booth, they will also give a sample of their voice, which will be synthesized and appear to come from the mouth of an actor in the movie.

This half-baked idea is based on 2002 reality: there is now a software company which offers a service where they will scan a picture of your face and put the graphic file on a CD-ROM. You can then take that file and use it to create a virtual character wearing your real face for a multi-player tournament game like Quake.

david1x, Mar 16 2002

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       What'll they do when the movies come out on home video? i'd think the equipment you describe would be a bit expensive for home use (hence the $5 fee, no doubt.) Also brings up the issue of what happens when there aren't enough patrons for the faces. I suggest having generic faces (perhaps the extras' own) as back-up.
nick_n_uit, Mar 17 2002
  

       Instead of hiring extra in the first place, set price on the internet ask if people want to have their face show in the movie. I think you can charge $50 to $1000 depend where and how often the face are shown in the movie. I think that will more than enough to cover the cost of hiring to people with blue mask to do that professional.   

       "I want to be the third person on the right who got to be killed by Darth Vader during the fighting scene in Star War episode III"
bing, Mar 18 2002
  

       What if the movie theatre has a demented projectionist who inserts a short porno clip in which every digital facial image from the audience is displayed in a montage on the actor's face at the moment of climax in what otherwise would have been a family feature, like "The Sound of Music"?
biff, Jul 23 2006
  
      
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