A lot of people play at being their favorite stars — you sing along in the car, in the shower, at karaoke bars, admit it –but what if you could actually be that person, no singing or dancing required? MTV News guinea pigs were treated to a beta form of a new technology, where a digital version of themselves was dropped into the video for…”Thriller.” Why “Thriller”? Well, as Sway, our hip-hop editor Shaheem Reid, and other staffers can testify, most of us have already had some practice at being Michael Jackson in one way or another (well, except for the part with the kids).
So how does it work? Big Stage, which licensed part of their technology to SonyBMG to make MyThrillerVideo, is launching as a company later this spring. For now, you can sign up for the beta version at their website. Once Big Stage launches, you’ll be able to create and store a lifelike 3D version of you — simply by taking your picture. Using what started as CIA surveillance technology to catch “bad guys,” they now catch you, mapping the contours of your face — and eventually more, like your voice and your gestures. The idea is, they can then drop this digital version of you — your @ctor — into music videos, movies, games, anything. So you can play Grand Theft Auto, for instance, and instead of playing as a character, you can play as yourself. Or watch “Speed Racer,” and instead of Emile Hirsch, it could be you in the driver’s seat. And when you watch music videos, instead of Mariah singing “Touch My Body,” it could be you playing frisbee with Jack McBrayer. Eventually, it could also be you and all your friends taking the different parts, shoving the actors and singers out of the picture altogether.
Sound incredibly narcissistic? Of course. But it could also be a lot of fun, as our staffers discovered when they were turned into zombies in the beta version. If you want to do it yourself, just follow the instructions here.