Monday, June 20, 2005

Science or Fiction?

In a Newsweek interview Steven Spielberg lamented that one day in the near future an entire movie can be made right from a laptop by some geek alone in his room, using computer-generated actors that are indistinguishable from real-life actors.

I think he worries too much. Technology will take us to that day, yes, but technology can never produce the kind of talent that's required to tell a good story. For instance, today any music enthusiast can use an off-the-shelf computer in his basement to simulate the sound of an entire orchestra, but there is no guarantee that this aspiring musician will compose anything that sounds decent, let alone significant orchestral works.

Despite that, I bet many geeky cinema lovers (including this one) secretly fantasize that they can one day click on a computerized character, set up an "emotional framework", feed in some dialogues, and make the character "come alive" and act out the scenes written by them. That day might just arrive sooner than what is speculated in science fiction, but true creative talent is still needed to make the digitized actors say and do things that will move us to tears and make us laugh. Technology helps, yet talent is everything.


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