Why Limit Digital Doubles to Actors? Send in the Clones!

Cloned SheepDid you see this article in the Los Angeles Times the other day?

Los Angeles Times, On Location “At CounterPunch Studios, actors’ digital doubles come to life”

I’m thinking that as we head into the tech season, now would be the right time for the School of Dramatic Arts to fork out some dough to create digital clones of a few key production staff.

When I read Richard Verrier’s fascinating article about CounterPunch Studio’s work,  I didn’t worry about job security or the redundancy of the actor.

I didn’t worry that athletes who have had their likenesses used in many gaming platforms would now  be captured and exploited for years ahead. Hey, after all, they had a huge victory back in May of this year.

College football and basketball players have finalized a $40 million settlement with a video game manufacturer and the NCAA’s licensing arm for improperly using the likenesses of athletes, leaving the NCAA alone to defend itself in the upcoming Ed O’Bannon antitrust trial.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs filed the settlement agreement with a federal court in Oakland, California, on Friday night in an action that could deliver up to $4,000 to as many as 100,000 current and former athletes who appeared in EA Sports basketball and football video games since 2003.

Tom Farrey, ESPN.com

No, ever the production manager, my concern was that we’re already a little behind. We should have started back in June or July, since the turn around time is 6-8 weeks just for the head. I was busy thinking; can we train the digital clone to drive to Spudnuts on Saturday mornings to buy six dozen donuts for tech?  Or would the donuts have to be digital as well? Hmmm. That would probably be healthier for all of us.

Could I seat this helpful extra production manager in the back of the theatre in the dark to mind the second of the two shows in tech this weekend? How reliable would the notes be that Extra Els would come up with at the end of the night? I guess it depends on how well they have gone in and “built the character inside the head.” 

Imagine being able to clone our extraordinary Technical Director! And Theatre Managers and Costume Shop Manager? The mind boggles.

For a mere $200,000, you could drop the salaries, benefits and health care costs for one of us. Granted that is just a skosh more than we are paid annually. Exaggerated eye roll -“Can we have you do that again in the other direction, please? Three. Two One. FLASH! Once more now, with wider eyes and a worried look on your face. Els, have you been getting Botox injections? You were much more expressive  last week!”

“Who needs Botox! You can make me look younger like you did the Bollywood actors!”

Because lately, things have been a little hectic. Lots of irons in the fire. You know what I’m talking about. Too many tasks, too little time. It’s time to delegate. Send in the Clones!

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