Following the soaraway success of James Cameron's multi-award nominated 3D blockbuster 'Avatar', there have been widespread rumblings of discontent from actors and technicians who feel that their livelihoods are being put at risk by the major players in the movie industry as the focus swings away from real time actors and on to computer generated imagery.
Significantly, Avatar has not received a 'Best Actor' nomination, because it doesn't actually feature any actors, which doesn't sit too well with members of the Movie Actors Guild union.
One disgruntled thespian told us in confidence:
"The way things are going, pretty soon they won't need real people to bring the movies to life. We'll all be redundant. With the technology available today they can make any movie, with any star they choose, alive or dead. Brando, Monroe, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Cagney, Gene Kelly, Laurel and Hardy - they could make CGI movies starring these icons and nobody would ever know that it was all fake. Which is bad news for actors, set dressers, film crews, sound technicians, carpenters, caterers, extras, make-up artists, hairdressers and trailer manufacturers. They can by-pass all of these hard working people with one simple flip of a computer switch. It's just plain wrong is what it is. Before we know it, movie making as an art form will be consigned to the trash can of history."
But there is a flip side to this story, as one leading Hollywood Producer explained:
"The actors and the techies have had things all their own way for far too long. Times change. In the industry, we like to call it "progress." Actors especially are a liability, they have their foibles. They're all narcissists, demanding $20 million plus for a movie and not even performing their own stunts for the most part. And jeeze they're temperamental. They go off on booze and drug-fueled jags, their love lives are a mess, they're emotionally screwed, and they expect to be waited on hand and foot. But you don't get that with the CGI performers - they don't stop production to check into rehab, or take unscheduled breaks to make tearful confessions to Oprah about how they've been fucking everything with a pulse for the last 5 years or so. Actors - who needs 'em?"
So it appears we enter a brave new era, an era where sports stars will have no choice other than to provide the sex and decadence stories which the public so desperately craves, and which Hollywood has been so generous in supplying over the last century or so.
We leave the last word on this emotive subject with aspiring actor Fuzzy Muddlehead, who left his home in Hackensack NJ to make the big time in Hollywood and who now works in a burger joint on Sunset:
"They'll never replace true thespians with CGI. Actors can emote, actors have presence. You need only look at Pixar's 'Toy Story' to realize that. Man, they could never have made that movie with CGI, or 'Wall E', or 'Sin City.' It just won't ever happen man. Take my word for it."
More as we get it.