Michael Jackson is still selling. Last Sunday his "hologram" appeared at the Billboard Music Awards. His image sang, danced and earned a highly charged emotional response from much of the audience.
The creators of the performance gave a suggested price level of $400,000 for the service. Nobody batted an eyelid at that.
And MJ wasn't even really there.
Michael Jackson Is Still Selling: How the Illusion Works
Many people might have let it go there. Not I. For one thing, I found the performance hollow upon first viewing. It bothered me. Watching Jackson's image in full color, back-to-life resolution was something I didn't like. On a cellular level. For me, it was more akin to seeing a ghost.
I went and watched another "hologram" the creators, Pulse Evolution, had put together. This one was of the slain rapper Tupac. I am not a big fan of rap and never listened to Tupac; however, I did find this show more emotionally satisfying. Perhaps the interaction with Snoop Dog made it lifelike enough to move out of the "ghost" category.
And they showed a bit about how they accomplished the illusion.
Now I want you to understand that the images of Michael Jackson and Tupac are NOT holograms. A hologram is something that looks three dimensional and real no matter what angle you view it from. Walk around it, and it appears real. Pulse Evolution's illusion doesn't work that way.
In fact, it's only a two dimensional image.
Here's how it works:
You can see the image is projected onto one screen, then bounced to a transparent surface. Dancers move around this second screen, which is invisible to the audience, and complete the illusion that the projected performer is interacting with them.
Actually, the Ghost of Michael Jackson Is Still Selling
As soon as I saw this schematic, I remembered something very relevant I'd seen in my childhood. I knew precisely where Pulse Evolution had gotten their idea from.
It's fitting that the word "ghost" is what came to mind when I saw the MJ performance, because a ghost is what this technology is based on. Specifically, creating the image of a ghost.
As a kid, I had two overriding interests: dinosaurs and ghosts. I read everything I could on both topics, and became well versed in all things saurian and supernatural. And the drawing of how Victorians created the illusion of ghosts rebounded into my brain from over thirty years ago. I instantly knew THAT is how Pulse Evolution did it.
A projector illuminated the "ghost", who's image was reflected by mirror onto a glass pane invisible to the audience. And onto the stage or even into the audience came the very real-looking image of the ghost.
A hundred and fifty years ago, people were doing the same thing Pulse Evolution has done to bring MJ back from the dead.
If that doesn't send a shiver up your spine, I don't know what will.
Only the technology to create the animated image has changed. The methodology remains exactly identical.
Now I have two questions.
One, would the creators of the Tupac and Michael Jackson animations admit the source of their technology is a century and a half old--and not the newly minted gizmo it appears to be?
Two, do you believe their efforts are worthy of a $400,000 or greater price tag?
The animation itself is undoubtedly a fantastic technical achievement. And around this animation must be an entire group of performers, sets and lighting to complete the effect. It surely induces an emotional reaction upon viewers. And it proves that Michael Jackson is still selling. For me, the answer is Yes. The value created is great; far beyond dollars.
And it proves you don't have to reinvent the wheel to make big dollars or a huge splash. Great ideas are all around you. The question is, will you execute?
>> Jason Kanigan is a sales force developer. What do you think of the Michael Jackson "hologram" performance at the Billboard Music Awards? Is it worth $400,000? Comment below and let us know! And please Like or Share if you are aware of someone who would like to see this! <<