Vulture – How Hollywood Gives Actors Plastic Surgery With A Mouse Click

Spaceships and giant robots are old news. Now, Hollywood special effects can shave years off an actor’s life, reshape a performance, or even recast a role after a movie’s been shot.

Today, digital face replacement is just one technique at Hollywood’s disposal. Braga regularly uses CG to retouch actors, “whether it’s a pimple, or an actress who has bags under her eyes on that particular day, or painting out a nipple in a sex scene.” When an actress got a nose ring without telling him, his postproduction team removed it at a cost of “tens of thousands of dollars.” Such work can get expensive, but it’s industry standard.

Until recently, vain actors were limited to makeup, flattering lighting, corsets, plastic surgery, Botox, crash diets, personal trainers, steroids, muscle suits, color grading, lenses and filters, body doubles, and spray-on abs. Now they also have software: Zits vanish with a click. Wrinkles ­disappear. Abs harden. Jawlines sharpen. Cellulite vanishes. “In postproduction, if they want your nose to be a little smaller or a little bigger, that’s up to them, man,” says actor Michael Shannon. “Some attractive person gets out of a swimming pool dripping wet? Nobody wants to see how they really look: It’s fantasy.”

De-aging, once a groundbreaking special effect in Benjamin Button, is not so special anymore. In Netflix’s Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, 63-year-old Paul Reubens picks up right where he left off in 1990, thanks to Vitality Visual FX, a firm started by two Lola founders. Reubens told the New York Times, “I could have had a face-lift and we would have saved $2 million.”

Full Article

This entry was posted in Goofy. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Vulture – How Hollywood Gives Actors Plastic Surgery With A Mouse Click

  1. The Center says:

    This was fascinating!

    I was watching "Ant-man" for the first time last night and there was a scene where Michael Douglas was decades younger and I was trying to figure out how exactly they did it. I've also watched a few action movies where the actors biceps and shoulders were huge in comparison with the way they appear in public. I assume they just bulked up, but now I have to wonder. Is there any point to actors working out with personal trainers? And if they do, now movie viewers will just say that their muscles are digitized fakes.

    This does raise two questions: First, what about Oscar nominations for best director and actor? Much of the movie may have been altered post prodcution? According to the NDAs there is no way of knowing to what extent critical scenes were altered.

    Second, and this comes right from the article, our disorienting perception of actors and what a person should ideally look like.

    "Retouched, impossibly enhanced bodies are creating unrealistic new body-image standards — and the effects are so sophisticated and invisible that most audiences aren’t aware of how much they’ve been manipulated. “For the next generation of teenager, it’s going to be hard not to hate yourself a lot more physically, because what we mirror to them is so godlike,” says Refn, who says he retouches people sparingly in part because he thinks it’s alienating. “If you look at the greatest movie stars, we identify much more with imperfection than perfection.”

Comments are closed.