Exploring New Techniques in Filming – ‘Ghosting’

With the surge in new technology, filmmakers have been developing the way that they produce some the world’s best films, including short films and documentaries. A few decades ago, it was a massive surprise when films were produced using the latest HD technology, whereas now they are being filmed using the latest 4K technology.

However, in recent years, there has been one film technique that has gotten people talking; the ‘ghosting’ technique. This has been used in some of the world’s biggest blockbuster hits, but there is still a slight air of mystery behind it. However, we at Video2DVD will look at what makes this technique so special.

What is ‘Ghosting’?

‘Ghosting’ is a technique that has been up in arms, especially after the release of the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The technique in question focuses on the idea of CGI resurrection, where actors that have sadly passed away are brought back to life using the latest computer generated imagery, commonly known as CGI.

Was There Any Controversy Involved?

When this ‘ghosting’ technique was used in Rogue One – if you didn’t know, the Rogue One filmmakers used CGI and the ‘ghosting’ technique to resurrect Peter Cushing’s character, Grand Moff Tarkin, from Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) even though Peter Cushing himself passed away in 1994 – a lot of film watchers showed their disdain towards the technique.

According to John Knoll, the Visual Effects Supervisor and Co-Writer of Rogue One, “there are people that have said quite vehemently that it looks terrible and looks like a video game”, but he then replied with “we’re using the computer graphics as a tool to alter his appearance”.

This Isn’t a One Hit Wonder

Even though there are some people that disagree with what the Star Wars prequel producers have completed when it comes to CGI resurrection and the ‘ghosting technique’, this isn’t the first time that this technique has been used in the film industry.

In the 1970s, the Pink Panther series of films were incredibly popular, but people thought that it would all come to a stop when Peter Sellers passed away in 1980, but that didn’t stop film producers in their tracks. In 1982, Trail of the Pink Panther was released, and one of the decisions that the filmmakers made was that they would use deleted scenes of Sellers as Inspector Clouseau from the previous Panther films.

One of the most famous cases of the ‘ghosting’ technique to be used in cinema was when Oliver Reed played the slave-owning saviour Proximo in Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, Gladiator. Unfortunately, while Reed was on a break from filming, he died from a heart attack.

At the time, Scott was faced with the problem of not having a major character being a part of the climax, but he had a computer-generated version of Reed’s face, which was then digitally imposed onto a stand-in actor in post-production. It was said to be a success, but it was reported that it cost $3.2m for two minutes of screen time.

When it comes to prequels of successful films that were released decades ago, we will start to see this CGI resurrection technique becoming increasingly popular, which could raise more ethical issues than anything else, but we will have to wait and see what the future holds.

At Video2DVD, we don’t do anything CGI based, but we do ensure that your old videos retain their video quality, by transferring your videos into a DVD format. With this transfer, it means that your beloved home videos that you have lying around can be digitally stored with no loss of quality and ensuring a lifetime of memories.

If you want to know more, then please contact us today on 0800 592 433 and we will be more than happy to help.