How do we know their names are unique? What about if we’re on film, and they aren’t?
“I’m not a computer scientist, but I think it is one of those things where I think it’s something that has to be addressed in our industry,” says John Lasseter, director of animation at Pixar.
It’s a big issue, he says. “If you’re not paying attention to the identity of the actor in your film and who they are, you’re not paying attention to what they’re trying to do. And it’s probably hard to pay attention when you’re not doing anything with your characters other than to look like the rest of the world’s population.”
So, how do you know who is a real actor and who isn’t? That’s a question that the folks at Actors Studio, a virtual identity-management platform used by actors’ guilds across the U.S. and around the world, answer. Their company has helped to identify and track “vocal” actors for years, and their service — which works in partnership with the actors who sign on — helps to sort the real people from the digital-age actors.
“When is the actor that’s going to actually make it into the movie? And how can we help the producer understand that you are paying attention to the actor? Do they give you a voice that they think is real, or are they overpaying?” asks Josh Fieber, acting director and lead researcher at Actors Studio.
The answer is, they often need to know the actor’s name to figure out exactly what it is they’re doing. Or, they might be able to track the actor through a film’s digital files, and that helps to provide some confirmation.
But there’s another way to make sure you’re paying attention. “All the other actors’ names are unique. I mean, I’ll see one actor’s name and he’ll look like another actor. Why? For the reasons that you mentioned,” says Lasseter. “We look for actors who look like other actors.”
And there’s another reason to do that.
“I think it comes with the territory of acting. You don’t want to look like anybody else,” says Lasseter. “Why do we have names on movies, or do we?”
Even if your movie is just for Facebook, you also have to follow the rules of digital identity.
“In our experience, there
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