Boxing Great Explores Opportunities
for Virtual Mayweather with PULSE and Facebank.
& ONE ENTERTAINMENT
Imagine the greatest fighters of all time, facing off against one another, across time… To settle the questions we have all asked.
Boxing great Floyd Mayweather teams with Facebank and fuboTV to create the Future of Fight Entertainment....The greatest fights of all time that never happened, that could have never happened...until now.
Anything is now possible through the technology and the magic of FaceBank… Muhammad Ali vs. Mike Tyson, Mayweather vs. Sugar Ray Leonard…and If you thought Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor was a massive global pay per view event, then how about Mayweather vs. Bruce Lee?
* Please note that Mike Tyson is not signed by Facebank and has not agreed to a simulated fight against Muhammad Ali
...but we can Dream!
Produced by Pop House Group / ABBA
DEVELOPED & CO-CREATED
BY PULSE EVOLUTION
Pulse Evolution and Simon Fuller’s work to create Virtual ABBA gives the world an unexpected Surprise…an ABBA reunion!
In March of 2016, Facebank Group subsidiary, Pulse Evolution Corporation, announced a landmark partnership with accomplished producer Simon Fuller to co-produce a series of entertainment properties and virtual reality experiences featuring Pulse’s market leading digital human technology. Pulse Evolution’s John Textor and his team of incredible artists walked ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaes and Benny Andersson through their California Studio, the original home of George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic and, more recently with Pulse, the birthplace of some of the world’s most believable digital human beings.
Having already spent months in development, and meeting Benny, Bjorn and the Universal Music team in the Pulse Evolution studios, it was obvious that something special would happen…a virtual entertainment performance that would stand above all prior holographic performances…living celebrities that would be the first to explore their own digital likeness to fully extend themselves, creatively and commercially, in front of a global audience that cannot wait to see them perform again.
In their time with Bjorn and Benny, it was clear to the team at Pulse that these men were not your average semi-retired music icons. They were also technophiles. They already had their own holographic experience created for their fans in Stockholm and they knew what quality looked like in the nascent, quickly evolving world of human animation. ABBA represented the perfect opportunity for Pulse to show the world that ‘digital likeness’ was not for the ‘late’, but for the living.
What no one knew, really, was what was going on in Bjorn and Benny’s mind, and how their ABBA band partners, Anni Frid and Agnetha, would react when deciding to go forward with the Virtual ABBA project.
Then on April 27, 2018, the official ABBA Instagram account shares this news with their fans…
“The decision to go ahead with the exciting ABBA avatar tour project had an unexpected consequence. We all four felt that, after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio. So we did. And it was like time had stood still and that we had only been away on a short holiday. An extremely joyful experience! It resulted in two new songs and one of them ‘I Still Have Faith In You’ will be performed by our digital selves in a TV special produced by NBC and the BBC.” –
Signed off as “Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn, Anni-Frid - Stockholm, Sweden, 27 April 2018.”
…and that’s how music history is made. The brilliant digital artists that brought us Benjamin Button, Tron:Legacy, Virtual Tupac and Virtual Michael Jackson should all feel good about their contribution when the whole world is singing along to the first new ABBA music to be heard in 35 years!
VIRTUAL MICHAEL JACKSON
An Optimum Productions
and Pulse Evolution Production
Produced by John Textor, Frank Patterson
and Karen Langford
Executive Produced by John Branca
After years of developing their skills in the feature film visual effects world, the team at Pulse Evolution decided its very first project should be something the world would remember, with one of the world’s biggest celebrities that no one wants to forget…King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
With the support of the Michael Jackson Estate, as founding shareholders of Pulse Evolution, and a long list of Michael’s favorite collaborators that included director Jamie King, choreographers Rich and Tone Talauega, and actual dance cast members from Michael’s This is it Tour, the audience at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards was treated to an up-close experience with Virtual Michael Jackson that left many in tears.
Pulse Evolution, still today, is thrilled to have been a part of Sony Music’s release of his never before experienced hit single Slave to the Rhythm, creating valuable support to the global release of his album Xscape. The Billboard Music Awards performance in 2014 was seen by more than 11 million live television viewers, 75 million Youtube views, generating more than 2,400 news articles and 98 billion Internet impressions.
Even South Park got into the act, producing the South Park #Rehash episode in season 18, featuring Pulse founder’s John Textor and Frank Patterson as they enlist their ‘Tupac Hologram’ to track down the ‘Michael Jackson Hologram’ who has escaped.
The Company has a long-term agreement with the Estate of Michael Jackson, a shareholder of the Company, to share in the revenues of any commercial use of the digital likeness of Michael Jackson.
For a description of the Michael Jackson illusion, consider reading this article from USA Today: Meet the Conjurer’s of Michael Jackson’s Ghost, USA Today, May 22, 2014
Walt Disney Pictures
Produced by Sean Bailey
Visual Effects by Digital Domain
VFX Supervisor Eric Barba
NOTE: The visual effects of Tron: Legacy, featured above, were not produced by Facebank Group, but rather by the legendary visual effects company Digital Domain, in 2010, at that time under the leadership of Facebank founder and CEO John Textor.
The Disney film, TRON: Legacy, stands among the most important films in the history of hyper-realistic digital humans. It was truly a showcase for new technology having featured a number of cinematic firsts. It was the first 3D movie to integrate a fully digital head and body to create the younger version of Jeff Bridges’ character; the first to make extensive use of self-illuminated costumes; the first to create molded costumes using digital sculpture exclusively, creating molds directly from computer files using Computer Numerical Cutting technology; and also the first 3D movie shot with 35mm lenses and full 35mm chip Sony F35 stereo cameras.
Produced by Digital Domain
under leadership of John Textor
Technology R&D by Doug Roble
VFX Supervision by
Steve Preeg / Janelle Croshaw
NOTE: The visual effects of Virtual Tupac at Coachella, featured above, were not produced by Facebank Group, but rather by the legendary visual effects company Digital Domain, in 2011/12, at that time under the leadership of Facebank founder and CEO John Textor.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
A Warner Bros Production
Directed by David Fincher
Produced by Kathleen Kennedy
Visual Effects by Digital Domain
VFX Supervisor Eric Barba
NOTE: The visual effects of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, featured above, were not produced by Facebank Group, but rather by the legendary visual effects company Digital Domain, in 2008, at that time under the leadership of Facebank founder and CEO John Textor.
'Benjamin Button' is VFX's Holy Grail
February 22, 2009
by Carolyn Giardina
Taking home the Oscar for visual effects, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" has set a new benchmark in the VFX community.
A believable synthetic human had long been considered the industry's Holy Grail, and the most recent developments in that area allowed lead actor Brad Pitt to, convincingly, age in reverse.
The win also delivered lead VFX facility Digital Domain its first VFX Academy Award in a decade as well as its first since Michael Bay and Wyncrest Holdings acquired the privately-owned company in 2006.
Founded in 1993 by James Cameron, Scott Ross and the late Stan Winston, DD last won Oscars for achievement in visual effects in 1997 for "Titanic" and in 1998 for "What Dreams May Come." (Over the years, it also won four Sci-Tech Academy Awards.)
DD VFX supervisor Barba had a succinct take on the night's win: "We are back."
In "Button," visual effects played a key role in the storytelling, enabling Brad Pitt to appear as an aged little man for the first 52 minutes of the film. A body actor did the performance from the neck down, and his head was replaced with one that was computer generated and based on Pitt's performance. The character was created using a combination of VFX tools and techniques, some developed for the project at DD.
Andy Serkis, the actor whose performance drove the tragic, computer-generated Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, paved the way.
When "Rings" was released, there was a camp that felt Serkis should have received an Oscar nomination for his performance as Gollum, which sparked much debate since the on-screen character was a CG creation. This year, that debate seemed to fall by the wayside when Pitt received a best actor nomination even though his character also owed a heavy debt to CG.
"When I started working on Gollum, there was no benchmark set for an actor driving a digital role," Serkis said Saturday night at the Visual Effects Society Awards. "With Jim Cameron's film ('Avatar') coming out, with 'Beowulf,' with 'Tin Tin' that we're working on, there is a much wider understanding. It's a very exciting time. Some actors think this is taking work from actors -- that's a fallacy. It will enable actors to engage in the craft of acting on a much more unlimited scale and enable them to play characters beyond what they are physically."
Sunday's VFX Oscar was the first Academy Award for all four recipients, as well as the first nomination for Barba, DD animation supervisor Steve Preeg and special effects super Burt Dalton. Craig Barron, VFX supervisor at Matte World Digital, was previously nominated for "Batman Returns."