The big question: is this real life? How was it possible to bring Pac back from chillin’ at Thugz Mansion to rap “Ain’t nuttin’ but a gangsta party” next to the alive and kickin’ Snoop D-O-Double-G? According to the WSJ, The technique used is called Pepper’s Ghost and dates as far back as 1862 when it was used to create haunted houses and stage illusions. Currently it is usually used to make special effects for theme parks and movies.
The technique works by reflecting a floor projection on an angled piece of glass that live performers and props can be on either side of. This creates an optical illusion that makes the reflected video look like the real deal- think 3D movie without having to wear the funky glasses.
This year’s Coachella set isn’t the first time this technique has been used (Madonna used it at the 2006 Grammies), but it is the first time anyone has “brought back” an artist from the dead. Costing around a half-million dollars, Pac’s resurrection wasn’t cheap, but definitely has caused a sensation.
We want to know what you think: Would you buy a concert ticket to see the holographic Tupac on tour with Snoop and Dre, or was this year’s Coachella performance simply the right trick at the right time? What about a completely virtual performance by Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, or Jimi Hendrix? We’re not sure if it crosses the line towards cool or exploitation… Leave us a comment with your thoughts!
Props to movie effects company Digital Domain (responsible for utilizing this effect in movies such as Benjamin Button) and AV Concepts for creating such a realistic optical illusion. We watched the videos a few times and now are convinced that 2Pac is probably still alive somewhere…