July 20, 2019 - CHAPTER 8 - A Night at the Movies
Clarke opens this chapter with a newspaper column called "This Weekend in Entertainment," published in The San Francisco Chronicle on the future date of July 20, 2019. The column describes upcoming movies like Still Gone with the Wind
and a gimmick film called This is Holorama
. Upcoming musical and television events are also described.
The chapter focuses on the technology involved in bringing us audio-video entertainment. Clarke gives a brief history of cinematic technology up to 1986 and then looks ahead. He says that High Definition TV will replace cathode tubes before long, and he goes into some detail about a process called Showscan. The process was developed by one of the special effects people who worked on 2001: A Space Odyssey
(a film which Clarke co-wrote). Clarke predicts great things for Showscan, but from what I can tell it came and went as a novelty:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Showscan
Clarke also talks about technologies like IMAX and the Gabor screen. I can't find any online info about the Gabor screen, but IMAX is still alive and well. And actors from the past will come alive again through technology. Greta Garbo, John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe's likenesses will be recreated for new projects. Recreating actors with computer graphics is a hot topic in real-world Hollywood right now:duckduckgo.com/?q=dead+cgi+actors+in+ne ... amp;ia=web
Direct-connect medium should be available in 2019, Clarke says, with interfaces between brain and machine. They'll utilize wireless systems rather than actual plugs. He describes HUDs (heads-up displays) and the Phosphotron. HUD technology is still around but not the Phosphotron.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head-up_displayhttp://www.stevebeck.tv/phosphotron.htm
Television will continue to be the most popular form of mass media in 2019. Clarke talks about colorized re-runs, a move from magnetic tape to digital storage, new delivery systems and so on. A nifty television accessory in 2019 will allow the user to overlay his or her face onto TV actors. This is actually becoming fairly common now. There are lots of "deep fake" videos on youtube. At the moment they're being used fancifully, for entertainment, but many people are predicting that they'll play a roll in the upcoming US presidential election. No telling what the candidates will be seen doing. In the video below, Jack Nicholson's face has been replaced by Jim Carrey's. This is freaky, if you're familiar with the movie:The Shining starring Jim Carrey : Episode 1 - Concentration [DeepFake]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HG_NZpkttXEObama Deep Fakehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQ54GDm1eL0
Clarke winds up the chapter by talking about musical advances using computer software, advances in "painting" using computer graphics, and the rise of self-published books. He's accurate on all, but falls short on the publishing. He pictures authors in the future self-publishing using computer software and laser printers. He didn't foresee the rise of online publishers.