The Use of Holograms in Entertainment


Isabella Barraza

       Holograms. They’re seen in movies, described in books, and award shows. They’re something so amazing that it seems like it’s really there. It  was seen as being impossible for so long is being casually used in the entertainment business. An example of this is the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.

It was at this award show when a Michael Jackson hologram was used as a tribute to the artist that died in 2009. It took years for the hologram to be developed but when it was done it was well worth it. The hologram included Michael Jackson in a gold jacket with a white t-shirt and red trousers. The debut of the hologram was shocking and beautiful to many people that wanted to see the legend again. Slave to the Rhythm was the song that was performed. Everyone was stunned at how realistic it looked. It was said that one of the reasons for the performance was so people could come close to experiencing what it would be like at a Michael Jackson concert. The hologram was placed in the center of the stage with 16 background dancers.

It was rumored that there would be a Prince hologram at the 2018 Super Bowl. Instead, there was a sheet and a projector. The idea was to originally to have Justin Timberlake sing while a hologram of Prince was with him. The idea was later discarded because Prince himself said in an interview: “That’s the most demonic thing imaginable, Everything is as it is, and it should be. If I was meant to jam with Duke Ellington, we would have lived in the same age. That whole virtual reality thing … it really is demonic. And I am not a demon. Also, what they did with that Beatles song [‘Free As a Bird’], manipulating John Lennon’s voice to have him singing from across the grave … that’ll never happen to me. To prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control.”

There’s also been concerts that involve the use of holograms. One band that uses holograms occasionally are the Gorillaz. They project their characters onto the stage and their lips follow what the singers are singing. This was seen at the MTV EMA’S (Europe Music Awards). The crowds cheered as the hologram was on the stage dancing and signing as if it were actual people on the stage. The technique used was called the “Smoke and Mirrors” illusion. There was also a hologram of Tupac at the 2012 Coachella music festival. The hologram had a projector that reflected on a piece of glass that was on the stage and then reflected that reflection onto a screen which projected a 3-D image.

The use of holograms in entertainment has slowly been increasing because of scientific advancements. More and more companies are beginning to incorporate them in their shows leaving audiences shocked and impressed.