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Old May 20 2012, 03:54 PM   #1
Hawkeye92
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A Hypotetical Muppet Question

There was a news story a few weeks ago about Dr. Dre creating a holographic Tupac Shakur, here is the link if you are curious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGbrFmPBV0Y

Anyway, this got me thinking , it looks like that soon enough the technology might make it possible to bring Jim Henson back to life in a way, by making a composite of his voice via Kermit the Frog. We could have Kermit sound like he's supposed to again. I have yet to watch the new movie, I plan to watch it today, but still it seems like as good as the imitators are, I'd rather have Henson's voice. What do you guys think, is it possible, will it be possible, do you care?
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Old May 20 2012, 04:28 PM   #2
Christopher
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

What would be the point of duplicating the voice if you couldn't duplicate the mind and talent behind it?
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Old May 20 2012, 04:56 PM   #3
Hawkeye92
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

Well, I just wonder if it's possible, but I suppose with the right talent, you can stay true to the characters, the voice would just be an added bonus for the fans. It would be nice just to hear his voice again, that's all.
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Old May 20 2012, 04:59 PM   #4
P0sitr0nic
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

The guy who does Kermit now does him well.
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Old May 20 2012, 05:20 PM   #5
Hawkeye92
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

I just blind bought the new movie, I'm excited to see it.
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Old May 20 2012, 05:45 PM   #6
Timby
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

P0sitr0nic wrote: View Post
The guy who does Kermit now does him well.
And he isn't exactly a newcomer. Steve Whitmire's been portraying Kermit for more than twenty years.
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Old May 20 2012, 06:06 PM   #7
J.T.B.
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

Christopher wrote: View Post
What would be the point of duplicating the voice if you couldn't duplicate the mind and talent behind it?
Agreed. If there's something the character is "supposed to " be, I don't think a robo-performed voice is it.

I am about the same age as Sesame Street, so to me Kermit without Henson's voice will always sound "wrong." But it's been over 20 years now, those days are gone, and I don't see why succeeding performers shouldn't have the chance to do their best for new generations of audience members on their own terms.

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Old May 20 2012, 07:39 PM   #8
sojourner
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

Wasn't that holograph thing debunked anyways?
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Old May 20 2012, 08:07 PM   #9
Mr. Adventure
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

I'm surprised Kermit was the first thing that popped into your head after seeing the Tupac hologram.
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Old May 20 2012, 08:25 PM   #10
Sci
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

Hawkeye92 wrote: View Post
There was a news story a few weeks ago about Dr. Dre creating a holographic Tupac Shakur, here is the link if you are curious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGbrFmPBV0Y

Anyway, this got me thinking , it looks like that soon enough the technology might make it possible to bring Jim Henson back to life in a way, by making a composite of his voice via Kermit the Frog. We could have Kermit sound like he's supposed to again. I have yet to watch the new movie, I plan to watch it today, but still it seems like as good as the imitators are, I'd rather have Henson's voice. What do you guys think, is it possible, will it be possible, do you care?
I'm not sure what you mean by "the imitators." There's only a single Muppeteer playing Kermit since Henson's death -- Steve Whitmire. Who, I might add, had been chosen by Henson to start playing Kermit even before his death, when Henson felt that he was overreaching and couldn't continue playing Kermit at every performance.
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Old May 20 2012, 09:53 PM   #11
Christopher
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

^That's true, but just to be ultra-technical about it, a few other people have portrayed Kermit in very limited contexts:

http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Kermit_...ing_Performers
John Kennedy performed Kermit for a demonstration at Muppetfest in 2001 (opposite Whitmire's "young Kermit") and in 2006 for Muppets Ahoy! During September 2009, Kermit was performed by Artie Esposito for appearances on America's Got Talent, the MTV Video Music Awards and the second day of the D23 Expo singing "The Rainbow Connection"...
The Muppet Wiki describes Esposito as the understudy for Kermit, and I'd imagine that what he does is to provide the physical performance in circumstances where the voice is to be dubbed in from another source (for instance, if Kermit is a background player in a scene where Whitmire's playing a different character such as Rizzo).

Also Frank Welker played Baby Kermit in the animated Muppet Babies series.
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Old May 20 2012, 10:38 PM   #12
Owain Taggart
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

I'm not sure how I would feel about it. There was controversy surrounding a similar technique they used in Superman Returns, and I think they partly recreated his voice, unless I'm wrong? I just know there was some controversy, though I might be misremembering the details. I think it's honestly just best to remember the deceased as they are rather than trying to create new memories of them.
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Old May 21 2012, 01:34 AM   #13
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

Tupac wasn't a hologram, but an image projected on a mylar screen.

[Though the virtual Tupac has been widely described as a hologram, it is in fact a 2D image projected to appear as a 3D effect. To achieve this, a digital image of the Tupac animation was projected onto a reflective surface on the floor of the stage, which then bounced on to a piece of Mylar that reflects the image while appearing otherwise clear. When Snoop Dogg appeared to be rapping along with Tupac, he was standing behind the Mylar screen.

It's not even new tech - it's years old. There's no way to replicate the vocal performance of an individual other than by impersonation or using archival recordings.
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Old May 21 2012, 01:38 AM   #14
Dick Whitman
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

I agree with everyone that it would not work and is not necessary. Steve does a great job.,

I remember seeing Mel Blanc's son on TV years ago showing how he was compiling a database on computer of his father's voice, after his death, of old performances as the Looney Tunes characters. So that separate words could be constructed for new sentences.

I not sure if anything came of that. I could see it working only with limited audio for toys and other merchandise. The closest thing I know of is recent computer animated Looney Tunes shorts used songs Mel recorded in character decades ago. Made specifically for vinyl records. But those where using actual performances edited the way new ones would be. Not using a "Frankenstein style" patch work for creating new sentences.

By the way, we did her a little of Jim Henson as Kermit in the new movie. As Kermit walks in the Muppet Theater for the first time in years. He is remembering the Muppet Show and hears himself announcing host Bob Hope. Which was Jim's voice. Also the recording of "Mahna Mahna" at the end of the film is Jim's performance.
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Old May 21 2012, 03:09 AM   #15
Hawkeye92
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Re: A Hypotetical Muppet Question

Donald Draper wrote: View Post
I agree with everyone that it would not work and is not necessary. Steve does a great job.,

I remember seeing Mel Blanc's son on TV years ago showing how he was compiling a database on computer of his father's voice, after his death, of old performances as the Looney Tunes characters. So that separate words could be constructed for new sentences.

I not sure if anything came of that. I could see it working only with limited audio for toys and other merchandise. The closest thing I know of is recent computer animated Looney Tunes shorts used songs Mel recorded in character decades ago. Made specifically for vinyl records. But those where using actual performances edited the way new ones would be. Not using a "Frankenstein style" patch work for creating new sentences.

By the way, we did her a little of Jim Henson as Kermit in the new movie. As Kermit walks in the Muppet Theater for the first time in years. He is remembering the Muppet Show and hears himself announcing host Bob Hope. Which was Jim's voice. Also the recording of "Mahna Mahna" at the end of the film is Jim's performance.
This is kind of what I was thinking about, compiling a database of words and frases that would make complete sentences. I guess it would be really tedious and expensive and pointless, it was just a thought.

For the record, when I saw the Tupac thing, my first thought was to do something similar with the Beatles, I just thought about the Muppets as I was thinking about watching the movie today.

I was unaware that the same guy had been doing Kermit for a long time, I jst kind of came up with the idea out of nowhere.
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