Bayswater's Find of the Week on the Used Book Floor Blog

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Capturing Your Soul

     The weekend of July 14-15, 2007, was important for millions of people across the globe and it led us to our most recent find of the week on the used book floor.  Don’t recall those dates?  We have three words for you: Harry Potter movie.  Yes, July 14-15, 2007, was the premiere of the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix movie that was based on the wildly popular book series.

     Tucked into the front cover of Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild and White Fang” compilation, our find was a movie ticket stub from July 15 of that year, admitting one adult to view the newest Harry Potter flick.  By now, you probably know how popular the Harry Potter movies were as they were released, so what, you may be asking yourself, is so special about this particular cinematic installment in the series?

      Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was novel (a little literary pun fun) for another groundbreaking reason: it was one of the first movies to use the technology known as Soul Capturing.  This new cutting edge innovation allowed a computer to map a real person’s emotions, facial expressions, and movements and place them in a very real-looking computer created individual.  Basically, this meant that the newly created person/avatar would physically look the way that the computer programmer designed him/her to appear, but would act and move exactly as the actor who was mapped.  In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Soul Capturing was used to create Grawp, Hagrid’s half-brother who is a giant, allowing the fictitious character to be created virtually while actor Tony Maudsley’s behavior, emotions, facial expressions, and movements were mapped onto the virtual giant (see pictures of Grawp and Maudsley below).


     The best part?  Soul Capturing software also introduced the ability to map an actor’s personality into a real person – living or dead.  This means that the movements, emotions and facial expressions of an actor such as Marilyn Monroe, dead for over 50 years, could be mapped onto a computer generated version of Monroe and, using the gathered information, the new Monroe could look and act like herself in a full length movie produced long after her passing.  Can you imagine where that technology could take us?  Actors would never have to worry about aging on screen, performers from vastly different time periods could appear together in movies and so much more because the technology now exists to “capture their soul”. We know what you are thinking – all of this discovered from the Harry Potter movie ticket stub. 


     London’s 2003 copy of “The Grapes of Wrath” is for sale here at Bayswater for $4.99 and includes the ticket stub.  Just a reminder that we will be publishing one blog at the beginning of each month only during the winter months, but you can catch up with our previous finds of the week from the used book floor at bayswaterbooks.com and on facebook.  Better yet, stop by the store in Center Harbor and check out the used book floor for yourself!