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Live-Action Ghost in the Shell Teases 'Facial Hacking' Project in Video

posted on by Jennifer Sherman

The official Japanese website for the live-action Ghost in the Shell film began streaming a mysterious "Facial Hacking" teaser on Tuesday. The video previews a project that will use leading projection mapping technology and mark a first experiment for the film industry.

In Masamune Shirow's original Ghost in the Shell manga and its anime adaptations, characters undergo cyberization to change their natural brains into augmented organs called cyberbrains. Characters also utilize different levels of body cyberization to obtain prosthetic bodies or body parts and become cyborgs. The series then raises philosophical questions about the nature of people's souls (Ghosts) and identities in an age of such advanced cybernetic technology. The real world has already seen the beginnings of related technology with advances in facial mapping used to create digital makeup.

Inspired by that technology, creative company P.I.C.S. is collaborating with the live-action film on a project. The video teases various forms of hacking of a certain famous person's face.

Hiroto Kuwahara, who started his creative career as a makeup artist, is serving as art director for the project. Kuwahara said that facial mapping technology is comparable to cyberization seen in Ghost in the Shell. He added, "The essential question of Ghost in the Shell of what is a Ghost or what is an individual can also be rephrased as 'What is a face?'" Kuwahara used Japan's aesthetic sense, culture, and philosophy as a theme from the beginning of the Facial Hacking project. He said, "This is comprised of a fusion of not only technology but also Japan's ancient makeup culture and philosophy, and modern Japan's subculture, manga, and Japanimation. Facial Hacking has those roots, it has deep emotions now being allowed to be involved with the Ghost in the Shell film."

Real-time facial mapping system developer Paul Lacroix, who also worked on the Ghost in the Shell 2.0 film, is also developing the project. He commented, "So far, we succeeded in the point of putting a strong visual image out into the world. But at the same time within that, interweaving and conveying story was the subject of the next phase." He continued, "The greatest pleasure was emulating the story from the world of Ghost in the Shell and becoming a part of that world. I hope the magnificent story of the film will be conveyed in an entertaining way to people who see this."

The project's staff will unveil more details about the project at a Ghost in the Shell event at the end of March.

The film's official Japanese website also posted a "Digital Mind" teaser video for the film on Tuesday.

The staff of the live-action film have released a variety of promotional videos and TV spots in the lead-up to the North American theatrical debut on March 31. The film's Japanese title is "Ghost in the Shell" in the phonetic katakana alphabet, instead of the "Kōkaku Kidōtai" title in kanji (攻殻機動隊) that is the Japanese title of the other works in the franchise in Japan. The film will open in Japan on April 7.

Source: Anime! Anime! (Kōtarō Nakase)

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