A Green Screen Christmas
Here are two videos, one from 2008 by way of 1968, and the other from 1951, with a stop along the way in 1989 for colorization. The Elvis Presley and Martina McBride “duet” is quite convincing if you don’t know who Martina McBride is, and therefore don’t know she was only two years old in 1968 when Elvis taped his Comeback Special for television. Martina McBride, wearing a wig and clothes to match 1968 fashions, taped her part in 2008 in front of a green screen. From the smoothness of the matching in lighting and other details, you could be forgiven for thinking this was a real duet, without the skeptical quotation marks around the word.
The second clip is from the 1951 film version of A Christmas Carol, made in England and released there as Scrooge. Within the set of clips in the accompanying video is an example of the optical printing process, which was used to show Marley’s Ghost as semi-transparent. Effects were less convincing in those days – at least they seem so to our modern eyes – but good acting and a strong story do wonders to allow us to overlook that. Here’s to the ghosts of Christmases Past!