The man who once ruled Las Vegas could be returning to the stage next year in a new way thanks to the wonders of modern technology. According to a recent interview with the managing editor of Pulse Evolution, the company is working on a hologram of Elvis Presley for use in a live concert setting.
Pulse Evolution currently owns the rights to creating holograms of Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Michael Jackson. The company was responsible for last year’s jaw-dropping Michael Jackson hologram performance at the Billboard Music Awards.
If the Jackson example is any indication, a full show performed by a Presley hologram could change the game when it comes to the deceased entertainer’s drawing power. Presley was arguably the biggest draw in the history of Las Vegas, and it’s not a stretch to imagine a realistic, hologram of The King drawing thousands back to the city that he once ruled. Presley sold-out 636 consecutive shows in Las Vegas between 1969 and 1976.
Rudy Mazzocchi, Pulse Evolution’s managing editor, recently spoke about the process involved in creating the holograms during an appearance on the Sarah Westall Radio Show. He confirmed the 15 show opportunity for the Presley hologram to perform in Las Vegas next year. Mazzocchi also spoke of how simple the process would be for the hologram to tour the world, requiring only a crew to set up the stage equipment and a thumb drive containing the hologram’s file. Unlike real-life entertainers, the show’s producers don’t have to worry about travel, security, or keeping the stars happy backstage.
There is no word yet on which version of Presley will grace the stage in Las Vegas, but one would imagine it would be an early 1970s Elvis. Though the process of creating the hologram involves creating a hyper-realistic animation of the star, the highest quality film of Presley performing on stage which could assist in the process comes from 1970’s Elvis: That’s The Way It Is and 1972’s Elvis: On Tour, documentaries that were shot on 35mm and 16mm high resolution film.
By comparison, Presley’s 1968 television special Elvis, commonly referred to now as the ’68 Comeback Special, the 1973 television special Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii, and the 1977 television special Elvis In Concert were recorded on two inch video tape. Thus, the video quality of the concert footage from 1968, 1973, and 1977 is far below what was captured by the 35mm and 16mm cameras during the 1970 and 1972 Elvis concert documentaries.
While Pulse Evolution would need to clarify, it would seem that the ability to create a crystal clear hologram from the Presley performances filmed on two inch video tape could be more challenging. The same goes for a 1956 era Elvis, as the concert film available from the 1950s lacks in picture quality.
No location has been announced for the Presley hologram performances, but the new Elvis Presley Theatre at the Westgate Hotel and Casino would seem like the most obvious location. The theatre is where Elvis performed between 1969 and 1976. At that time, the building was known as the International Hotel (1969-1971) and Las Vegas Hilton (1971-2012). Elvis Presley Enterprises began working with the hotel and casino this year with an Elvis exhibit (featuring artifacts on loan from Graceland) and a limited run Elvis impersonator show in the theatre which starred Martin Fontaine.
[Image via RollingStone.com]