Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan is making a comeback as a hologram at his official library in California. The 3-D image of Reagan began welcoming visitors at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Thursday.
Guests were able to watch three different scenes that use audio taken from real remarks made during his presidency, which lasted from 1981 to 1989. One scene showed Reagan waving to crowds from a rail car he used in a 1984 campaign stop. The others depicted him inside the Oval Office and at his California ranch. Reagan died in 2004.
Former President Ronald Reagan appears in western attire, as he might appear at his Santa Barbara ranch, but as a hologram, on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018. The Reagan Library says it worked with the same Hollywood special effects wizards who helped bring singers Michael Jackson, Maria Callas and Roy Orbison back to life on stage.
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Officials say the goal is to allow visitors to see Reagan back in the Oval Office, campaigning or at his beloved ranch.
Hollywood special effects expertise is behind the moving, talking, digital resurrection, Reagan’s face comes to life via specific movements of the mouth, nose, eyes, cheeks, and hairline manipulated by computers.
The library worked with the same special-effects technicians who helped bring singers like Michael Jackson, Billie Holiday and Roy Orbison back to life on stage. The Hollywood firm HologramUSA helped create the holograms and the stage on which they’re projected.
Two more Reagan holograms are to appear soon at the library, which is Reagan’s final resting place since his death in 2004.
Former President Ronald Reagan appears on a railcar platform making a speech during a whistle stop on the campaign trail, but as a hologram, on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
Models of former US President Ronald Reagan that were used in creating Holograms are seen at a media preview on October 10, 2018, one day before the exhibition opens at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Reagan appears in three scenes at the presentation, including this scene from 1984 where he campaigned from the Ferdinand Magellan Railcar on a campaign trip through Ohio.
“If you’ve never been in a room with President Reagan, this will feel like you’re standing right there with him,” said John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. “It’s just startling how realistic this is.”
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The Reagan hologram was created with technology from Hologram USA, which also was behind the image of Tupac Shakur that performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2012 and one of Michael Jackson at the Billboard Awards in 2014.
Another company, BASE Hologram, announced on Thursday it will bring singer Amy Winehouse back to the stage as a hologram in a show expected to debut next year. (Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Krystian Orlinski; Editing by Alistair Bell)