Nimoy and Saldana give Yoostar film karaoke a whirl

Jun 17, 2010 by Glenn Chapman
Actors Leonard Nimoy and Zoe Saldana attend the launch event of Yoostar 2 at the 2010 E3 Expo in Los Angeles, on June 16. Star Trek legend Nimoy and new-generation star Saldana put their acting skills to the test in a Yoostar "film karaoke" videogame.

Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy and new-generation star Zoe Saldana on Wednesday put their acting skills to the test in a Yoostar "film karaoke" videogame.

Both were won over to the game, which taps into motion-sensing and camera capabilities of Xbox 360 and PlayStation Move to virtually insert players into movie scenes to play the parts of beloved actors.

"It was awesome," Saldana said after giving "Yoostar 2" a try at the in Los Angeles.

"It's really amazing. This ups the ante and just makes the enjoyment of you loving films even greater."

Nimoy opted for a shot at the part of a robotic killer played by actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original "Terminator" film.

Nimoy donned dark sunglasses and was trasported into the film to utter the famous line "I'll be back."

"Eat your heart out Schwarzenegger," Nimoy shouted after nailing the scene.

Yoostar software erases a chosen character in a scene, then replaces it with video of the player taken by cameras linked to videogame consoles. The game rates players on their timing and movement in scenes.

"What's exciting is you are going to have something great to do on a Saturday night besides just sitting with your friends and singing karaoke," said Saldana.

"To get the opportunity to be in a movie either I couldn't get or I wasn't born at the time but I can share the scene with certain actors I admire is wonderful. You will see me probably on the Enterprise with Mr. Nimoy."

Saldana, who will be 32 on Saturday, played the part of a young "Uhura" in the blockbuster "Star Trek" film released last year.

"What was it like to kiss Spock," Nimoy asked Saldana in a playful reference to a romantic scene in the latest Star Trek film.

After she replied "Awesome," Nimoy quipped "That makes me so jealous."

Nimoy, 79, became a part of pop culture for his role as "Spock" in the original "" television series in the late 1960s and in films made with the same crew.

Yoostar launched last year with a version of the videogame tailored for personal computers. Players had to use "green screens" as background and web cameras to insert themselves in scenes.

Microsoft Kinect for consoles and Sony Move for rival PlayStation 3 employ camera and motion-sensing technologies that let Yoostar insert players directly into scenes in a new version of the game.

"It is really the first time you can immerse yourself in a film without a green screen," said Yoostar co-founder and co-chairman Patrick Bousquet Chavanne.

"You pick a scene and get directly into the action."

"Yoostar 2" will be released later this year when Kinect and Move hit the market, according to Bousquet Chavanne, who added that pricing of the videogame would be disclosed later in the year.

The videogame comes with 60 film scenes ranging in length from 30 second to three minutes, and Yoostar has hundreds more snippets available for download online at yoostar.com.

Several players can take parts in the same scene, and game options include being able to ad lib one's own lines.

"It gives people an opportunity to relive or experience on a deeper level a film they love," Saldana said. "I feel karaoke did that for music, so now its the same in film. It's so exciting."

Yoostar, which was founded two years ago, has made deals with major film studios and nearly 1,200 actors to clear the way for people to become their own stars on screen.

Players will be able to upload performances for friends to see at Facebook or other websites, according to Yoostar.

"The things we are seeing in films today are so far beyond anything we had five, 10, 15, 20 years ago," Nimoy said.

"It is great you can do all kinds of stuff, but we are still dependent on a good story. If technology serves a good story it is a great thing."

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