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You can star in a famous band's music video

BigStage's custom avatar system will allow users to upload their image into rock bands' music videos or clips from Hollywood studios' films.

BigStage's technology allows anyone with a digital camera to create an avatar using their own image. This is the author with a bit more hair than he has in real life.

STANFORD, Calif.--If you've ever wanted to star in a famous band's music video, a start-up called BigStage will soon give you your chance.

Well, not exactly. But BigStage, which is based in Pasadena, Calif., is planning on letting users insert avatar-like images of themselves into a premade music video for an as-yet unnamed--but very famous--band.

The thing that makes this very interesting is that BigStage has developed a system that lets anyone with a digital camera create an extremely realistic avatar by plugging a photo of themselves into what it describes as a fairly easy-to-use interface.

Then, once you've created your avatar, you can customize its hairstyle, expression, and so forth.

That in and of itself is interesting but doesn't have much practical use.

But what BigStage plans is to give users a way to take their new avatar and insert it into the famous band's music video. Then, they'll be able to send anyone a link to the video.

That's cool enough, but BigStage CTO Jon Snoody, who spoke at the Metaverse Roadmap meeting here Friday, said that the company also is hoping to partner with Hollywood studios to give users the ability to upload their images into selected clips from new movies.

Snoody pointed out that this would be a good viral marketing campaign, and I have to agree. That's particularly true because it wouldn't cost the studios much to produce the clips, but for big movies there are almost certain to be huge numbers of people who use the BigStage technology to create an avatar, upload it to the movie clips, and then send the link to lots of people.

What great publicity for the films.

Already, BigStage has produced demos for one giant Hollywood studio. And at the meeting today, Snoody showed how he could insert a newly created avatar into the clip. He asked me not to name the studio, but I can assure you it's one of the biggest around.

There's plenty of other potential applications for these custom avatars--including for many virtual worlds. But as a way of getting a massive number of people to use the system right away, teaming up with a giant rock band and big movie studios is probably much more efficient.