Are you ready for your closeup, Miss Diaz?

Are you ready for your closeup, Miss Diaz?
: There is an evil side to technology. This from Television Week [via Lost Remote]:

Cameron Diaz is beautiful, right? After all, the green-eyed blonde has been a regular on People magazine’s list of the most beautiful people in the world.

However, the magazine’s editors-and most of the Western world-do not have a high-definition TV. If they did, they would see that Diaz’s face is spotted with small pockmarks, the unfortunate consequence of a longtime acne problem….

When seen on film, Diaz’s skin imperfections are not noticeable, thanks to Hollywood’s talented makeup artists. However, with HDTV, the picture is so precise that the acne damage cannot be hidden. In a high-def broadcast of Charlie’s Angels on HBO, Diaz looks like a different person. She’s still very pretty. But to be very frank, I doubt that she would make People’s most beautiful list.

I am writing this not to discount the considerable charms of Cameron Diaz. But the story illustrates the impact that HDTV is having on the Hollywood glamour machine. As stars run for cover-literally-the industry is searching for new makeup techniques that will combat the evils of digital television. With high-def now in fewer than 6 million homes, the problem is under control. But if new solutions aren’t found-and millions more get HDTV, as expected-the technology could change our perception of who’s beautiful and who’s not.

: UPDATE: Ken Layne adds:

I’ve seen the HDTV screens in various sizes, and I have to agree it makes even an attractive person look like a grotesque, makeup-crusted whore on the wrong side of 50. Nobody needs to see anybody that goddamned close up in such perfect detail. I can be nose to nose with a living human and it will never compare to the horror of a three-foot-tall pixel-perfect Mike Wallace face.

  • Oh great. So as Hollywood celebs figure out how to look even more “perfect” under close scrutiny, women in the real world get to look even blander by comparison.
    Thanks, Jeff. I just love waking up to news like this. Now, if you’ll pardon me, I seem to have misplaced my dermatologist’s phone number…

  • rem0tly

    There is a switch on a television that clears up everything, it’s called “OFF”.

  • Mike G

    Go look at the first Technicolor movies of the 30s. Go look at early TV, at the first of ANYTHING. Until cameraman figure out how to make stars look good, every medium is as garishly unflattering as DMV photos. It won’t be long before Leno’s show looks like a Greta Garbo movie– or maybe more like the Doris Day Show of the 70s, every closeup shot through a thick sheet of silk.

  • I don’t care. I’d still be proud as a peacock to be seen in public with her. Does that make me a celebrity sycophant? Sure. Again, I don’t care.
    HDTV isn’t the only thing experiencing “too much fidelity”. DVDs are taking a beating for undoing the effects of the film grain that the producers were counting on, such as the floating pen in “2001”. If you look close enough, you can see the acrylic base that the pen is sitting on. The film grain was supposed to hide that.

  • Isn’t her acne still easier to see on the movie screen itself? Granted, some of those multiplex boxes in shopping malls are not much bigger than your average HDTV rig.

  • Hmm… having read the actual article, now I wonder what the difference really is. Film has a really high resolution but there’s grain, as gus3 said, and possibly some unavoidable softness of focus in the projection. Maybe the makeup technique has to be adjusted to a particular convolution kernel…

  • hen

    i once bumped into Brad Pitt during filming of Meet Joe Black – he has the complexion of a pepperoni pizza, with extra cheese.

  • K. P.

    I’m working on a series in HD right now–boy, do people look bad! Nature looks great, cities look great, but only a month old baby looks beautiful. My host has yet to see herself on an HD TV, and she’ll be surprised.

  • Jeremy

    This is why magazines have always used airbrushes…

  • On a serious note, this is a major concern for the industry.
    Not only will quality makeup artists be in tremendous demand, but the cheap sets/furniture that are currently knocked together for Standard Def will have to be replaced with high quality too.
    It’s not just the price of shooting kit that makes HD content expensive to produce.