How Hyperreal CEO Remington Scott Is Giving the Metaverse a Soul

Innovators 2022: The “Lord of the Rings” FX maestro is writing a new textbook for creating digital humans, from a young Paul McCartney to a new AI pop star

The true innovation of Remington Scott’s company, Hyperreal, is not just that he’s created strikingly lifelike digital versions of stars who are living or dead (or completely fictional). It’s that he’s putting those creations into the hands of the talent themselves, empowering them to drive the innovation.

Hyperreal, which is known for its “Hypermodel” digital humans, has in two years created a near-perfect double of pop star Madison Beer (for a performance that won a Webby for Tech Achievement); made Paul McCartney resemble a Beatles-era version of himself; designed a virtual model of the late rapper The Notorious B.I.G.; and, with entertainment mogul Simon Fuller and Verizon, invented an AI-driven alien pop princess named Alta B who appeared with the boy band Now United in their “Jump” video. (With 60 million views, “Jump” is the most-watched video featuring a virtual being.) Signaling confidence in Hyperreal’s continued growth, the Korean giant CJ ENM took a minority stake in Hyperreal in April. 

The fact that the digital versions of real, flesh-and-blood humans are owned by their real, flesh-and-blood human selves (or their estate) means that they can one day bring those models into other virtual spaces in the metaverse — a critical component to Web3 and the metaverse. 

Commenting on his strategy for sustaining his company’s growth, Scott emphasized the very thing that makes the Hypermodels so lifelike: human individuality. “There’s playbooks, and a lot of people write about how to do business or write about how to make things,” Scott told TheWrap. “It’s great to listen to those things. But none of them replace what makes you unique and how you are driving forward your vision. You have to embrace that and move forward with that.”

Scott, a veteran of computer graphic design in the video game world who supervised the motion-capture work of Gollum on “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” declined to share details about Hyperreal’s future work with other A-list stars. But he said the company has expanded to working with corporate clients to develop branded characters and mascots. Hyperreal is also looking to open its services to regular folks. 

It’s all in the service embracing the digital future. “In 2022, we’ve seen art and technology and business colliding and offering new opportunities for value and new opportunities for expression. And these may be like fits and starts,” Scott said. “Sometimes they work well and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you might see something that gets a lot of excitement, but then it kind of burns out. But they’re all going to be helping to build a foundation for how we’re moving forward in the technology space.”

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