News: Tupac Shakur Hologram Creators Run Out Of Cash, Officially Go Broke

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012 8:50AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Months after shocking the hip-hop world with its Tupac Shakur hologram at the annual Coachella music festival, Digital Domain Media Group Inc. has reportedly filed for bankruptcy.

Details of the company's hard times surfaced online late Tuesday (September 11) night.

Less than a year after going public, the digital production company responsible for Coachella's Tupac hologram has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and agreed to sell the core of its business to a private investment firm for $15 million. Digital Domain Media Group Inc., founded by director James Cameron, is best known for its work on Cameron's "Titanic" and has produced visual effects for more than 90 movies, including "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and the "Transformers" series. The company was "running out of cash," Chief Restructuring Officer Michael Katzenstein said in court filings, and had violated cash and debt requirements set forth by its lenders. It tried to find additional outside sources of capital, but wasn't able get enough to restructure its debt and pay its operating expenses, he said. (My Desert)

Earlier this summmer, plans emerged which suggested the company would digitally bring late music icon Elvis Presley back to life as a hologram.

On Wednesday, Digital Domain Media Group and Elvis Presley Enterprises said they had begun work on "a series of digital Elvis Presley likenesses for shows and multi-platform entertainment projects." Digital Domain's chief creative officer, Ed Ulbrich, said "formal conversations" between the two companies began after Tupac's high-profile return to the stage at Coachella in mid-April. The visual effects house began working on the project earlier this week, he said, but declined to provide more details, including when the reincarnated Elvis might be ready to return to the stage, and whether he'll play Vegas. (Wall Street Journal)

Back in April, Dr. Dre killed the idea of a hologram Pac tour getting green lighted.

"What up, it's Doc Dre, backstage, Coachella, 2012 and I want to thank everybody out there for all the love and support," Dre said in an interview. "As you know, we had a hologram of Tupac Shakur show up as a part of our show. I want to thank a couple of companies out there that made my idea come to life. I want to say what's up to AV Concepts which actually projected the hologram. I want to say what's up to Digital Domain for actually putting the image together. They did an incredible job -- it was strictly for Coachella, get it right. I want to get rid of all the rumors out there. This was not done for a tour. If a tour happens, we'll see. This was done strictly for Coachella 2012, baby, just for you." (Interscope Geffen)

A few months back, Grammy-winning rapper T.I. called Pac's hologram set a memorable hip-hop moment.

"I think it adds to the experience of a show, man. I think it's technology used to benefit the consumer when they come to a concert," T.I. said in an interview with DJ Whoo Kid. "Basically, it was an 'Oh sh*t' moment. .... I'm really thinking, 'Wait a minute - if I could get this same technology to perform in three cities at one time, then that's another stream of revenue!' I could do six shows a night in six different places." (Shade 45)

Check out the Tupac Shakur hologram performance below:

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