You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

YooStar entertainment system

Yoostar aims to be the 'Guitar Hero' of the film world

There’s no denying YooStar has a good idea: Insert yourself into scenes of your favorite films by using a pretty decent version of the kind of tools filmmakers use. But buyers looking to truly blend into a film will quickly learn why d.p.’s earn the big bucks, while wannabe filmakers will learn a thing or two.

YooStar aims to be the “Guitar Hero” of the film world. The product (creators bristle at it being called a game) uses a greenscreen, high-resolution webcam and proprietary software to let fans act “alongside” stars in specific scenes. Once they’re happy with the shot, they can upload their clip to a YouTube-like site hosted by YooStar, where anyone can view it.

It is, admittedly, a really fun way to get into the movies. But it also shows how little things can make a big difference when it comes to filmmaking. Lighting, acoustics and positioning aren’t very important when you’re on a webcam or shooting your child’s first steps. But they become critical components when you’re trying to blend into a big-budget picture.

For instance, shooting in a well-lit room when inserting yourself into the “It’s 106 miles to Chicago… ” scene from “The Blues Brothers” puts you in stark contrast to the shadowed Belushi or Aykroyd of the original and undercuts the fantasy of being a part of the film. Filming your part in a room with hardwood floors? The sound quality will be markedly different as well.

YooStar comes with 12 film and television clips included in the box (the company website promises 14 clips, and a YooStar rep said the other two come via free download). It’s a mix of classic older fare (such as “Some Like It Hot”) to more modern fare (like “The Godfather,” “Animal House” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”). Most will appeal to the consumer who buys YooStar with parties in mind.

The webcam and greenscreen are both fairly high quality, but it would have been nice to have a deeper assortment of scenes out of the box. With the package’s steep retail price, the limited number seems skimpy. (Additional clips can be purchased online for prices ranging from 99¢ to $3.99.)

Moreover, the software is a resource hog, demanding a whopping 10GB of free space on your hard drive (40GB is recommended). And since users of the version reviewed weren’t given a chance to decide where to install the program, those who have partitioned their drives could be out of luck.

Still, it’s a notable first effort by YooStar — and there’s little doubt its hosted website will soon be cluttered by those trying to make a scene.

YooStar entertainment system

Film entertainment system

Production: A YooStar presentation of a product developed by YooStar. $170

More Digital

  • Ninja to Call 'Thursday Night Football'

    Ninja to Call NFL 'Thursday Night Football' Game on Twitch Free Live-Stream

    Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is Twitch’s most popular live-streaming gamer. Now he’s taking his play-by-play skills to the NFL — although it remains to be seen how many of his millions of followers are actually interested in his commentary on gridiron action. This season, Amazon-owned Twitch has provided free live-streaming feeds of the NFL’s “Thursday Night [...]

  • Amazon Starts Selling Chromecast Again, YouTube

    Amazon Starts Selling Google’s Chromecast Again

    Amazon is once again selling Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter, three years after yanking the product from its website. The e-commerce giant began listing the 3rd-generation model of Google’s Chromecast streaming stick, as well as the 4K-capable Chromecast Ultra, on its website this week. The move could be a first step towards a more comprehensive business [...]

  • Rebecca Campbell Disney

    Disney Sets Out International Leadership Team Post-Fox Deal

    Rebecca Campbell, Diego Lerner and Uday Shankar are set to be Disney’s three key international chiefs when its deal for 21st Century Fox closes, the company announced Thursday. Campbell will run the Europe, Middle East and Africa team under the new structure, which is conditional on the Fox deal closing. She also adds Russia and [...]

  • Smithsonian subscription VOD

    Smithsonian Networks Launches New Subscription VOD Service, Folding in Smithsonian Earth

    Smithsonian Networks has expanded its push to reach cord-cutters with the launch of Smithsonian Channel Plus, promising subscribers 1,000-plus hours of streaming nonfiction programming for $5 per month. The new subscription VOD service incorporates and supersedes Smithsonian Earth, the company’s $3.99-monthly SVOD service that launched three years ago, which had been geared around nature and wildlife. [...]

  • YouTube Rewind 2018

    YouTube Rewind 2018 Officially Becomes Most-Disliked Video Ever

    The haters have spoken: In less than a week, YouTube Rewind 2018 — its year-in-review mashup — has registered the most dislikes of any video on the platform. As of Thursday (Dec. 13) morning, YouTube Rewind 2018 had notched 9.9 million dislikes after debuting Dec. 6. That pushed it above the previous record holder: Justin [...]

  • NPR Releases Open Source Podcast Metrics

    How NPR Aims to Bring Transparency to Podcast Metrics

    NPR unveiled a new open source podcast measurement project Wednesday that aims to bring more transparency and granularity to podcast metrics. The project, dubbed Remote Audio Data (RAD), has been developed in partnership with a number of podcast app developers, ad tech companies as well as tech and media heavyweights including ESPN, Google and iHeartMedia. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content