CES 2009: Yoostar, Guitar Hero for movies?

(Yoostar/Universal Pictures' Spartacus)

What if you could star in famous movies, without ever leaving your home? That is what Yoostar Entertainment Group hopes to deliver to consumers with their recently unveiled Yoostar product. Using green screen technology, the system allows users to star in their favorite movie scenes along with famous actors (and their friends)–then share their performances with friends.

I got an exclusive demo  and was impressed with the concept:  A small red and black camera device (its ingenius design makes it look a bit like Wall-E), a 6’x6′ piece of green screen fabric, and a software disc that allows for recording onto PC and Macs.  The Yoostar system comes with about 12 clips, and each month users can add to their collection of clips (for a nominal price), choosing from Yoostar’s library such movies as “The Godfather,” “Psycho” and more recent flicks, too.  Using Yoostar’s prototype camera, I got the opportunity to play Barbara Stanwyk ‘s femme-fatal character in “Double Indemnity and Grace Kelly’s role in “High Noon.” Don’t try to be a hero. You don’t have to be a hero, not for me!

The Yoostar team was hush-hush about allowing photos or recording demos, but click after the jump for a sneak a peek at their product online. 

Yoostar’s original camera can be seen here and your can watch a Yoostar video clip shown Thursday at CES.

Yoostar system coming to stores in Q2 2009

If the product resonates with consumers, I am convinced Yoostar could be the next biggest home-entertainment game, it could be for movies what Guitar Hero is for rockbands. Not to mention, how the system could introduce a new generation to the classics of American film history.

Yoostar VP of Content and Development Jess Barron says what makes Yoostar unique is their exclusive five year licensing deals the company has inked with studios including Paramount, Universal, MGM and Lions Gate. The company says they are “poised to become one of the largest content-driven and social networking sites…in the world.” On this point, we’ll have to wait and see how their social networking site, to be launched in May, comes along–and to what extent their videos go viral (due to licensing limitations, videos cannot be posted to YouTube but there will be widgets that will allow users to share their scenes with their friends on Facebook and other sites).

Also, I will be curious to see how the company engages brands–their product is poised to deliver what brands have long been wanting: a safe place to play in the big, bad viral world. Yoostar’s Barron says brands would be able to insert their products into scenes, or develop branded-entertainment channels and experiences with Yoostar. The company is working with some A-list stars  (Tom Hanks was on hand to show off the product on the CES stage) to do a few super-user videos for the early launch in April. I can’t wait to see Seth Rogen as Rocky, or watch Angelina Jolie put a new spin on Janet Leigh’s “Psycho” scream. Not to mention what users will do with Patrick Swayze’s famous line from Dirty Dancing, “No one puts Baby in a corner!”

Oh yes, we could have a monster on our hands.