If you think this generation of Hollywood actors seems too artificial, here's your proof: two companies are selling inflatable vinyl torsos that movie producers can use to beef up crowd scenes. The source of this story, a Wall Street Journal blog says the two companies -- Crowd in a Box and Inflatable Crowd -- now are in a patent dispute over who came up with the idea first.
They appeared in crowd scenes in "Million Dollar Baby" and "Ocean's Thirteen" and "Be Cool." Crowd in a Box says it holds two patents for inflatable humanoid figures used in background scenes, and has sued Inflatable Crowd. Inflatable Crowd owner Joe Biggins won't comment, beyond saying that he independently came up with the idea for the dummy extras in 2002 while working on the crew of "Seabiscuit." Amid the legal wrangling, Inflatable Crowd has kept an edge in the market, placing its dummies in more than 50 feature films. Crowd in a Box's dummies have been tapped for five features, and also have done TV shows and commercials.When the vinyl torsos spring a leak, do they call in a plastic surgeon?