Yoostar: Your favorite movie, starring you

Yoostar: Your favorite movie, starring you. The full kit, which you can win from The Rachael Ray Show, includes a video camera, green screen, remote control, and Yoostar software.

Yoostar, a fun living room gadget, has flown back on our radar, thanks to The Rachael Ray Show.

Simply put, it's a movie studio in a box. Set up its contents, summon your inner movie star, and then let Yoostar place you in classic film scenes. Yoostar has signed deals with movie companies to take famous scenes and digitally pluck out the main star. Once the original protagonist has been erased, you can fill the character's shoes.

The Monitor's personal tech columnist, Tom Reagan, previewed the kit earlier this year. He fell in love with its quirky simplicity:

It works like this: After buying the Yoostar home entertainment system – available [now for $170] – you will get a camera, green screen, remote control, and Yoostar software for either a PC or Mac. Pick a clip from Yoostar’s library and, once you’ve summoned your inner Hollywood star, stage the scene in front of the green screen.

The camera captures your performance and the software places you into the movie. Just remember not to wear anything green, or else you’ll appear to have a big hole in your body.

Here's an example, courtesy of YouTube.

Yoostar's website hosts tons of other examples, such as rapper Snoop Dog quarreling with Costello in "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein." More recent additions include scenes from "Blues Bros," "The Godfather," "Shaun of the Dead," and the TV show "Mad Men."

Intrigued but not sure if it's worth the price? Yoostar announced a nine-city tour that will show off the technology and let people compete for the best replacement performance. The top amateur actor will win a walk-on role in a 2010 Lion Gate film production. The nation-wide sweep begins today in Boston and winds up mid-November in Los Angeles. Yoostar.com will have a complete schedule soon.

Where does Rachael Ray fit in? Her show highlighted Yoostar recently and launched a contest that'll give away 15 home studio sets. You can find out more info here.


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