Effects by Tahmina Hemati

[1]‘The techniques of digital filmmaking changed cinema even more fundamentally than the introduction of sound. The possibility of shooting on videotape with a camera the same size or smaller than a loaf of bread, using crews of two people rather than ten or more, editing on home computers and dubbing in the simplest of sound suites meant that the world of film production was no longer a charmed one into which only the lucky few could enter.’

 

 

Introduction

 

From the 70’s onwards the use of CGI (Computer Generated Imaging) has become an important product tool for visual artists. [2]In 2016 we now have the capability to create an entire film solely based on CGI, where only up to 3 characters are required to be on set and creating a whole new world. For example the latest remake of the Disney film The Jungle Book (1967), required only Neel Sethi to be on set, the question to be asked here is, is CGI making the film industry become more lazy or is it allowing them to become more visually creative and allowing them to create the impossible?

 

In this generation CGI has become the common tool, during the early years of cinema, CGI had its limitations, film productions only used this special effect when necessary, but stepping into 2016, CGI is now being served as the main rather than the alternative. Many people argue that CGI draws us away from reality; [3]the purpose of CGI should not be to make a stunt or an effect look more real, it should be able to deceive the audience into thinking that CGI has not been added. Beforehand special effects were used as a method to be able to bring us closer to reality, but now audiences are drowned in deception. Many films fail to grasp an audience solely based on the narrative, as they are so indulged and questioning the capability of CGI.

 

[4]Entering the 2000’s, the start of the decade saw high success and several big budget films. Among these successes were – Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Each one of these films established new and effective techniques that were able to capture and amaze the audience with elaborate imagery. CGI became more successful as well as remained successful due to its triumph with Pixar films – ‘Toy Story, 1995’, ‘A Bugs Life, 1998’, ‘Monsters Inc, 2001’, ‘Finding Nemo, 2003’ and ‘The Incredibles, 2004’. DreamWorks also had huge success with ‘Shrek, 2001’ and ‘Madagascar, 2005’. Through the success of these films, other production companies became encouraged to establish their own CGI animated divisions such as – Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Sony Pictures, and Imageworks along with many others, where they have all invested into this format. Budgets then skyrocketed due to their dependence on extravagant visual effects and big stars accompanying their films.

Before CGI, the film industry would have to make do with what they had such as – stop motion, puppetry, matte finishes and painted backgrounds. [5]Today CGI enables filmmakers to create an effect that is less cost efficient as well as requiring less physical space. It has allowed an artistic path for directors in which they are able to express their visions freely, which would have been expensive or impossible before. For example, lets take a look at James Cameron’s ‘Avatar, 2009’. Without the use of CGI, it would have been impossible to create this film, which made a total of [6]$749,766,139 domestic gross. Capturing audiences with the alien world of Pandora, where the Na’vi’s live. This film truly complimented the capability of CGI.

 

Although there are many positive outcomes for using CGI, there are equally as much negative. [7]We are suffering from digital effects overload, audiences are constantly being fed narratives that require special effects, and there was a time when the simplest films were able to grasp audience’s attention allowing escapism. There is a huge pressure on using CGI and assuring there are no glitches and mistakes in the film, which lead to audiences feeling distracted from the narrative. [8]CGI has the ability to make audiences believe that a film lacks authenticity. The overuse of special effects drowns outs the actor’s performance and dialogue creating a barrier in understanding the purpose of the film. Many directors have overused CGI simply for the sake of making a scene from the film cooler. Does that mean that directors and producers are becoming visually challenged when it comes to creating new films?

 

 

Conclusion

 

CGI will continue to grow in the industry. It is not a matter of questioning the use of CGI, but how and why they are using it. [9]Directors are constantly rebooting films such as ‘Spider Man, 2002’, ‘Jurassic World, 2015’ and ‘Clash of the Titans, 2010’ that was all originally released after the 1970s. The desire to add better and huger affects to rebooted films can either create a bigger fan base or anger fans. Without a doubt the past two years has seen a huge rise in the use of CGI, if directors continue to overuse this special effect, it can become harmful to the industry in the long run, failing to catch audiences attention once the fireballs have been thrown and the world has been saved from a superhero.

 

Bibliography

Websites:

“Avatar (2009) – Box Office Mojo”. Boxofficemojo.com. N.p. 2016. Web.

“Cinema Is About Humanity, Not Fireballs – Nytimes.Com”. Nytimes.com. N.p. 2016. Web.

James, Michael. “10 Reasons Why CGI Is Getting Worse, Not Better”. RocketStock. N.p. 2015. Web.

“Movie History – CGI’S Evolution From Westworld To The Matrix To Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow”. AMC. N.p. 2016. Web.

Norkey, Trevor. “How CGI Has Changed The Way We Watch Movies”. moviepilot.com. N.p. 2015. Web

“The Pros And Cons Of CGI”. The Movie Network. N.p. 2016. Web

 

Books:

Cousins, Mark. The Story Of Film. London: Pavilion, 2004. Print.

Rickitt, Richard and Ray Harryhausen. Special Effects. New York: Watson-Guptill, 2007. Print.

[1] Cousins, Mark. The Story Of Film. London: Pavilion, 2004. Print.

[2] “Movie History – CGI’S Evolution From Westworld To The Matrix To Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow”. AMC. N.p. 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[3] James, Michael. “10 Reasons Why CGI Is Getting Worse, Not Better”. RocketStock. N.p. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

[4] Rickitt, Richard and Ray Harryhausen. Special Effects. New York: Watson-Guptill, 2007. Print.

[5] “The Pros And Cons Of CGI”. The Movie Network. N.p. 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

[6] “Avatar (2009) – Box Office Mojo”. Boxofficemojo.com. N.p. 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

[7] “Cinema Is About Humanity, Not Fireballs – Nytimes.Com”. Nytimes.com. N.p. 2016. Web. 1 May 2016.

[8] “The Pros And Cons Of CGI”. The Movie Network. N.p. 2016. Web. 27 Apr. 2016.

[9] Norkey, Trevor. “How CGI Has Changed The Way We Watch Movies”. moviepilot.com. N.p. 2015. Web. 1 May 2016.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s