Ost movies these days have more than their fair share of special effec
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ost movies these days have more than their fair share of special effects — eye candy — so as to keep the viewer entranced. This has become possible due to the many advances in computers. Computers allow directors and producers to actually see their visions come to fruition in the films that they make. Now, most movie genres cannot have extraordinary images incorporated into them easily. Story and character developments are critical in a drama or comedy, but in a science fiction film, not only are the aforementioned factors critical, but the public expects more.
To give the feel of the extraordinary that most science fiction films perpetrate, more care has to be taken with the presentation of the surroundings and the atmosphere. This is easily done in other genres with lighting and other effects, but a science fiction film demands more. It the past this was done using animatronics or small models. That is the past. Today’s computer generated models allow for much different advancement in the special effects field. The image to the left depicts soldiers fighting off a large group of attacking bug-like creatures. In reality, this was just a shot of actors fighting off nothing. The aliens were digitally inserted afterwards using computers. This is one of the newest films to take advantage of the technology that is now readily available to production crews.
In the past, technological hindrances did not allow certain movies to be made. A film such as Jurassic Park would not have had the appeal that it did if the dinosaurs had been designed using Claymation. Even one of the greatest movies of all time — Star Wars — was updated because the creator, George Lucas, felt that he could only now fix what he thought was wrong with the special effects in the original. Thanks to the programs that his company, LucasArts, created to fix the original three Star Wars movies, they are now in production of the three prequel movies. Lucas had felt at the time of the original series that the technology available to him was not enough to project his vision of the prequels, but now computer technology had reached a level where he could tell these stories.
Computer generated effects, or CG’s for short, allow special effects teams to create a variety of effects and things that could not be made with models or drawings. The Mask, a 1994 film made by New Line Pictures, had the title character played by Jim Carrey contorting his face and shape in a variety of incredible gestures. This was done using a CG workstation by overlaying
digitized images created using graphics programs over the still shots of Jim Carrey, and thus allowing moviegoers to believe that he was making his eyes bug out and other wacky gestures. Not only has this computer technology been used to alter human characteristics, but also entire worlds have been created to further a moviemaker’s vision.
The cult classic movie, Blade Runner, used special effects to create an entire city of the future for its characters to inhabit. In 1982, this may have been a decent science fiction movie, but in this day and age, it is not enough. People want to see more of the universe that the characters inhabit to be able to believe it more.
A film such as Jurassic Park would not have had the appeal that it did if the dinosaurs had been designed using Claymation.
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Film, English-language films, Films using computer-generated imagery, Genetic engineering in fiction, Film genres, Films, Jurassic Park, Science fiction film, Special effect, Star Wars, Blade Runner
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