Friday, July 12

How Too Much CGI is Ruining Movies

Can there be too much Computer Generated Images in Movies? Yes, yes a thousand times yes! CGI is great for many things but when movie makers rely on it too much they get lazy and it shows. I have always felt mechanical effects feel more real. I challenge hollywood to make an action film with as little CGI as possible. Seeing Superman zoom off fast: CGI. Seeing Chris Reeve as Sup take off in a leisurely way: the real thing.

When the first Spider Man film came out the complaint about CGI was that Spider man was weightless as he swung among the buildings. They gave him more weight in the last one and in once scene I was particularly impressed with the effect as he swung above cars on a bridge. Turns out it not animated but done by a real stuntman. That's impressive.

CGI allowed Film makers to imagine scenerios they could never have done with conventional effects but ironically it's the very nature of the impossible being depicted that gives it away as fake.Having buildings fall down or New York City destroyed by a tidal wave may look cool but it goes beyond suspension of belief into the realm of now they're just showing off. They use it a lot because it's a cool toy but most over the top CGI just ends up being distracting.

It works best when it takes over for something that's already established as real. In Iron Man, we see Robert Downey in a real ( practical) suit early on ( which he hated to wear as it was uncomfortable). In the dramatic fight scene at the end of the film he was reduced to wearing a Motion Capture Suit. This allowed the animators to place the CGI version of the armor on Downey using his movements as a guide. So good was this effect that even the director Jon Faveau couldn't tell the difference between the two versions.

Of course the nerdy teenage male will be entertained by it because they aren't interested in storytelling or characters. Eventually I think even they will tire of it. I know I am.

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