7 Jul 2011

No more Movies

Author: Kripto | Filed under: In the begining, Povesti subiective

Some time ago a i was talking to a friend about movies. Among other things, i mentioned some names of animated movies. His reaction was very quick to dismiss those as not being rally movies. In a long talk with someone else i got the feeling that animated movies cannot actually be considered movies because they lack a few things. First of all, the main difference was that the places were always real in normal movies, or at least a set built by craftsmen. The second reason was that there was no real acting in animations. So… i started thinking about these and some other differences, but in time o forgot about it.

Recently i started wondering why my passion for movies in general is almost gone. The explication came in steps.

First i saw an episode of “Science of the Movies”, where the host was talking about “the uncanny valley”. This is the limit over which CGI (Computer Generated Image) seems real for the brain of the viewer. Imagine that your brain is actually a lie detecting machine. It also sees things that your normal analysis doesn’t compute right away. I knows that a shadow doesn’t fall a certain way, that splashing water or a fire have their own ways to move and interact with the environment. This means that only the best CGI can really make you believe that the effects on the screen can be real.

The second “happening” was an interview with the actor that played the main role in that horrific movie called “Superman Returns”. There were some times when they shown how the “hero” was flying around, but NONE of them was on a set.

The third “thingy” was a picture of George Lucas, depicting him with the special effects of the first and second Star Wars saga movies. I consider the so-called Episodes 3, 4 & 5 to be “the first”. On the right, George Lucas was in a room up to 100 square meters, surrounded by all kinds of miniatures. In the second picture he was in front of a green screen.

The fourth time i saw trailers from several movies and the last one of the X-Men movies. Well… let’s just say that none of the sequences that could’ve been filmed in a real environment passed the “uncanny valley”.

The “drop that filled the glass” was a very short article in the evening news. It showed some clips from several movies and TV series, first what we see on the screen and then what’s actually around the actors. Well… in some parts i wasn’t surprised. But when i saw that even the simplest of backgrounds  was replaced by CGI, i kind of snapped. I mean… all those money they put into making them are no longer even going to small time actors and artisans, but to  a handful of computer enthusiasts, to the main cast, the writers, producers and technical staff. No more small time actors to be discovered. Yes, i actually mean that if someone hasn’t had a secondary role in another movie, they have little to no chance of ending up with a main role on the big screen. Oh, and… FX are almost dead! May they rest in peaces!

But i started with another problem. Can you tell me right now why a movie is better than an animation? I no longer consider so, since, in the case of an animation, you know what you get and actually everything you see, including the main characters, are created in the smallest detail from scratch.

I miss being able to say without lying: “i saw a movie today!”

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