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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
The odyssey of spfx...
Poll: Which LOTR monster(s) was/were the closest to your own visual expectations?
The Balrog
The Watcher in the Watcher
The Trolls
The Mumakil
The Great Beasts that pull 'Grond'
Sauron's physical form in the Prologue
The Fell Beasts
The Ents
The Eagles
The Wargs
The Orcs
The Goblins
View Results (47 votes)


Aug 17 2012, 5:25pm

Views: 387
The odyssey of spfx... [In reply to] Can't Post

While there has always been science fiction in movies, the 1950s were when it blossomed as a genre. Sometimes terrible scripts and fledgling spfx got it marginalised for nearly 2 decades, but the fans were far more loyal than other movie-going audiences because science fiction WRITING was VERY good from the 1920s on and these folk WANTED BADLY to see their visions written by H.P Lovecraft, James Branch Cabell, Doc Smith, Ray Cummings, and others brought 'to life' on the silver screen.
Indeed while the '50s had the most shoestring of budgets for spfx, some of the stories were timeless: The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Forbidden Planet (with comic actor Leslie Nielsen as the romanticlead, no less) are two of the best from the '50s SF that was romanticized in the 1975 cult film classic, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".
Then we reach 1968, a pivotal, even seminalyear for science fiction. The late Gene Roddenberry had shown to 'executives' at NBC that science fiction was both serious and a well of untapped possibility unlike anything since oil blossomed as an industry. While Star Trek (the original series) still suffered from terribly sub-standard spfx because the network didn't want to spend it on a 'risky' show (and by their slotting of Trek really tried to kill it) the writing was stellar - by some of the greats of science fiction of it's day, including Harlan Ellison and a budding David Gerrold.
That lead Stanley Kubrick to team with sf legend Sir Arthur C. Clarke to turn a short story called "The Sentinel" into one of science fictions great films of all time, "2001: A Space Odyssey" changed spfx forever with Doug Trumbull pioneering the industry as no one has before him - and training a young John Dykstra who was the genius and father of George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic which did the spfx for the original Star Wars (now "A New Hope") and so many great science fiction and fantasy films since.
As Annael says, those of us who lived through the transformation of movies - and other genres have benefitted GREATLY from the blossoming of fx (action flicks particularly, but even appearing covertly in comedies and love stories the effects have rippled through our movie experience) - know that without those courageous pioneers in the '50s who believed in the great stories (and even the not-so-great ones) NEEDING to be told in movies, Gene Roddenberry BELIEVING that science fiction could work in the horribly shallow (even today) medium of television, of Kubrick and Clarke envisioning what COULD be on the big screen, and then finally Dykstra and those that have followed once the floodgates were FINALLY opened fully by the wild success of Star Wars.
If the story is good enough, they'll find a way to make it happen.
In Tolkien's lifetime he hoped to see movies made, plays made, music made celebrating his work. He wouldn't have sold the works he did to Saul Zaentz if he didn't but his own writing reveals he celebrated ALL forms of art. Indeed even Christopher isn't against the filming of his father's work so much as he's against it being done without proper reverence to what that work was supposed to MEAN. In that, he was proved correct when corporate executives made decisions and forced Mr Jackson to 'dumb down' LotR to the point where Christopher could not stomach it. With his trust in movie-makers quite gone and the budget of independents insufficient to go that route he's chosen to simply 'close the gate' as it were to safeguard what is left from such crude indiscretions (and insulting the intelligence of loyal fans).
It will be fun to watch the spfx of The Hobbit - all 3 glorious volumes of it - but it will be just as important to see if along with more money if Mr Jackson uses his gained leverage for the professor's work, or simply continues with movie-making policies of "based on" rather than "based IN" the professor's work.

Subject User Time
Which LOTR monster(s) was/were the closest to your own visual expectations? Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Aug 14 2012, 11:21am
    Eagles and goblins DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Aug 14 2012, 11:32am
    Not the wargs... DesiringDragons Send a private message to DesiringDragons Aug 14 2012, 12:08pm
    Eagles, Mumakil sam90 Send a private message to sam90 Aug 14 2012, 5:51pm
    Actually, most of them. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Aug 14 2012, 8:48pm
    The Balrog and Gollum were the closest. RosieLass Send a private message to RosieLass Aug 15 2012, 1:15am
    Eagles were closest sevilodorf Send a private message to sevilodorf Aug 15 2012, 2:24am
    Mumakil - notes in post... GAndyalf Send a private message to GAndyalf Aug 15 2012, 2:52am
    Not a monster but... Patty Send a private message to Patty Aug 15 2012, 5:22pm
    I said "Eagles" but the Trolls & the Ents were good Annael Send a private message to Annael Aug 16 2012, 2:58pm
        I also voted for the eagles imin Send a private message to imin Aug 16 2012, 3:12pm
            I didn't care for the eagles. RosieLass Send a private message to RosieLass Aug 16 2012, 8:07pm
                I agree with you Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Aug 16 2012, 9:33pm
                    What are the alternatives to CGI though? DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Aug 16 2012, 9:37pm
                        You've answered your own question Radagast-Aiwendil Send a private message to Radagast-Aiwendil Aug 17 2012, 9:36am
                            Better CGI is the only sensible answer DanielLB Send a private message to DanielLB Aug 17 2012, 9:43am
                    I'm not so sure those of us who grew up with Harry Harryhausen Magpie Send a private message to Magpie Aug 16 2012, 10:00pm
                        agree Annael Send a private message to Annael Aug 17 2012, 1:52am
                            The odyssey of spfx... GAndyalf Send a private message to GAndyalf Aug 17 2012, 5:25pm


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