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Movies, TV and CGI


Dec 11 2013, 2:35pm

Post #1 of 4 (227 views)
Movies, TV and CGI Can't Post

There has been a lot of talk first and last about the CGI in the Hobbit films and CGI in films in general. Seemingly people are concerned that movies are starting to look like giant video games and that this is a bad thing. Once upon a time TV was considered the poor step-child of movie. But now some of the best stuff is done on TV. The comparison to video games is the same. The scorn that a movie receives because it looks like a video game says that video games are a poor step-child to movies. But is that true? Is there a straight line evolution from movies to TV to video games? Are these questions worth discussing?

Tol Eressea

Dec 11 2013, 3:17pm

Post #2 of 4 (129 views)
I can see the similarities [In reply to] Can't Post

A lot of Video Games are evolving into compelling stories. (Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and others). Sometimes the attempt overreaches itself (Metroid: other M), giving Video Games a bad name. Perhaps the final step will be a merge: private entertainment where you 'become' the protagonist, making your own story.

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Dec 11 2013, 4:40pm

Post #3 of 4 (125 views)
The short answer from an easy-going viewer [In reply to] Can't Post

IMO, while not a gamer, I've seen commercials for games whose visuals have blown me away, so not sure folks who are dismissive of video games have a lot of ground to stand on these days.

The other thing (and the differences in visuals between LOTR and the Hobbit have been the subject of lively debate) my one sliding yardstick is "is what I see onscreen working for me in this film?"

Generally the negative tipping point for me is not so much whether what's onscreen looks absolutely real, it's whether it jerks me out of the movie. And for PJ's work, don't think broad generalizations can be made. For instance, one of the few criticisms I have for AUJ are a few PARTS of the goblin sequence - one sequence when everyone is running it reminds me of the old Centipede game - it's annoying. But so much of the goblin sequence is so good, including IMO amazing work on the Goblin King. The trolls, Azog, wargs are magnificent.

At the end of AUJ, Erebor is not "real" and neither is the inside of of the Elven King's realm. But for me, thanks to beautiful blending of real/green screen - I FEEL all of it. The work on the Carrock was so good I was upset to find out they weren't actually on some hill filming.

Well, yes, whether we like it or not, there will be more and more CGI, just as the days of Hollywood rounding up a cast of thousands of extras for a battle scene are gone. But think it's already true that there are going to be masters like PJ who can use technology effectively, if not always perfectly, and then there's the B-movie laughable CGI effect.


Dec 14 2013, 11:38pm

Post #4 of 4 (241 views)
yes, they are worth discussing. [In reply to] Can't Post

There are academics dedicated to the issue of cultural hegemony, and the discourses surrounding popular culture.

Did you know that grand Theft Auto 5 made 1 billion US dollars in sales in the first 3 days, puts the world of film into perspective doesn't it? Interestingly enough, don't those kind of figures make you question the underlying motives of those in the Film industry, professional critics to directors through to the bean counters of Hollywood, when they dismiss the creative and artistic merits of video games?

The cultural snobbery surrounding video games as artless, mindless juvenile forms is now unfounded and without any merit what so ever. how come If you play video games for 6 hours on a saturday night, you are a minless anti-social moron and yet, gorge on a box set of DVDs like Game of Thrones for the same period and it's socially acceptable because you are confirming the preferences of the critical elite. Yet most gaming is done on-line now, it isn't anti-social and it isn't passive unlike, sitting in a room silently staring passively at moving images on your TV.

Tolkien film adaptations suffer particularly from this fate because many critics, pundits and anonymous internet commentators fail to grasp that by inventing what we now call the Fantasy genre, all things fantasy are heavily influenced by Tolkien and not as some have mistakenly commented on, the other way round. Tolkien doesn't look like video games (of the fantasy genre), video games look like Tolkien. Did you know that the people behind Warcraft, the original real time strategy game not, the MMO, were computer geeks, who came together because of their Tolkien obsession, almost a decade before the LOTR trilogy came out?

The other issue with generic 'OH noes CGI' criticism in film is that it complete fails to acknowledge that most films use sets, fakes, pretenders, made up backdrops, CGI is just another way of creating the illusion that what you are seeing on film is something that isn't a film studio or a backlot.

Oh BTW: I am a 46 year old woman, who apart from playing warcraft doesn't indulge in video games much, but I will defend it as a medium from the scorn poured down on it by others.


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