Monday, October 18, 2010
Empire Strikes Back pics and some commentary on CGI
No matter how "real" anyone claims CGI looks on screen, I'm never fooled completely and therefore never fully immersed in the film. I miss the days of extravagant sets, props, and hundreds of elaborately costumed extras. Check out some more stills from the set of Empire Strikes Back here. The set designers and model builders of 30 years ago made movies come alive - too much CGI looks like, well, too much CGI. Sometimes, like with Sin City or 300, the CGI is stylized enough that you can enjoy it, but most other times, like the final battle scenes of Attack of the Clones, there's no way you're going to mistake the jerky, cartoonish, CGI clonetroopers for the real thing, and it snaps you out of the story like a bucket of cold water. As Fu Manchu would say, "you can't fool me with your cheap, cinematic tricks!".
Real is real, it has a real presence on screen, regardless of how "realistic" it is. Is it weird that I instantly accepted "puppet" Yoda, but instantly scoffed at CGI Yoda? Why does a big walking carpet suit called Chewbacca resonate more than a big blue cartoon Avatar native?
I hope grand sets, costumes, and cool models aren't completely a thing of the past - how cool would it be to see a new film with awesome effects but not a single frame of CGI? It'll probably never happen, though, so enjoy the link above to revisit the "good ol' days" of special effects.