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View Full Version : The Reality Focus: Really Entertainment?


brucegregory
08-20-2005, 01:37 AM
Watching the progression of Hollywood films, 3D software development trends - and CG, in general, makes me believe in the "sheeple" philosophy more than ever. When did the entertainment industry conform itself to the idea that realistic content, whether really "real" or "CG real", constitutes entertainment?

When, historically, in Hollywood or elsewhere has "true to life" content ever manifested itself as truly Blockbuster material? To quickly answer my own question, probably in the late 60's and early 70's. But, I think that sort of thing ceases to really entertain. People are embroiled enough in the "reality" of today's news, future projections and world events. If anything, we need a revival of the image of idealised living and pure fantasy, (like the movies produced in the late 20's and 30's, which offered true "escape" to their audiences), to really engage the movie going or DVD watching world of today. And, I don't mean dark, evil fantasy, either.

Not to mention the fact that producing "real" effects and content is very, very expensive, most of the stuff offered up to movie-goers today lends itself better to criticism rather than escapism and entertainment value. When the world and life in general is a bummer, the public needs somewhere else to retreat to. A pleasant and hopeful place, I think.

As a case in point, I went to the recent Spielberg production, "War of the Worlds", and though I can say confidently that it was quite "realistic", I didn't leave with the feeling that I had been entertained - rather, I left feeling more depressed than when I entered the theatre.

It seems that once Hollywood got on that "realism" bender that they entered at the end of the 60's, they simply haven't been able to stop the train. But the box office is now stating officially that they better stop the train, or blow it up, if they are to survive at all.

Coming back to the idea of "sheeple", when did the CG community ,at large, come to the corporate decision that eveything they create must mirror and augment and extend "reality" in some way? Where are the dollar income figures that indicate that this is where to be, in today's CG marketplace? I think we better wake up quick if we are to survive as content producers, also.

Greg Smith

mangolass
08-20-2005, 03:35 AM
Everyone had their own idea of "reality" in film. Most people don't consider huge fantastic concept art extraviganzas like War of The Worlds or Star Wars to be anything about reality ~ those are the opposite extreme. War of The Worlds was an old story, but not a very believable one, and based on the story I wasn't entertained either, whether you consider it a "reality" or "fantasy" type film.

When filmmakers focus on telling more human stories with the cameras brought to real locations filming real people or actors portraying human dramas realistically then that is when there is reality in filmmaking. The sheer quantity of huge, spectacular CG-rich extraviganzas makes it less likely that any of them will become blockbusters, although I'm sure some will. This is more a question of a flooded market than a non~existant one.

In terms of using CG to make some visual styles that are more photographic but others that are more stylized or look like other media ~ I'm all for having variety there! But only where it makes sense. Stylized characters in The Incredibles or Madagascar makes sense in the world of those films ~ stylized graphics like that to depict the aliens sniffing around for Tom Cruise in War of The Worlds would have made that film even less believable.

LT

Skirnir
08-20-2005, 04:08 AM
War of The Worlds was an old story, but not a very believable one, and based on the story I wasn't entertained either, whether you consider it a "reality" or "fantasy" type film.


Not believable?!?! Do you remember history? Orson Wells rendition of War of the Worlds on radio!? People actually thought the world was coming to an end, and there was widespread panic all over america. MIllions of people ran with shotguns in groups into the hills to prepare for war against fake aliens they actually thought were real. Luckily, no one was killed in the process...

that is until another country tried to remake Orson Wells radio extravaganza, where 11 people ended up killing themselves...and the entire broadcasting station was killed by a raging mob shortly thereafter when they found out it was all a big hoax. :hmm:

mangolass
08-20-2005, 04:26 AM
Not believable?!?! Do you remember history?

You thought the movie War of the Worlds was believable? ~ maybe you didn't see the movie? I doubt even someone trying to make a realistic radio broadcast in the last century would have tried to get people to believe the story of that movie. Did the radio broadcast mention that the giant walking machines had been buried for a million years until the aliens road down on bolts of lightening to pilot them, but forgot their spacesuits so they got infected by a local virus and died. The End. ~ that was the story of the movie, and it's not what I or anybody I know who actually saw it calls believable, even as a fantasy/spectacle type of film.

LT

Skirnir
08-20-2005, 05:19 AM
You thought the movie War of the Worlds was believable? ~ maybe you didn't see the movie?

No I didnt, but you said that war of the worlds was an old story, and not a believable one, so I thought you were implying more then just the new one.

aliens road down on bolts of lightening to pilot them

That part definitely seems different then the original. There was a storm going on in the original, but it begins with some "device" randomly crashing near a barn. Then it summons the rest of the aliens after killing people in the town, who all jump down from the sky (not really in a hover or rocket like motion).

but forgot their spacesuits so they got infected by a local virus and died. The End

That is how the aliens died in the original story. They had no antibodies, so bacteria and viruses on the planet ended up killing them all (their weapons/machines) were all still intact when the aliens all died off.

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