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RobertoOrtiz
12-16-2005, 12:53 PM
Quote:
"The uneasy marriage between Hollywood and the computer has come a long way since George Lucas made the original Star Wars in 1977. At that time, computer-generated imagery, or CGI, was so expensive that he could afford only a single 90-second sequence—a diagram of the enemy Death Star—which took a battery of computers three months to complete. But, with the doubling of computer power every 18 months, the cost of CGI came down so rapidly that by 1995, it was possible for Pixar Animation Studios to profitably make an entire CGI animated feature, Toy Story. Six years later, with another exponential increase in computer power, Sony largely erased the distinction between cartoons and "reality" movies by using CGI to create all the human-looking actors in Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. (The film's digital heroine, Aki Ross, had enough sex appeal to earn her a slot on Maxim's 2001 "Hot 100" list—the first nonexistent person to appear on that list.) "

>>LINK<< (http://www.slate.com/id/2132085/fr/rss/)

-R

jeremybirn
12-16-2005, 01:34 PM
Yeah, good work on Final Fantasy, Sony. :)

I guess to a n00b who hasn't done much research, it would be easy to blaim the tools for Hollywood's predilection to market mindless blockbusters.

If I were suggesting areas to research to improve his essay, I'd recommend the book I was just reading "Droidmaker: George Lucas and the Digital Revolution". It chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and other filmmakers set out to reinvent the process of filmmaking with technologies like pre-visualization, digital compositing, and digital editing to liberate themselves from the big Hollywood studios - the fact that many CG companies are in the San Francisco area (where Coppola and Lucas first moved to pursue their independence from Hollywood), that's called "outsourcing" in the essay because all the companies involved aren't in LA.

It's funny how the essay describes a scene of someone doing a small greenscreen shoot, the kind of production which has liberated a new generation of indy filmmakers like Robert Rodriguez to make films like Sin City on a mangeable budget - that's described as a nightmare vision of technology taking over.

-jeremy

Dennik
12-16-2005, 01:57 PM
Yeah, good work on Final Fantasy, Sony


Hehehe, he probably had in mind Polar Express when he wrote that. Which is not far from the truth as both movies had many uncanny simmilarities.

If this new economy of illusion allows the CGI side of a production to overwhelm the director's ability to tell a coherent story in his live-action side, digital effects may prove to be the ruination of movies.

The ruination of movies comes from the incompetence of directors and screenwriters. Nothing else.

arctor
12-16-2005, 02:25 PM
any one of us could name a 100 movies made in the last 15 years that utilized extensive CG that enhanced the film without intruding on the story or costing too much money.....28 Mil for VFX work in T3?...Schwarzenegger's salary was 30 Mil !!!
this guy has a point of view and he seems determined to voice it regardless of the facts or actually knowing anyting about the subject...

jeremybirn
12-16-2005, 02:27 PM
Hehehe, he probably had in mind Polar Express when he wrote that. Which is not far from the truth as both movies had many uncanny simmilarities.
Final Fantasy was distributed by Sony Pictures (Square's distribution partner) and the guy who wrote this essay just didn't look any farther. You have to remember that this essay was written by someone who doesn't know much about the industry.

The ruination of movies comes from the incompetence of directors and screenwriters. Nothing else.
This guy would probably blaim the word processors for the bad scripts and say old scripts were better because of manual typewriters. :)

-jeremy

malducin
12-16-2005, 02:46 PM
The ruination of movies comes from the incompetence of directors and screenwriters. Nothing else.

Well I would correct or augment that by saying it's mainly studios and producers. Many of them push for things that they think might make money again. Say, the story needs to have wire-fu and bullet time, regardless if it's right for the film, or remale a TV show, etc. Many of these movies are designed by comittee and usually pander to the lowest common denominator, and many of them done by neophyte directors that can be slapped around.

mental
12-16-2005, 03:50 PM
I believe that high movie ticket prices (http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/58587.htm) are going to kill Hollywood:

December 13, 2005 -- 'TIS the winter of our cinematic discontent. New York moviegoers endure long lines, crowded theaters, pre-show advertising that rivals the length of a Wagnerian opera and now, quite possibly, tickets that top $12. That's the case at the Ziegfeld Theatre, which is now offering an "exclusive" viewing of "The Producers" starting Friday. For the first week, the price for tickets is $12.50. After this, it will drop to $10.75, hardly a bargain-basement deal.
When the price of a single ticket costs as much as a DVD, I would rather wait to watch the movie in the comfort of my own home. Few movies these days justify a theatrical release.

-mental :surprised

Tlock
12-16-2005, 04:58 PM
I would partially agree that VFX are ruining Hollywood, but only in the sense that more and more directors seem to overly rely on VFX to make up for poor story line. Ex Fantastic 4 or should i say Garbage 4. I have read F4 comics when i was younger and they never sucked that bad. Ironically Hollywood is so arrogant that even when well established story lines that worked in the comics never seem to make it to Hollywood. EX. The Punisher Limited Edition story was great but the movie absolutely SUCKED!!!

F4 taught me once again that i should never trust trailers.

Hollywood should have 1 RULE - Story first....... If the story sucks no amount of VFX is going to save it.

mummey
12-16-2005, 05:51 PM
1. Hollywood is going to be ruined, they have some of the best minds in business, so don't pity them.

2. Almost every movie has some form of Digital FX now. Even the most normal film will have some compositing and color-correction in its budget. It might as well be considered part of the editing process.

talos72
12-16-2005, 06:40 PM
The problem, as mentioned, is not CG but the studio managements who treat the film-making process like assembling a car: crank out as many as possible in a short period and for dirt cheap money. The fact that Mostow felt overwhelmed wasn't so much the CG part but the scheduling of the film production. Nowadays, it is becomming more common for studios to create more demanding schedules for big budget films. What the article doesn't mention is the vfx houses also feel the pressure. Beyond that, I was reading an article in 3D World where the authore argued that CG should be considered as a part of the production process, not post-production. Because that way, the CG people can have more say and a better sense of collaboration with the director which would mean a better experience for everyone. Robert Roriguez, for example, knows this and treats CG not as a threat or a liability but as a tool and he encouraged creative input from everyone. No one was breathing down his kneck when he made Sin City. He had complete creative control.

TheChosen1
12-16-2005, 09:14 PM
"CGI technicians". Silly article. The proper term is "Computer effects wizards."

mangolass
12-16-2005, 09:38 PM
Since the outsourced CGI part of the production would take subcontractors, such as Industrial Light and Magic in Silicon Valley, eight months to create on computers, Mostow had no choice but to have them do much of the CGI work from storyboards before he had finished shooting the live-action part.

ILM wasn't anywhere near Silicon Valley ~ it just moved down from Marin Country into San Francisco.

It's weird if a director of an effects~oriented film would only be involved in directing the live~action shots and not the effects shots ~ if that part of the article is even true.

And since when is having work done in California "outsourcing" ~ I thought "outsourcing" meant sending work to Georgia or something. :)

LT

JMcWilliams
12-16-2005, 10:00 PM
"CGI technicians". Silly article. The proper term is "Computer effects wizards."

Yeh, the guys a bum.

Frank Lake
12-16-2005, 11:00 PM
The title is an interesting question.

But yes, yes it could if it was left unhindred. The same way a film or studio could be ruined by an out of control producer, director, or actor. Examples are littered through-out history.

Now as for moving the studios out of Hollywood to gain indepence that's all fine and dandy, but since HW still has ALOT of influence it's difficult to impossible to make it work without billions of dollars in backing. It's alot like government.

Wizdoc
12-16-2005, 11:19 PM
Meh. Crappy, over-expensive films have been made throughout history, with and without the assistance of digital wizardry. Case in point, STEALTH may have been a 133 million bomb, but THE MATRIX was also a 63 million dollar smash hit.

rakmaya
12-17-2005, 02:43 AM
Sounds like one of those essays you write to fool a 50 year old English Prof. who still things old ways are good. (Oh! I never did that:rolleyes: )

People always think taking a solid stance in one point of view and defending it is better than talking about 2 different point of view. That essay reminds me of certain english research papers which forces you to write only one side of the story.

Think about this. You never saw King Kong movie before. The first time you see it, hear it, visualize it, is through the latest movie. Think about how the Kong's expression effects you. Think about how its reaction is so much lively with all that CG effort. Unless the author has a pet like that I doubt he will be able to create that.

Magidion
12-17-2005, 07:28 AM
My 2 cents,
for me it has always been about story, and those productions that realize that they have a great story and script and have the right director that understands the story and also has the right backing and ...... see, it's a reciepe and no-one has the formula like they there is for Coca Cola . Hollywood is about manking money from what I can see and what they are selling are movies for us to consume. Now they want to us to go to as many as they can make but since there are so few great scripts, coupled with great directors and so on, they pile CG on top of so-so projects because they think we'll go because of some (cartman-voice) "totally awesome" explosions or car chases or wahtever. And we do just that, we go and see the flick and maybe we don't like the movie but they still have our money and maybe they can get their money back on the DVD sales. Poor stories need something to sell it to the punters and pretty CG does the trick. This of course is not a new thing. In ancient greek theatre they invented machines that would do things on stage like fly someone into the air on a cable or make the wooden clouds move and they were called Deux Ex Machina. Audiences loved the new inovation and so they began writing plays that used these 'Hand of Gods' devices all the time. The story is king weather they use technology or not but it certainly does put bums in seats. Has it ever been thus.


rambling thoughts from Magi

berice
12-17-2005, 03:40 PM
Meh. Crappy, over-expensive films have been made throughout history, with and without the assistance of digital wizardry. Case in point, STEALTH may have been a 133 million bomb, but THE MATRIX was also a 63 million dollar smash hit.

Yeah, closed-minded people always look for the ones that do poorly to use as the all mighty example, while they know perfectly well, most of the top grossing features have some of the most complex and spectacular looking cg shots ever made. Hes probably the kind of jerk that thinks; "All these cgi guys do is push a few buttons''. Would someone drop a giant anvil on him please...

kraal
12-17-2005, 03:43 PM
two words to prove this wrong .... pearl harbor (a great movie filled with special effects)

mattepntr
12-17-2005, 03:49 PM
It's weird if a director of an effects~oriented film would only be involved in directing the live~action shots and not the effects shots ~ if that part of the article is even true.

LT

It's not. I've worked on dozens of films (before and after the advent of CG visual
effects) and the director is always there, "directing" the work.

Kai01W
12-17-2005, 03:57 PM
two words to prove this wrong .... pearl harbor (a great movie filled with special effects)

There are certain levels of irony, which non-native english speakers are not able to grasp. :)

-k

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