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Old 04-16-2013, 01:20 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanjayChand
More fx in films = more fx jobs.

Less fx in films = less fx jobs.


Seems like a no-brainer to me.



This is an interesting point, especially considering the echo-chamber that is a visual FX forum/website.

The point of movies, TV's, games etc is not to employ visual FX artists. The point *should* be to tell compelling stories. If VFX artists can help with that, great.

I have seen comments previously where people have said that more FX is good for the industry (being the CG industry), not matter what, as it employs more people.

Sorry, but no, that does not compute. VFX jobs exist to help create a vision. If that vision can be created another way, then yeah, those jobs should go.

That might no be a popular opinion, but no one has a "right to work" in VFX.

I think less or at the least more subtle VFX are needed to create compelling stories. Case in point: I saw the latest Iron Man 3 trailer and thought "Well, that's a nice Blizzard-like demo reel". The whole thing basically looked like a game intro and didn't seem "real" at any point.
 
Old 04-16-2013, 04:17 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleSupercool
This is an interesting point, especially considering the echo-chamber that is a visual FX forum/website.

The point of movies, TV's, games etc is not to employ visual FX artists. The point *should* be to tell compelling stories. If VFX artists can help with that, great.

I have seen comments previously where people have said that more FX is good for the industry (being the CG industry), not matter what, as it employs more people.

Sorry, but no, that does not compute. VFX jobs exist to help create a vision. If that vision can be created another way, then yeah, those jobs should go.

That might no be a popular opinion, but no one has a "right to work" in VFX.

I think less or at the least more subtle VFX are needed to create compelling stories. Case in point: I saw the latest Iron Man 3 trailer and thought "Well, that's a nice Blizzard-like demo reel". The whole thing basically looked like a game intro and didn't seem "real" at any point.


Short term, of course, more VFX is more VFX jobs. But in the interest of Sustainability, definitely you need quality writing, quality direction, quality risk and cost analysis, quality project management.

It is also important to note that it was a good story bundled with Special Effects that got the ball rolling.

I do not agree, though, that just making less FX will suddenly make a film better. I still cannot be bothered to watch "The Color Purple". I just don't want to! So no, I don't want films to have less FX, and I don't want games to suddenly go back to 8-bit sprites.

But what I think needs to happen (and I hope people pay attention to this now to keep their doors open)... is RIGHT usage of VFX and RIGHT usage of CG.

Films like Oblivion, while not really taking us back to a 1980's sense of wonder, are definitely a step in the right direction because it shows a "determined" use of CG and VFX to do something defined by artistic and storytelling goals.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:24 AM   #33
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Maybe I am just getting crotchety, but, is there anything out there on the screen that we have not seen before? 20 years ago I could go to a movie and say that I have not seen something before. I have not been able to say that for at least 5 years now. I am pretty sure that there are 15 year olds today (or perhaps soon to come) that will have seen more media in their 15 years than most twice or more their age!

In the last 20 years, we have gained access to SOOOOOOO MUCH media that I don't think there are any surprises left.

I routinely am bored by the most amazing movies these days. I know the kind of work it takes to pull off some of the amazing cg that we see out there, and yet, I don't give a damn any more.

Partly, I am sure, is that I am getting older. But I am also more sure that the infinite amount of media available in infinite variety on almost infinite number of devices has something to do with it. Look at the AMAZING quality of graphics in the latest games. Do I even care to go see a perfectly crafted cg oriented movie any more?

The next big money will be when the first teams figure out how to hook up our brains via quantum wireless connections and stream dreams straight to us. Until then, customers will simply expect more high quality cg and expect to pay less for it.

Then again, watch James Cameron pull another magic blue rabbit out his arse and prove me wrong yet again!
 
Old 04-19-2013, 11:14 AM   #34
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VFX are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.

If film makers mis-use them, or over-use them, or under-use them, then that is their choice... their job is ultimately the end, to tell a compelling story.


If film makers get all over-excited about showing too much when actually they could show less and make the viewer more intrigued, then that is their own silly fault.


The human brain is great at filling in gaps, so it doesn't always need to see everything. The extreme example is a book which still fills your mind with vivid images of places and people even though no one ever showed you an image at all.

Sometimes showing people EVERYTHING means their imagination can be left at home and maybe that means they find the whole film a bit more boring, or the VFX themselves are blamed for being boring when infact it was the use of them?!


All I know is I love some old films with VFX all over them, and I love some new films with VFX all over them, and vice versa both ways.

Special effects to me still make a film more special when used right, just as they always did.

Just because people mis-use them doesn't mean they are not special any more.

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Old 04-19-2013, 03:51 PM   #35
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One image is worth a thousand words... But it can be a thousand bad words....

Story telling is what this movie making industry should be all about. I think it's time we learn something with the game developers. They are always pushing the technology but at the same time since classics like Half Life and more recent the GTA series, they realized that storytelling is the layer that makes the base fan because everybody expects the graphics to evolve. One example is the Lara Croft series. Today the graphics are better but the story has lost its appeal - result: bad reviews and sells.
 
Old 04-19-2013, 10:05 PM   #36
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I watched a few trailers today for new films coming out this year.

I think all of them had special effects in them... but I'm most worried about how the stories will pan out and if they will be 'good' films.

It's a good thing we can rely on VFX generally being so good we don't have to worry about them any more, we just know they will be good... we can look back to the story.


Then again I caught the end of a weird film the other day. Nazi's under the earth or something? Hitler was a big robot? That had a terrible story and terrible VFX, so clearly it does still take skill to make a good film with VFX hehe

Dave
 
Old 04-19-2013, 10:29 PM   #37
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I think commercials have also done a lot to make FX less 'special'. To me, when Tony Stark disassembles things with his holographic blueprints, it looks cool... But then every car maker or vaccuum seller ends up doing a similar effect in their commercials and it cheapens/desensitizes us to the effect.

The worst I've seen yet has still got to be the bullet time effect that showed up EVERYWHERE after The Matrix came out. In the film it was awesome... After the spate of commercials, the effect wasn't nearly as impressive in the Matrix sequels.
 
Old 04-19-2013, 11:29 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixanaut
To me, when Tony Stark disassembles things with his holographic blueprints, it looks cool... But then every car maker or vaccuum seller ends up doing a similar effect in their commercials and it cheapens/desensitizes us to the effect.


But the value isn't in the effect itself, it's in the effects strength to strengthen the story being told.

If you notice it too much and think about the Vax or Dyson advert when watching Stark, then maybe the effect is standing out too much without context?

I've no idea... personally those scenes always jarred a bit with me... a bit like the ones looking at his face in the suit with all the graphics whizzing around... like the helmet is about 2ft across inside haha.

The fact it looks wrong makes me think it's wrong, so I start thinking why it looks wrong and not just watching the film.


What was wrong with doing it from his POV, like Robocop stylee?

Hmmm

Dave
 
Old 04-20-2013, 12:19 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixanaut
I think commercials have also done a lot to make FX less 'special'. To me, when Tony Stark disassembles things with his holographic blueprints, it looks cool... But then every car maker or vaccuum seller ends up doing a similar effect in their commercials and it cheapens/desensitizes us to the effect.

The worst I've seen yet has still got to be the bullet time effect that showed up EVERYWHERE after The Matrix came out. In the film it was awesome... After the spate of commercials, the effect wasn't nearly as impressive in the Matrix sequels.


It's CONTEXT. Context is what really drives things forward. For example, in the "Man of Steel" trailer.... everybody talks about how the latest trailer makes the film seem awesome. There is no VFX shot in there that wasn't possible when "Superman Returns" was made.

The scenes have different "weight" because of the context given to them by Russell Crowe's voiceover and "what it means".

The same thing in say "The Dark Knight"... the scene when they reveal Batman's giant radar room is a VFX shot which gains most of its punch from the feeling that he's descending to a moral pit in order to beat the Joker.

FX used in the street fight in The Dark Knight Rises gains its punch from the context of what is at stake.

Sometimes the context isn't necessarily heavy. You remember how the Ghostbusters are in the elevator prior to the first shot using their proton packs and they are just talking about how dangerous their backpacks are.... and it's humorous, but it gets the audience going too.

Similar to that is Tony Stark making his suit... especially in Part 1... because this is after his encounter in the caves.... and you can sense that he's building these suits to make up for years of "doing nothing for anyone else".

That's where the strength of VFX comes from in my view.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:42 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
It's CONTEXT. Context is what really drives things forward....


Oh, I totally agree. Context is determined by the STORY and as I mentioned before, story is king.

Story gives the scene with the VFX the emotional gravitas, but my previous comment was more to do with the effect looking less special, not because the audience is less engaged in the 'story' of a commercial, but rather because the whiz-bang effect in that commercial looks like a direct rip-off of some scene in a film that I actually liked (perhaps because of its context/story/emotional gravitas), and a cheap attempt to associate that emotion with their product.

Personally, I think the score does far more for the emotional content of a film than any VFX ever could.


I'm toying with this concept as a screenwriting rule: If you can shoot the story as a western film, then it's strong enough to pursue and good VFX can only add to it. If you can't shoot the story without VFX, then it becomes something that you really have to be careful as a writer.

For example, the story for Star Wars: A New Hope could have been done as an early 1800s western, and it would have been a decent film. The VFX however, enhanced the impact of that story and made it into the cultural phenomenon that it became.
 
Old 04-20-2013, 08:32 AM   #41
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That sounds like a useful screenwriting rule.

I hate westerns but have been watching a lot of euro westerns. I dont like US westerns--they have a idealistic western hero quality that seems really phoney. Even Tombstone does it (good guys are clean, bad guys are dirty).

Euro westerns I just find more gritty and interesting.
I watched one recently-Red Sun-about a samurai warrior traveling the Old West to deliver a sword to the US President and at one point he has a fight with a Comanche warrior. Its quite a duel.

I had heard Star Wars was influenced by Spaghetti westerns but after going through the Eastwood ones I didnt find any real connection. Once Upon a Time in the West has some visual aspects that definitely remind me of Star Wars but I think if Star Wars was a straight western it would be very US western in style. And it would really be lacking without that death star trench sequence.
 
Old 04-20-2013, 09:52 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelgy
...And it would really be lacking without that death star trench sequence.


Imagine you're Duke Horserider, perched upon a speeding train car that is racing at top speed through enemy territory and you're waiting for the perfect moment to shoot your cannon and launch a cannonball into the small air vent - say the size of a coyote - of a mineshaft to save the day? And bad guys on horseback are riding alongside the speeding train, shooting at you... when suddenly, Harlan Soto comes out of nowhere on his horse and shoots those bad guys, clearing the way for you to fire the cannon. Could work...
 
Old 04-20-2013, 02:14 PM   #43
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Dastardly Bart Vader is going to be really mad at Duke and Harlan when he climbs out of Yavin's Gulch.
Even their dog ChewBack wont be safe.

Last edited by kelgy : 04-20-2013 at 02:25 PM.
 
Old 04-22-2013, 04:12 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixanaut
I'm toying with this concept as a screenwriting rule: If you can shoot the story as a western film, then it's strong enough to pursue and good VFX can only add to it. If you can't shoot the story without VFX, then it becomes something that you really have to be careful as a writer.



*A Man and Woman ride a horse furiously across the plains fleeing a Black-Clad Cowboy on a black horse.*
Woman: "Why'd that man come to my farm? Why's he tryin' to kill me?"
Man: "That ain't no ordinary hombre...under some skin and innards, it ain't nothin' more than an engine on legs."
Woman: "You mean like a locomotive?!?"
Man: "Except this one has come from the future.... to kill you."
Woman: "The future?!?"

I'm not sure I can use this rule....
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:51 AM   #45
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I think the basic relationship and plot of Terminator can work as a western.

Stranger in town rescues woman from another stranger who seems indestructible (bullet proof metal plate--thanks for the idea Clint!) and determined to kill her.
Or you could make the sci-fi element into something supernatural, like High Plains Drifter or an eerie western.
The terminator becomes a demon of some kind.
You could still have prophetic visions of the future.

Would have to replace the truck with a runaway locomotive loaded with dynamite I guess.
 
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