Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Opening Cinematic

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Old 08 August 2013   #31
Well you might be looking a bit too into the comments that blizzard should make a movie. I think when people say that they're pretty much wanting a realistic, gritty animated feature film. People also always say Blur should make a movie, or digic, or etc.

But I agree, based on Blizzard's track record, their writing is abysmal...
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Old 08 August 2013   #32
Originally Posted by Lunatique: As much as I respect the work of Blizzard's cinematic team, whenever I see fanboy comments about how they should make a feature film, I kind of shrug and roll my eyes a little (at the comments, not at Blizzard).

I made that comment but it had nothing to do with the cinematic. It had to do with the quality of their games lately. If my choices are to watch a full length Blizzard movie or play Diablo 3, I'd rather watch the movie.

I believe this is what most of the "fanboy" comments are referring to as well.
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Old 08 August 2013   #33
I agree that when people say "Blizzard/Digic/Blur should make a movie" they are really clamoring for ANYBODY to make "this kind of animation but full length".

I am, obviously, in the same camp.

Around here, we are the same people who look at "Captain Harlock" with interest. Who looked at "Starship Troopers: Invasion" with interest. There's a very different art sensibility that happens once you free yourself from thinking about "making a Madagascar".

I mean, we haven't seen a top drawer example. I guess the best ones in the non-children's category at length have been "Captain Harlock" and Capcom's "Resident Evil" animated films..

But there IS a different opportunity in terms of art and images that you will never be able to do as long as you are stuck in "Toy Story Land". Recently, Paul W.S. Anderson was featured playing Resident Evil 6. There's a cinematic he came across with Leon and the other characters talking around a plane crash site and they were pretty close to the flames and there's all these embers and things.

Anderson's comment was: "This looks so beautiful. But you can't do this with real actors because it would burn them to get that close to the fires and embers."

Visually, there is that opportunity. A lot of people think that once you aren't doing Mickey Mouse characters that you have to go live action. But right there at that moment is a live action director telling you why a scene, in a horror action adventure featuring realistic humans with guns, would work with animation as the first option!

The writing, well, think of it this way, many live action films in these same action adventure categories are criticized for their "video game storylines".

I think the writing is not the issue here. Not saying we'd be okay with a bad story. Just saying that's not where the animated medium's disadvantage lies. In my view though, the animated medium has advantages in almost everything else. Characters who can look exactly the way you want them, do exactly what you want them to do. Characters who never age.... A world that can literally come out of your mind where every color and every shade is the product of the imagination.

It's interesting that the youth of today are so accustomed to seeing these images in the games they are playing. Does it mean that generations starting from them and after will react positively to animated films made in this style? I don't know, but I think it would definitely be refreshing over the kind of Day-glo happy families animation we've been seeing a lot of.

I also agree that it doesn't have to be Blizzard. Their work is good, but technically achievable by many other houses.
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 08 August 2013 at 12:45 AM.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #34
I used to be one of those people who really craved to see "mature" animated films being produced, but as I aged and observed how the world of entertainment has evolved, I don't really feel that craving anymore. We had this discussion not long ago, where I said that many of the themes explored in Pixar's best films are actually far more emotionally mature than many of the so-called mature films (meaning sex and violence and extreme action), and they are films that are perceived mainly as children's entertainment. The many R-rated films for mature audiences are by comparison, quite juvenile.

The attempts made in producing "mature" animated feature films outside of the indie fare--especially those with "realistic" styles--have been disappointments. The fact that they were animated and could have "impossible scenes" that couldn't be done via live-action made absolutely no difference in whether I did or didn't enjoy the films. Again, it's the storytelling that matters the most, and all those eye-candy scenes had very little actual influence in how I felt about the end product as a whole. And whether we can have immortal digital actors also makes no difference in how much I will enjoy the end product. These factors simply don't matter in the context of telling a great story, yet they are incredibly expensive.

Now, I'm not saying I wouldn't watch a CG animated film done with a "cool" style (I hesitate to call it "mature" because the coolness factor really has nothing to do with maturity)--I totally would. But the fact it's CG animated would not be the reason for me to watch it. We have so much cool eye-candy these days that it'll takes far more to make me care. If one day a CG animated film with coolness factor actually ends up being a great film, I would totally be into it, but not because it's CG animated. And I bet as soon as that happens, everyone will try to cash in on the trend, while totally missing the point that it was the storytelling that made it a great success. We'll then see a flood of CG animated films all trying to outdo each other with cool visuals and "mature" content, and they'd simply be animated counterparts to the mindless big budget Hollywood blockbusters we already see so much of in live-action. That is not what I'd want to see, but that's exactly what would happen.

I think one great way to think about this, is to simply try and imagine all of you favorite live-action movies with "coolness factors" as CG animated versions. Would you have loved them more if they were CG animated? If so, why? And do you think the magic of many of the scenes of the actors emoting would have been diminished if they were digital CG actors instead? Now reverse that--think about your favorite CG animated shorts or cinematics and try and imagine them as live-action versions featuring actors you love. How would you feel about that? Any difference?
 
Old 08 August 2013   #35
I think if you are talking about "CG animation" as a reason a film would be better automatically, then that's not what I'm on about. Nor do I think that's what Blizzard/Digic/Blur fans are on about exactly.

The thing though I am trying to point out is sort of the inverse: That if a "serious" film is animated, it should not become an obstacle to seeing it.

I think different artists/directors would have different reasons. My opinion is mostly formed around the "Dick Tracy Problem". Reality CAN (not always, but sometimes CAN) be shackles that get in the way of what you're trying to do. It's all the little things you can't push because your actor doesn't look "stylized" in the manner you want... or you can't stretch that shadow or control it in the way you'd like that doesn't conform to reality. You know maybe you can "tell" something better if only you could "bend light, time, and space" in the world of the film.

You're asking that question, but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

That's not to say every film would be better in animation.

But one film I always thought might have also been a great animated picture with the SAME story but with different "punch" per image would have been "The Prestige", for example. It's all the little things, like how that shot where the Christian Bale character discovers the drowning Hugh Jackman character, you can isolate the pale color for the water tank in a way that would be impractical in live action and you can do it to emphasize the way that kind of discovery would draw attention to whoever got into that cave-like environment that is under the stage. Like a postcard floating in a dark cave. Something bright and shining but is actually a terrible discovery... and it lights the Bale character's face and you can alter that so it looks like horror film lighting when you switch to his face?

And note that they wouldn't even have to be "Christian Bale" and "Hugh Jackman" anymore... You go from Concept Art for the characters and then translate that directly into actors that aren't "compromises".

The world around them can be emphasized, de-emphasized, seem more active visually through the use of colors, shapes, motion.. The anguish in faces can be more anguished, or the manic expressions can be more manic.

Now of course, the counter argument can be: "You can do that in live action." Yes, of course, but the point is it doesn't happen even when intended to (see: Dick Tracy). Dick Tracy is an old film, but the "ceiling" you'd hit trying to "abstract" reality is the same and has remained there ever since. You'd hit it every time and you just have to "settle for reality".

That's my rationale for wanting to see a Blizzard/Digic/Blur animated film is that it could be a step in that direction.

N.B.: I agree that the result could very well be juvenile. That is a different problem in my view.
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 08 August 2013 at 01:54 AM.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #36
Oh and apparently Brad Bird had a lot to say on the topic of Animation doing genres beyond children's films:

Originally Posted by Brad Bird: I think that there is more misreading of trends in animation than any other of the film community. If Cool World fails, then all adult-themed animation is doomed. And if Disney fails, all of animation is doomed. And it’s not like, “Well, hey, man, you know, maybe people are tired of five songs and a familiar story.” … That’s like if George Lucas hit a rough patch, somebody would suddenly say, “Well, people are tired of science fiction.” It’s ridiculous! It’s the kind of idiotic statement that never seems to go out of style in Hollywood… Animation is not a genre. It is a method of storytelling. People are constantly analyzing it and misanalysing it as if it is a genre. It isn’t a genre. It can do horror films, it can do adult comedies if it wanted to, it could do fairy tales, it could do science fiction, it could do musicals, it could do mystery, it can do anything. Because Disney has been the only one that’s lavished any care on it, people think it’s the only kind that can be told successfully.


Source
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Old 08 August 2013   #37
Well I really liked the first Final fantasy movie and it was CG. I would love for more movies like that.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #38
Originally Posted by Lars3D: Well I really liked the first Final fantasy movie and it was CG. I would love for more movies like that.


The thing about that film was that it actually opened at No. 1 in places like Germany (beating "Bridget Jones' Diary"). But the fact was that in 2001 the success of this thing was a bit too specific.

2001 itself wasn't known for a lot of sci-fi pictures. The top 3 films in 2001 were the first Harry Potter film , the first LOTR film, and Shrek. So you can argue even a live-action version from Japan probably wouldn't have worked since the whole thing was "out of season" maybe? And their story really didn't have a good "hook" going in.

People in my country went gaga to see it, but I didn't (even if I'm an advocate of the medium) because precisely as Lunatique mentions... being animated isn't enough reason to advocate.
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 08 August 2013 at 05:38 AM.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #39
Though I am not very fond of latest Blizz cinematics, I am definitely one of those who want to see a full (CG) movie directed by Nick Carpenter.

Originally Posted by Lunatique: but if you string them together and that's all you have, you will not have a watchable film with compelling storytelling, character development, dialogues, dramatic structure, thematic focus, etc.


Why would anyone do that?
Of course that it would not be watchable. As you already know, game cinematic's have a totally different purpose then movie scenes. If you cut out LOTR to a 3 minutes, you will also not have character development and stuff (not that I am saying that the whole movie have any character development , but that's another topic)

Originally Posted by Lunatique: does Blizzard really have some kind of advantage technologically or artistically?


I think they don't have technological advantage, but they have unique artistic style. For example. back in the past, I always liked they didn't cared that much on the "realistic" renders and stuff.
If you compare, for example, Beowolf CG movie and Wrath of the Litch King, Beowolf definitely have more realistic shots (visually), but I like Litch King much better, because it was like animated painting.

Originally Posted by Lunatique: do Blizzard's IP's even have enough merit as simply good storytelling? Anyone who even cares a little about storytelling knows that Blizzard's "storytelling" is basically a highly derivative, typical fantasy narrative


Have you ever played first Starcraft (and expansion Broodwar)?
Second, what kind of character development, drama, or any stuff you mentioned have been seen in (for example) a movie: Starship Troopers?
For me, Starcraft (1) story is waaay better then many Hollywood's action movies, and even many novels I read. Transformers are not even worth mentioning, but I'd rather see some Blizz action movie (with a bit drama in it), then quasi-"intellectual" movies like Oblivion or Prometheus (or Ridley's: Robin Hood... boy, that was terrible, imho).

At the end:
Do you think that Blizzard (if they decide to make a movie) would make a same approach as they are creating game cinematic (creating like several cinematic's, and just join them together)? I don't think so. And I think they are aware of the difference in game storytelling and movie storytelling. And also the way movie should be directed.

I imagine Blizz movie something like Braveheart, but with a CG that is artistically, not "realistically" visually focused.
I am a little bit shamed to admit (because my skills are so poor), but my dream is also to create a CG movie (not alone, of course, and not without budget), and because it's so huge process, for the last two years, I am only thinking on how it should be directed, and writing, and not doing anything else, and I don't expect that I'll start in the next 2, or 5, or even 10 years maybe.
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Old 08 August 2013   #40
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan: I
I think different artists/directors would have different reasons. My opinion is mostly formed around the "Dick Tracy Problem". Reality CAN (not always, but sometimes CAN) be shackles that get in the way of what you're trying to do. It's all the little things you can't push because your actor doesn't look "stylized" in the manner you want... or you can't stretch that shadow or control it in the way you'd like that doesn't conform to reality. You know maybe you can "tell" something better if only you could "bend light, time, and space" in the world of the film.

...

And note that they wouldn't even have to be "Christian Bale" and "Hugh Jackman" anymore... You go from Concept Art for the characters and then translate that directly into actors that aren't "compromises".

The world around them can be emphasized, de-emphasized, seem more active visually through the use of colors, shapes, motion.. The anguish in faces can be more anguished, or the manic expressions can be more manic.

Now of course, the counter argument can be: "You can do that in live action." Yes, of course, but the point is it doesn't happen even when intended to (see: Dick Tracy). Dick Tracy is an old film, but the "ceiling" you'd hit trying to "abstract" reality is the same and has remained there ever since. You'd hit it every time and you just have to "settle for reality".


I agree. I've always been an advocate for NPR (Non-Photorealisitc Rendering) and stylized approaches, as I think they are far more interesting than photorealism.

Just imagine an urban fairytale for adults, done in the style of Pascal Campion. I mean, just WOW. Right? (Though that's more of a 2D look.)

Originally Posted by d4rk3lf: Why would anyone do that?
Of course that it would not be watchable. As you already know, game cinematic's have a totally different purpose then movie scenes. If you cut out LOTR to a 3 minutes, you will also not have character development and stuff (not that I am saying that the whole movie have any character development , but that's another topic)

At the end:
Do you think that Blizzard (if they decide to make a movie) would make a same approach as they are creating game cinematic (creating like several cinematic's, and just join them together)? I don't think so. And I think they are aware of the difference in game storytelling and movie storytelling. And also the way movie should be directed.


My comment was directed at all the typical fanboy comments you'd see on Youtube, where these kids seem to think those simple narratives shown in the cinematics are somehow enough of an indication of good storytelling that they'd want to see a full movie of that stuff. No one ever looked at those cinematics and say, "Wow, Blizzard's IP's are full of compelling premises, deep characters, thought-provoking themes and conflicts, and I'd love to see these qualities explored on the big screen." Nope, it's always "Blizzard makes the best cinematics, and they should totally make a movie!" Um, yeah, but that's not enough of a reason to make a movie.

Now, if Blizzard has a top secret screenplay in development that's just amazing and they can totally pull if off, then sure, I'd watch it. Even if it's going to be just a "pretty good" screenplay that would at least be very entertaining, I'd watch it too. I'm not exactly immune to popcorn flicks.

In some ways, I do have more faith in the ability of the writers in video games today than I ever did in the past, because the industry as a whole has made strides to tell better stories, and when something like The Last of Us and The Walking Dead games are able to be made and achieve success, it gives me hope. I would much rather see games like those be made into movies than anything by Blizzard.

Last edited by Lunatique : 08 August 2013 at 06:46 AM.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #41
Who cares what kids saying on youtube comments?
That doesn't mean the (hypothetical) Blizz movie would sucks (I know you didn't say that).
If I'd listen every comment somebody posted on any movie, I could easily go crazy.

People say (not only kids) that Oblivion and Prometheus are awesome and deep movies, but for me, it was a waste of time, and could easily be shortened to 20-30 minutes without loosing anything in story (imho).
But then again, when I am seeing comments so different then my opinion, I don't give them much attention, not because I don't respect anybody's opinion, but because it's pointless to argue with someone that have different taste.

So, what kind of movies you like, that is somewhat popular?
Something like: "Life Is Beautiful" by Benini (awesome movie, imho), or something else?
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Old 08 August 2013   #42
Originally Posted by Lunatique: I agree. I've always been an advocate for NPR (Non-Photorealisitc Rendering) and stylized approaches, as I think they are far more interesting than photorealism.

Just imagine an urban fairytale for adults, done in the style of Pascal Campion. I mean, just WOW. Right? (Though that's more of a 2D look.)


Pascal Campion, particularly his use of color, mood, composition is a very good example of what I'm talking about... that you can "project a world like ours but isn't like ours". It feels real.. It feels alive... You can relate to what's happening but what's there is "pure imagination".

On another front, I remember playing "Dishonored"... And the art style there, of course it was a game.. But all the characters had this....there was a way about them that they were stylized, but gritty. They looked like there might be real people like them... the Pendelton Twins in particular reminded me of Hugo Weaving.

But the common thread in ALL of them was they felt like different degrees of Untrustworthiness. Which I guess.. that was the point of the title.

I kept thinking: "I just don't like the look of these folks. They all look like back-stabbing rabble-rousers." The style definitely made a difference there. I think if I was doing "The Prestige" as an animated feature I'd take a look at Dishonored again.

Personally I wouldn't advocate the photo-real replication of people.... the only case I think I supported such an idea was for the game L.A. Noire and it was only for gameplay reasons really.

At the same time, I am very exhausted with the notion that "Stylized" should always involve balloon-sized Haddock Noses.... I always like to bring up Filmation's frames for Masters of the Universe, or artwork from various artists like Jeff Scott Campbell, Greg Capullo, Jim Lee, and point to that and say: "Isn't that Stylized? Can't we make an animated film in CG that goes there?"
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Old 08 August 2013   #43
OK it is well rendered etc.
But it is boring as hell. If I had to watch a movie like this I would fall asleep after 10 min.
Seriously I don't know what all the fuzz is about.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #44
Originally Posted by plastic: OK it is well rendered etc.
But it is boring as hell. If I had to watch a movie like this I would fall asleep after 10 min.
Seriously I don't know what all the fuzz is about.


It just really boils down to: "Can we see a CG animated film that isn't about turbo-charged Snails, or feature human beings that don't look anything like human beings, or Animals that can talk and sing?"

As noted by someone above, Blizzard isn't the only one that gets this kind of attention, Digic and Blur get it too... but it is mostly because artistically these are the only places with output of "that kind".

Lunatique pointed out correctly that in reality any of the current VFX houses, and Pixar or Walt Disney, can do this type of content also.

Depending on your orientation (artistically or commercially) to "genre films", then there is quite a bit of fuss.
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Old 08 August 2013   #45
Originally Posted by d4rk3lf: Who cares what kids saying on youtube comments?
That doesn't mean the (hypothetical) Blizz movie would sucks (I know you didn't say that).
If I'd listen every comment somebody posted on any movie, I could easily go crazy.

People say (not only kids) that Oblivion and Prometheus are awesome and deep movies, but for me, it was a waste of time, and could easily be shortened to 20-30 minutes without loosing anything in story (imho).
But then again, when I am seeing comments so different then my opinion, I don't give them much attention, not because I don't respect anybody's opinion, but because it's pointless to argue with someone that have different taste.

So, what kind of movies you like, that is somewhat popular?
Something like: "Life Is Beautiful" by Benini (awesome movie, imho), or something else?


Well, fanboy comments are known for being unfiltered, raw opinions, and when companies hear enough of them screaming for "Feature film! Take my money now!" it'll start to go to their heads, getting the impression that it's just money in the bank if they went for it. Now, this is assuming the company's main priority is to suck in as much money as possible, as opposed to have a different vision and ambition. Ideally, when/if these companies decide to do feature films, it'll be because they have a vision for storytelling that they are very passionate about, and not simply because they have the budget, manpower, and a fan base begging for it.

If "stylized realism" CG with a sci-fi/fantasy premise is the sole attraction here for the fan boys, then there's just no reason why it has to be Blizzard or Digic or Blur--it could be any capable VFX/animation studio on the planet. There are so many beloved existing IP's that could be done in that style--dozens and dozens of books and games, and all are likely more interesting IP's than anything from Blizzard. If that approach was deemed a possible sure success, studios would have jumped on it long ago, and we'd already have movies made from Bioshock, Half-Life, Assassin's Creed, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, etc by now. But why is it that video game movies have always been done with live-action? There must be a reason why studios don't want to do them as CG animation (Japan's market is an exception--they have a different relationship with animation than we do).

I haven't seen Oblivion, but I enjoyed Prometheus. Regardless of flaws, I think films that at least make an attempt to be intelligent and profound are still far better than movies that are blatantly aimed at the lowest common denominator. It's sort of like, would you rather spend your time with a complete moron who's also very shallow, or someone who although has some flaws, but is at least intelligent, interesting, and have some substance?

I don't believe it's pointless to have discussions--that's not the same as arguments. I have discussions in order to exchange ideas, not necessary to win. If the person has interesting points that changed my perception of the matter, I would think it's great because I learned something and can see the world with a different point of view, instead of being stuck in my own ways.

As for movies that I love (like is not enough for me; I'd have to love it), I watch movies of any genre, and on my list of favorites, there are dramas, thrillers, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, comedies, war movies, historical, westerns, etc, as well as both mainstream and indie productions, and from various countries/cultures.

I liked Life Is Beautiful, but I didn't love it (although my older brother loved it very much). It's one of those films I respect, but didn't resonate with my own sensibility.

I have a list of my favorite films (and games, music, artists, books, photographers, etc) on my site, but it's down at the moment (I'm hosted by CGSociety, but one of its server's down, it seems). It'll likely be back up in a couple of days when the IT guys are back at work. The link is: http://www.ethereality.info/etherea.../influences.htm

Not all of my favorite films are critically acclaimed, but they all resonated with me in some way. There are even a few very mainstream popcorn flicks on the list, so I'm definitely not a full-blown film snob. I simply like what I like.
 
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