NewYorker: How Michael Crichton’s “Westworld” Pioneered Modern Special Effects

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  05 May 2013
NewYorker: How Michael Crichton’s “Westworld” Pioneered Modern Special Effects

Quote:
"Nearly every studio film at the multiplexes this summer will have been created, at least partly, by a computer. The digital origins of some effects will be easy enough to guess: starships and rocket-suited men in flight, giant fighting robots, ancient naval battles. Vastly more of them will be subtle enough to pass by the average moviegoer—casual, dialogue-driven scenes shot in front of green screens and placed into digital streetscapes, or wires and buildings digitally removed.

These bread-and-butter effects are everywhere. Even “Amour,” last year’s Palme d’Or-winning drama set within a Paris apartment, relied on green-screen work.

The rise of the pixel in cinema may feel like a recent development, but this year actually marks its fortieth anniversary. It began in 1973, with the release of a low-budget science-fiction film, Michael Crichton’s “Westworld.” The movie’s use of a digital effect for a total of two minutes—a now-routine process called pixelization, commonly deployed on Gordon Ramsay cooking shows to obscure a contestant’s cursing mouth—was the unlikely launching point of this revolution.







http://www.newyorker.com/online/blo...the-movies.html


"
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  05 May 2013
Quote: For a thousand dollars a day, visitors lived their fantasies, interacting with characters of the period—in reality, robots programmed only to serve. As the film begins, two professional men in their mid-thirties, played by James Brolin and Richard Benjamin, are heading to Westworld for a bachelors’ adventure. A recorded female voice assures the new arrivals that the technology of Delos is “highly reliable.” Of course, it isn’t.


Kinda like my computer at work.

Quote: “Westworld” did open on time, on November 21, 1973, and remains warmly regarded, with an eighty-seven-per-cent-positive rating from critics on the Web site Rotten Tomatoes.


Rotton Tomatoes has been around that long, eh?
 
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by redbellpeppers: Rotton Tomatoes has been around that long, eh?


Some people do revisit old movies. You know, 'cause they love cinema and stuff.
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by axiomatic: Some people do revisit old movies. You know, 'cause they love cinema and stuff.


And some of us can remember them from when they were first released
 
  05 May 2013
"Nearly every studio film at the multiplexes this summer will have been created, at least partly, by a computer."

Really? By a computer? Stopped reading there.
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by red_oddity: "Nearly every studio film at the multiplexes this summer will have been created, at least partly, by a computer."

Really? By a computer? Stopped reading there.


Imagine if Cleverbot somehow wrote a script, then directed a movie. That would be interesting.
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by red_oddity: Really? By a computer? Stopped reading there.

It said, "partly." I guess computers deserve the credit for doing part of the work that goes into creating a movie. If nothing else, we'd be stupid to scroll the end credits manually, when the computer can do that so well automatically.
 
  05 May 2013
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