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Did CGI kill the movies?

Discussion in 'General Polls' started by furie, Mar 16, 2010.

?

Is CGI killing "good films" or letting better ones be made?

  1. Yes

    2 vote(s)
    28.6%
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
    42.9%
  3. Meh, I don't even notice CGI if I'm escaped in a film's story, tension, acting and pacing

    2 vote(s)
    28.6%
  1. furie

    furie SBOPD Staff Member Administrator Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) hit the big time almost 20 years ago now with the release of Terminator 2. Without the CGI content, it's doubtful that the film could have been made. It was also the first time that CGI was a showcase -front of house- special effect, rather than a filler background effect (films such as Batman Returns had Catwoman as CGI in some places, The Crow filled in action distance animations too - lots of other examples).

    Since that point, pretty much every film you see will now have CGI sitting there doing all the hard work special effects people did.

    Need a spaceship to land behind your main actors? Put them in front of a green screen and add it later.

    You can't quite find a house that's right for a scene? Use any and CGI can fix it later.

    CGI has allowed film makers the chance to do anything within the realms of their imagination. There's absolutely no limit to what is now possible.

    However, has this been the death of "good movies"?

    Look at the new Star Wars trilogy. CGI out of every orifice, but they're a very sterile, poor film compared tot he original "low tech" films. Lord of the Rings is expansive, mind blowing and incredible - but there's just something ultimately false about it.

    CGI is a lovely quick fix, directors no longer need to think their way around problems - just dump in the CGI and "I can do what I like". I think it's stifling film making rather than releasing it.

    Avatar is the obvious big one. An entire world and eco system inside a computer. Yet let's look at T2 - Cameron's other big budget epic. It's a mix of CGI, but mostly traditional methods (stunt drivers and real cars, make-up, plastic sets, etc. For me T2 is the most "real". I can believe in it because traditional effects act in a real manner, not in some crazy ass way the director wants the laws of physics and light to work.

    Out of various "Best 100 films ever" lists, you'll find probably less than 5 films that have CGI as a main role in the film. More films in the last 20 years without CGI as a main component are in the lists (I'm excluding films like Toy Story and Nemo which are 100% animation and obviously so).

    I'd also say that while a fair few of those top 100 films are "effects heavy", that if CGI had been around when they were made, they'd have been much worse for it.

    So, what do you think?

    Here are a few top 100 lists:
    http://www.filmsite.org/momentsindx.html
    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 808785.ece
    http://www.totalfilm.com/features/100-g ... f-all-time
     
  2. kimahri

    kimahri Well-Known Member

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    Personally, If a movie has CGI out of every hole then, yeah I'd have to agree. However if they use it in moderation It's alright with me.

    Although I enjoyed Avatar, one of the biggest problems it had with me was the whole area they were around. Unless it was touched, none of the scenary moved. Everything just felt static and ugh. Although in something like The Dark Crystal, there was always something moveing in the backround which made it just that bit more enjoyable.

    Also coming back to T2, the Bike Jump would have no where near been as effective if it was CG'd.

    So I'm, half and half.
     
  3. Error

    Error Well-Known Member

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    As much as I love CGI, it loses it's appealing compared to model making. However, CGI is a relatively newer technology, where as the previous models had a good 70 years before they looks amazing.

    There are some things that movie makers want to do, but don't have an expansive budget to do it on. CGI makes it a little bit cheaper and cost effective. Plus it takes less time and reusable, so it can help out if the director wants to change one thing.

    One of the best movies I can think of in the last 5 years that comes to mind is the Dark Knight. Special effects wise, it uses more models than CGI and pulls it off well. To the flip side, other movies like Avatar abuses the hell out of it, that it might as well been all CGI.

    All in all, it's going through it's teen years and still has a ways to go before it's on par with models.
     
  4. Ollie

    Ollie Well-Known Member

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    I enjoy it if it looks real and good and the film isn't over the top.
    Usually I hate it when it's overused but Avatar was brilliant.
    But I much prefer it if they actually build the amazing sets like they did with some of the tombs in the first Tomb Raider film. :)
     
  5. Hixee

    Hixee Flojector Staff Member Administrator Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    I agree with what people have said above.

    CGI has made possible some of the most impressive movies. Iron Man, Lord of the Rings and Avatar to name a few. Even those these films rely heavily on CGI, they're all brilliant.

    I can see your point, but when used in moderation (with the exception of Avatar etc), CGI is a good thing. I think you'd struggle to find a movie that doesn't have some sort of CGI input these days, but I don't see that as a bad thing.

    I'm rambling now, but to summarise, no, I don't think CGI has killed the movies. It can be overdone, it can be used to perfection but getting the balance right is hard.
     
  6. gavin

    gavin Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    I'm not sure that I'd say it's killing movies necessarily, since the films that use it are usually of the big, blockbuster, crowd-pleasing variety, which aren't, generally, the films that get the most critical acclaim. Will that change in the future? It could well do if you look at the sorts of films that the film/media students on this site label as "brilliant".

    I think the single most impressive use of CGI that I've seen is the "fire extinguisher" scene in Irreversible. You're left thinking, "how the :emoji_zipper_mouth: were they able to do that?" without even considering CGI, as it's not a "CGI film".
     
  7. Ben

    Ben Social Media Team Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    Yeah, that list puts There Will Be Blood as the second best film ever made, so, that shows how wrong it is...

    I agree with everyone that has taken a half and half stand. And there ARE still some BRILLIANT films being made, with or without CGI in them.
     
  8. Ian

    Ian From CoasterForce Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    I would vote "Meh, I don't even notice CGI if I'm escaped in a film's story, tension, acting and pacing" if that was an option in the non-existent poll.
     
  9. gavin

    gavin Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    ^ That's what I'd call a good use of CGI then.

    When people say that "the CGI was amazing" then, actually, it wasn't. If it was doing it's job properly it would just gel with all the other aspects of the film.

    Sorry to harp on about the unbelievable :emoji_poop: ness of Alice in Wonderland again, but it's a prime example of how not to use CGI, as it overpowers everything else in the film.
     
  10. CMonster

    CMonster Well-Known Member

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    Basicaly what everyone else has said, it's good in moderation and if it blends well with the movie, bad when overused, ect.
     
  11. LiveForTheLaunch

    LiveForTheLaunch Well-Known Member

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    You raised a lot of good points, Furie, and I agree with most of the people in this topic. Basically, I don't mind CGI, but I don't like when it's insanely obvious, and is the only saving grace of an otherwise crappy movie. When the first thing people can say is that the CGI was awesome, that's almost like saying, okay, the story was lacking a lot, but hey, it looked pretty, so let's rate it high, or maybe even higher than movies that didn't have CGI, but actually put thought into their stories and turned out just as good, if not better.

    As mentioned before, Alice in Wonderland is a prime example of how to NOT use CGI. So, Tim Burton had a part in it, and we all know Tim Burton is fairly well liked. Another movie he made was Edward Scissorhands.. Simple, and with far less CGI than Alice had, yet it got soo much better reviews. The reviews of Alice were that it looked far overdone, detracted from an already blah story, whereas with Edward, everything looks like it would in real life, and the story was so compelling and thoughtful. THAT makes a good movie, not over the top visuals.

    (I'm almost wishing I did my argumentative essay on this.. May have been an interesting topic :p )

    I'm not saying CGI is totally bad, though. If it's used to enhance something that could already be feasible in real life, or to maybe add one unrealistic element to an otherwise realistic movie, fine then, but if it's used to create an entire movie because nobody wants to use special effects, and nobody wants to build sets anymore, I call it plain lazy. Obviously it works in animations though, because animations are JUST animations.. When you have so much CGI and then actual human characters, it looks so unrealistic and it just makes me think.. Why?

    I wanna talk about my two favourite movies, Labyrinth and Wizard of Oz. NO CGI in either, as far as I'm aware (well I'm certain, at least for Wizard of Oz, and if they did use it in Labyrinth, they sure used it right because I didn't notice it). The reason I think I liked Labyrinth so much is because everything about it is real, despite being completely fantasy. The story is interesting, it grabbed me from the start, the sets made me feel like it could actually be a real place. There are also the Goblin's, which actually look real, not, "oh this is so obviously a fake creature", and the work that went into hand crafting each one just makes you feel amazed at the effort that went into the film itself. Wizard of Oz, though the sets are sometimes obviously.. Cardboardy, you don't notice it as much because you're wrapped up in the story, not sitting there concerned about the state of the art CGI.

    Misery, American Beauty, My Sister's Keeper, the Illusionist, Edward Scissorhands, Finding Neverland, Rainman, Pan's Labyrinth, When Harry Met Sally.. Some of my other favourite movies that use little to no CGI.

    So yeah, done in minimals amounts, it's good, but I've never actually watched a movie I'd consider exceptional that has been, I'd say, 20% or more CGI based.
     
  12. Ploddish

    Ploddish Well-Known Member

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    I think there's a fairly substantial logic leap between those two sentences. CGI in itself doesn't make a bad movie, clearly, as it's just a technique, and one that's imperfect and matures as computers get more powerful.

    I agree with most people here: the problem is when it's relied heavily (sometimes when it's relied on at all) to make the film work. When the focus is on making it pretty, it's likely that the story will suffer (and in the case of films where this happened, they do almost always suffer story/script wise).

    So, no, I don't think CGI ruins films, I think ignoring other aspects and thinking that CGI will somehow fix them does.
     
  13. Snoo

    Snoo Social Media Team Staff Member Social Media Team

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    Yep.
     
  14. Pieman

    Pieman Well-Known Member

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    CGI is not the death of movies. Lack of imagination is. If the only compelling reason to watch a movie is a fancy CGI animation, and not because of some stellar acting, a great story, or a well-written script, you're probably better off not watching it. After all, plenty of bad movies came out before CGI was widely used; now producers can just use it as an excuse to be lazy people people like shiny things.
     
  15. Pierre

    Pierre Well-Known Member

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    CGI has enhanced movies if anything.
     
  16. Daniel Bill Kent

    Daniel Bill Kent Well-Known Member

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    Not a chance. It just pathed a way for better, more intense/realistic movies to be made in the future.
     
  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Nah. Things like the Matrix wouldn't be nearly as good without it. It does, however, make film-making a hell of alot less fun, but I'm not particularly bothered about that.
     
  18. rustin

    rustin New Member

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    My thoughts exactly!
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  19. Howie

    Howie Well-Known Member

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    Is it sad that when I first saw this thread title I thought it said GCI?
    'Wait... how did wooden roller coasters kill the movies??' was my first response.
    #intoodeep
     
    Will likes this.
  20. DelPiero

    DelPiero Well-Known Member

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    Yes. In too deep.
    Screenshot_20180706-134619_Gallery.jpg
     

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