A recent article in The New Yorker, “Hollywood’s Turn Against Digital Effects”, claims Hollywood is extolling “practical effects” over CGI. “You could hear boasting about “real” sets and practical effects in the hype around nearly every one of last year’s non-Marvel blockbusters.” Fury Road led the pack with its stunts by real people swinging on real poles mounted in real cars.
There are a number of problems with CGI, aside from showing unrealistic events. The economics are deadly – the CGI company that so brilliantly created Life of Pi went bankrupt even as the movie got an Oscar. (See my article on this.) It’s hard on actors who have to react to empty blue screens as though something profound is happening.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the magic of CGI! It engages my imagination in a way that’s hard for physical effects to do, although 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) certainly managed. But the emphasis on CGI has gone overboard. I’ll be glad to see some balance.
For the New Yorker article, click here.
I was also fascinated by the history of physical vs CGI effects in a two part article about how accustomed we get to the spectacular. Check it out: CGI and the Banality of the Incredible by Bill Mesce and Ricky Frenandes.
UPDATE: A friend just posted this link which lets you swipe to see the difference between what was shot and the image with CGI – fascinating! http://brightside.me/article/17-favorite-movies-before-and-after-visual-effects-64705/