Welcome to my Blogger page, thank you for visiting. This is where I will share my reviews of books, movies and other things I enjoy. If you would like to see my ramblings, fanfiction and other general posts, please visit my Livejournal: beren_writes. Visit my pages to learn about me and my books.
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Friday, 5 April 2013
E is for Effect - Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
Now I remember watching Star Trek as a child (the original in reruns) and being amazed by the special effects. I think there is something very wonderful about what film makers and TV effects wizards can make us believe with their skills. However, there is also a downside to this wonder and I'd like to talk about that as well.
With each year there seem to be bigger and better special effects. When I was small the special effects were all done with well placed wires and camera effects. Recently I bought The Invisible Man with David McCallum on Blu-ray. Now I remember this on TV, which must have been in repeats, because I was only three when it first came out, and I was always totally stunned at how Dan Weston became invisible.
For the blu-ray they've not done a huge amount to it other than upscaled it and you can tell it was never designed for HD. Now all the floating objects aren't so wonderful, because in HD the wires are obvious, however, I still remember the wonder and enjoy watching it. However, I wonder if a modern audience, used to all the CGI would appreciate the brilliance of the stories simply because the special effects are comparatively bad.
Same with Doctor Who and Blake's 7 - the BBC special effects department did some amazing things with bubble wrap and goo, but the modern audience is used to slick graphics that are often impossible to tell from reality. I think it's a shame that to some modern eyes the stories are overlooked because of the limitations of the productions.
That's not to say I think we should go back to sink plungers and glued on ping-pong balls, but sometimes it is good to see beyond the effects.
3D is where I think special effects have gone too far. In every single film I have seen in 3D (usually because there is no 2D showing) except Avatar, the 3D has not added to the experience and in several cases has detracted from it. This happened in both Hansel and Gretel (great film) and Fright Night (not so great film), where the fast action sequences and dark moments were not so well rendered.
I really wish film makers would get over the 3D. I don't need to have things thrown out of the screen at me to enjoy a movie. If you're going to do it properly and simply have the 3D add to the depth, like in Avatar, then, go for it, otherwise, save the money.
Then there are also those films which seem to be nothing but special effects. It is always a shame when the effects seem to be more important than the plot; I'm looking at you Battleship. If I don't gel with the characters or the story, all the CGI in the world is not going to make me love a film.
Simply put, special effects gurus are amazing, whether they work in make-up, bubble wrap and latex or CGI. There is so much innovation and some great cinematic/TV moments have been created on shoestring budgets. Others have wowed us with budgets in hundreds of millions, while some have failed with just the same amount of money.
Special effects are great, but I say, make sure to leave some of the budget for great writing, because that's just as important.
Thank you for letting me prattle on; I would love to hear you thoughts on special effects. What films/TV triumphed, what failed, and do you prefer your watching material CGI'd to the hilt or unadulterated?
If you would like to see what all of my posts will be about in advance, click here to see my theme post.
My twin and I are also doing the A to Z Challenge over at our fantasy erotica blog: http://fantasyboysxxx.blogspot.co.uk/