Does CGI Make Movies Better?

I have a love/hate relationship with CGI. When done well, when done invisibly, it is a remarkable tool that allows filmmakers to better realize their vision for a film without scraping the edge of impracticality. I think of something like the 1972 Doctor Who serial Day of the Daleks, which had it's effectiveness neutered because the prop department only had access to 3 Dalek costumes, thus limiting the quality of the serial's Dalek Army. In the modern day, a few props can be augmented by as many digital assistants as required and as possible in the budget.

Where CG and I differ philosophically is in the way CG is used in modern, and especially big budget movies. And this video hits on a lot of good points about what computers are capable of doing, an how films are using computers without us realizing (though the tone of the video suggests that the author is prop CG rather than neutral, and thus brings that bias to the work). Where CG falls over for me is when studios force CG artists to produce only passable work on a deadline and with limited budget, rather than give them the time and money they need to make things look polished. Marvel is great for this, starting the CG side of things sometimes even before the actors have been cast (Avengers CG work started well before Joss Whedon started writing the script for it). the result is some of the best looking CG in modern movies. Compare this to the work in the Hobbit, which despite coming from Weta who by and large are industry leaders, everything looks very obviously like a ridiculous cartoon.

I disagree with the implied notion this video makes at the start, that CG is better then practical effects. I am a hard liner in my belief that if something is physically present, and actually done, it will always look better then the digital alternative. I have no issue with digital augmentation of a physical effect, so long as the digital work doesn't take you out of the story. If you can tell it's there, it isn't good enough, frankly.

Via Collider.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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