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Is LFL too dependent upon CG?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Darth Mischievous, Jun 30, 2001.

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  1. Darth Mischievous

    Darth Mischievous Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 12, 1999
    Your thoughts?


    This has been discussed in reference to SW films, but not in general.

    IMHO, some CG, like The Mummy Returns looks pretty bad, and I would prefer the rubber masks than the cartoonish appearance of the characters on screen.

    With the ever-increasing dependency on digital film production, is something being lost?

  2. Cigam Retah

    Cigam Retah Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 30, 1999
    The only thing being lost is production cost and compromise on artistic vision. However, a bad special effect is a bad special effect, be it optical, practical, or computer generated.
  3. keokiswahine

    keokiswahine Jedi Knight star 5

    Sep 4, 2000
    It's editting it all together into a seamless story so real life blends in with CGI.

    Hi, Darth Mischievous. Hi, Cigam. :D
  4. Admiral Maciejewski

    Admiral Maciejewski Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 9, 1998
    Well lets see here:

    ILM is a subsidery of LucasFilms, so it is only natural that they use a lot of CG effects. Not only that, but how many recent Lucas films lately have not had any CG effects? Not many. They pionnered special effects, so it is only natural they use them a lot.

    However, it is not a problem that only LucasFilms has. Most film makers have the same problem: Bad script? Overused idea? Get some sweet eyecandy and you have a blockbuster on your hands. CG or visual effects in general are overused. Take a look at films that use them as aids, and not as a way to tell the story (Dogma, Titanic, Gladiator) and compare them to films that use them as the star (Godzilla, Wing Commander, Battlefield Earth, The Phantom Menace).

    The fact is that Hollywood has overused CG effects too much and has come to rely upon them too much. It is time to back of and go back to the use of models and stop motion. Back then, the script mattered because it was too hard to create some effects. Now that anything can be done, they do not take as much time with scripts and stories as much as they used to.
  5. Tellesto

    Tellesto Jedi Knight star 5

    Dec 7, 1999
    I agree that a lot of the special effects that are used in the industry of movies are heavily overdone these days to the point of acting as a fastener for the entire movie.
    But that is the fault of the general film public and not LFL.

    Lucas' stories have amazing and strange locations that are not easily created in a natural process, and his background cast and regular actors are not easily taken out of a crowd of bystanders as well.
    Instead, he creates something new by imagining an alien society just as writers often do.
    He has the power to create what could not be created in the past, and to push his story forward and give you the feeling of watching another galaxy, and thankfully he uses that ability.

    It is Hollywood that overused it, who took a successful formula and tried to use it as a plot.

  6. NRDigital

    NRDigital Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 23, 2000
    It's easy for us to say "Just go back to stop motion and models", but you have no idea how more work the computer does for you.
    Films like 'The Mummy Returns' are not good movies to judge ILM on.
    Films like Jurassic Park, TPM, and A.I. are.
    When you are dealing with a film such as Jurassic Park, where dinasaurs are the stars, or in TPM where they are in a galaxy with aliens and monsters, you MUST rely on CG effects.
    Going back to stop motion, or most recently go motion, will not help aid the story at all. Blatantly low key special effects will stick out like a sore thumb, and will distract the veiwer from the message of the film.

    Let's face it, CG is the direction movies are going. For LFL to stop relying on CG, it will crumble as a business.
  7. reeves1

    reeves1 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jun 25, 2001
    LFL has always depended on some form of effects, of which CG is currently the latest. I would like to see more emphasis on dialogue and character, though.
  8. Tellesto

    Tellesto Jedi Knight star 5

    Dec 7, 1999
    Lucas has never really been a director to put most of his work in the words spoken by his characters, which is why he hired Jonathan Hales to write those elements for Episode II and better refine his work.
    However, Lucas does have the ability to be a strong character writer.
    but instead of using the regular method of telling a story of a character and that sole character alone Lucas uses the much more traditional Fantasy method of telling the story of one character through the development of a wide cast of creations and beings.
  9. VladTheImpaler

    VladTheImpaler Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 13, 2000
    >>>>>>>>Take a look at films that use them as aids, and not as a way to tell the story (Dogma, Titanic, Gladiator) and compare them to films that use them as the star (Godzilla, Wing Commander, Battlefield Earth, The Phantom Menace).<<<<<<<<<<<<

    I don't know about this. How do those movies use special effects as the "star" while the other movies use them as a way to tell the story? I haven't seen Dogma, so I can't comment on it...but it would be hard to film Titanic without special effects. Why aren't the special effects the star in that case?

    The Phantom Menace was a story about space ships and aliens. Like it or not, Jar Jar was a big part of the story, and he could not have been done without special effects. Wasn't Lucas using special effects because of the demands of the story?

    Also, Battlefield Earth wasn't a big special effects-reliant movie. I don't remember much was mostly models and make-up, which is what most people complain was missing from TPM. The special effects were very standard and I can't say they "star" in this film...yet it was still a truly awful movie.
  10. EnforcerSG

    EnforcerSG Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 12, 2001
    I would not say dependant, but more just overusing it, and using it where it would be better to do models and other things. I would think it would be better to use crappy models, and just use cgi to touch them up. Also, everything looks new and plasticky, but to really show a feeling of realism, it should really look old and worn. Look at riven (if you have the DVD, look at the making of riven, it has the same idea in that).

    But CGI can be great, but it is over used and over rated
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