The Hollywood Hoax

Digital manipulation has been a topic for pretty much all of my life. I like to focus more on the film side of it though since that is my major and hopeful job. It’s a lot more prevalent now with the advancement of technology and computer generated graphics. Even though that is all pretty recent, Hollywood has been using film tricks for almost as long as film has been around.

It’s a long video, I know, but it really is worth the watch. It takes an extensive look at special effects pretty far back into film making. Even so, there are still some practical effects that look just as good as computer generated effects. Christopher Nolan is one of the better known directors to use practical effects. He used a lot of of practical effects in his Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception even though you would think it would be impossible to do in those types of movies.

You can compare those movies to Michael Bay’s extremely effects heavy Transformers movies and notice that the effects aren’t too visually different. Personally, I think Bay goes a little (okay, maybe a lot) overboard with his effects. So many computer generated robots and explosions. It’s almost too overwhelming. That can be the downfall of CGI. It can sometimes look too cheesy and fake or be too much for the audience. And because it is so easy to implement, it can be an easy out for directors to fall into using it.

I personally don’t have a preference as to which I think is better. I think they can both be very effective when used properly and smartly. I love the Dark Knight Trilogy, but I also love the Avengers, which is also an effects heavy movie that uses a lot of CGI. The amount of work and detail that went into creating the Hulk is just outstanding, and it really shows. So it’s clear that it really depends on how it’s used to determine whether the effects are good or not. There as many cases of bad practical effects as there are of computer generated effects.

I’ve grown up myself using practical effects, simply because that was the only thing I had access to. I was editing videos on Windows Movie Maker, which really had no room for computer generated effects. I made due, and although some stuff was quite cheesy, it worked and we had fun doing it. Now that I’m here at Greenville I have access to a lot more advanced editing software. I’m hoping now to expand and see what I can do with computer generated special effects. Already I’ve seen that I can do a lot more with my videos with just a little bit of knowledge of the editing software.

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