Blog Entry #7

A Response To:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/isdcf-chair-we-are-delivering-422932

Take a look at the link above. We know our book mentions the importance of “story” in cinema, but the question might be raised, “Is that what the producers are really doing?” Is there a contest or a rush to be the director or producer who has the coolest technology irrespective of the story that technology is supposed to help tell? Are some special effects and CGI creations a matter of technology for technology sake or is cinema really about telling a story and technology is a useful tool? Any examples of good uses or bad uses of technology in movies that did or did not contribute to telling the story? Let us know your opinion.

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I must begin by saying that I am biased in this regard. I am well versed and proficient with a number of 3d modelling and animation programs, and 3d modelling is a hobby of mine. I view it as an art form, in many ways as demanding and expressive as painting or sculpting.

That being said, I have noticed that as often as it is used to enhance a story, it is used to distract the audience from what would otherwise be a subpar cinematic experience.

As the article points out, the quidditch scenes in the Harry Potter films are great. They are faithful adaptations of portions of the books and they contribute to the story as a whole. These scenes are often carefully placed as transitive segways between scenes, and contribute theatrically.

Conversely, you have films like Avatar. This screenplay was a poorly crafted rehash of Dances With Wolves, that relied too heavily on it’s CGI elements for narrative purposes. The production team, it seems was more interested in showing a lush environment than it was with telling a compelling story.

I believe in art for art’s sake, and I believe in art as an enhancer for storytelling or cinematography. But I believe that there is a clear line between the two extremes and it should remain un-blurred.

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