The Shifting Film Landscape: CGI going overboard?

CGI or VFX have become a crutch for many filmmakers.  They have chosen spectacle over substance.  In this article, they discuss the ten reasons why CGI is getting worse not better.   This last weekend, Hollywood Box Office has fallen off a cliff, expecting its worst summer yet.   The reasons for the drop off in attendance are legion:  the rise of Social Media, poor creativity with continued franchises from studios, competition for eyeballs for binge-watching streaming shows and more.

One factor is that CGI used to complement a film – rather than become the main focus.  Much like the strategy of placating the masses by Roman Emperors where they served up Spectacle – gladiators, wine, bread and more – to the masses to keep them stupid happy, CGI is mean to dazzle but then leaves us unfulfilled.

VFX on huge films are previsualized with teams of PreViz experts (on one of the Star Trek films, the Previz team was 21 technicians) so that the ‘manufacturing’ process in the studios is technically perfect – but without that human ‘feel’ in the direction.  Much like having Artificial Intelligence directing a film – efficient, technically perfect, utter visual manipulation – but cold, heartless and unfeeling.    Here are the points in the article (link down below) and my opinion.  Article “10 Reasons Why CGI is Getting Worse, Not Better.”


1. CGI has transitioned from a complimentary dish to the main course.

Agreed.  The Spectacle has overridden the Substance.  Giving people film’s that take us on a human journey versus a technical journey.  Movie Execs might learn who Vogler is and read his books on the Human Myth Journey.  

2. The physics are off.

Not sure about this.  I have a Suspension of Disbelief when I head into a film and, therefore, surrender some thinking on this issue.  

3. CGI has put us in a state of denial.

Agreed.  CGI for the look of cool CGI doesn’t work.  I don’t want to have technicians lauded for making me think of the CGI.  I’m in the middle of a movie. 

4. The move to HD and 4K make CGI less convincing.

For the same reason actors hate 4K and Digital, CGI becomes less convincing away from film.  

5. Stylized grades and CGI don’t mix.

Good point.  I have to research this one.

6. There’s no restraint.

Agreed.  It’s gone nuts.  I am so tired of Marvel, DC Comic stuff that I can’t watch it anymore.  

7. CGI-driven action is sequel-oriented.

Agreed.  They are looking for another payday without considering a nice neat story all tied off for the audience’s present enjoyment. 

8. CGI is dangerous.

Agreed.  CGI seems to be the hyperfocus, much like the media gravitates from crisis to crisis over the last few decades without substance.  Get ratings now, the reality be damned.  

9. CGI encourages lazy filmmaking.

Agreed.  I wonder how many filmmakers said that they’ll fix it in post and now say we’ll fix it with CGI. 

10. CGI has made us complacent.

Agreed.  I think engaging the mind is the best creative medicine.  When we take CGI for granted, then it’s just bad.  This is no different than anything that human beings get used to.  Air Travel used to be an experience.  Now it’s like getting on a bus.  


Original Article Here