Back in the early 90s CGI was something of a novelty.Dinosaurs,metal skinned men and tentacles were expensive to create but audiences wanted more and that's exactly what they got,the boom in cgi began and inevitably the backlash.
Check out any forum or comment section on films and you will come across people bashing computer effects and putting physical effects on a pedestal.The main culprits for criticism are the blockbusters,cgi fests that if created using physical fx today would probably be laughed out of cinemas,films like Independence Day (1996) actually used varied techniques to produce there action scenes but more often than not films have now taken to giving a cgi gloss to ever fx scene in an attempt to hide the seams.
Personally I think there a place for both CGI and practal fx but the the idea that cgi is somehow less valid because its digital it what annoys me.Scattered through the vast majority of cinema releases are visual effects that mostly go unnoticed,from minor edits on reflections,composting of crowds to full replacements of actors.So I thought I would pick out a couple of examples of CG from the last few years where digital fx may have gone ignored or enhanced the films.
(MOVIE SPOILERS AHEAD)
Children of Men (2006)
This fantastic sci-fi drama never quite reached the audience it deserved but seeing it the first time i was blown away by the standard of fx,the film featured brilliantly complex realtime shots,composting and a almost perfect CG moment.
|Children of men pulls all sort of digital,compositing and camera tricks to create|
its future world.The birth scene features a fully cgi baby.
For those who haven't seen it "Splice" basic concept is a genetically created mix of human and animal DNA,the result is a strange tentacled pod creature that develops over the course of the film and to become a humanoid woman.The creature "Dren" is shown onscreen in various forms each using a variety of fx to bring her/it to life.
|Dren's brilliant evolution in Splice holds the film together.|
The most obvious fx to point out in moon would be the interaction between Sam Rockwell and.. Sam Rockwell or the exterior shots of the Lunar surface.But fx are also used to help bring to life the space stations computer GERTY,in the larger scope of things these shots may go ignored but Cinesite's subtle CG served the story perfectly.