As I was watching the 2010 Winter Olympics on NBC, I saw a flurry (no pun intended) of commercials for coming soon movie releases. I was shocked to see that every promo had computer generated animated characters mixed in with the real ones.
In the past couple of years I've truly come to appreciate the reruns of the television show Seinfeld. The combination of everyday topics, biting but thematic dialogue with virtually no filler thrown in, and no special effects, has real staying power. The music riffs don't hurt either.
As I compared the power of Seinfeld re runs with new wave filmmaking technology that is ultra heavy on computer digital software "innovations", I began thinking of three classic but not that well known films from the 80's. The 80's seemed to have been a rest stop between the high drama, police pursuit, mafia maneuvering, sci fi 70's, and the buddy movies, action packed, sequel driven films of the 90's.
Three of my favorite 1980'ish films include Breaking Away, The Stuntman, and Diner, which came out in 1979, 1980, and 1982 respectively. While all three films could nowadays be labeled as "white bread" films because the casts were virtually 100% caucasian, the actual characters and plot lines of the movies can cross over and become enjoyable for any ethnicity to experience.
But more to the point, those three movies had NO digital effects of any kind. While the Stuntman had creative, by the book stunt effects mixed in throughout, all three films relied on people being people, having thoughts and ideas and thankfully acting out those thoughts and desires for us to experience.
It seems to me that the more we embrace digital technology in our own lives, the less we embrace the actual ground we stand on. As we become more aware of what our friends or acquaintances are doing via digital means, we seem to becoming less aware of where we actually are. Where we are has become less important than where we wish were digitally, and the films being made now seem to be reflecting that same sentiment.
Yet I wonder, as we learn to escape deeper within a digital existence, how come our movies don't counteract that by being less escapist? Aren't movies supposed to contradict our own existence? As our own existence is invaded by all things digital, why don't the movies become more like they were in 80's?
I feel like we are experiencing digital inbreeding, the more our lives become digital, the more we are force fed digitalized movies inbred with creatures we would probably never actually invite to the dinner table.
While movies are supposed to be "escapist" to a certain extent, I would suggest renting the movies Breaking Away, The Stuntman, and Diner, and reminding yourself how great plain movies can be. All I ask is if you rent these movies, please consider not being interrupted by cell phone calls unless they are related to the health and welfare of the person calling, and don't look at your watch thinking of what you will be doing 90 minutes later.
I hope that avatar type films become a partial part of the filmmaking landscape rather than the norm. I fear that Hollywood has been swept up trying to keep the higher paid digital effects companies employed and in keeping true to that employment paradigm are making movies that require gizmodial creature sweeteners to supplement basic story telling techniques.
How does this relate to "do it yourself photo and video production software?" Don't be fooled by digital technology that claims to make the art of creativity "easier" or all encompassing. At the heart of most worthwhile stories are stories worth telling.
If the do it yourself photo or video production technology you are learning consumes all of your energy just to master, you have been led astray by technology that is indeed to good to be true.
If you are planning on creating or broadcasting a commercial and want an objective, outsiders point of view about your commercial, contact Alessandro Machi about his consulting services at...
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