Computer-Generated Images

When it comes to modern moviemaking, there is quite a bit of debate about computer-generated images.

Has CGI ruined films?

On the one hand, you’ve got a lot of people who are saying that CGI saves studios so much money because instead of real live actors and real-life sets, you just use CGI.

Let’s Get Things Clear

CGI is not exactly cheap. It still costs tens of millions of dollars, but it’s so much cheaper to do things this way rather than with live actors. In fact, when you look at the Avengers, or The X—men, those types of movies probably will not be made in our present day if it were not for computer assisted animation and graphics manipulation. It’s just going to be too expensive.

This is the argument for CGI. The problem is we might be looking at a phenomenon that is a victim of its own success. The sad reality is that a lot of filmmakers are looking at this type o technology as a prop. That’s really all it is. They think that the modern movie consumer would just look at how awesome the graphics are, how fantastic the special effects are, and be really forgiving, as far as the meat and potatoes of the film are concerned.

What are these meat and potato elements? I am, of course, talking about storytelling, character development and other crucial and fundamental factor of ingredients.

Sadly, we run the risk of just getting flabbergasted and amazed by the technology that we become blinded to the fact that the movie actually sucks as far as narration, storytelling and character development are concerned. If you need a proof of this, just look at The Transformers series. That’s all you need to wrap your mind around because it sucks so badly.

So, how exactly does computer-generated images damage traditional filmmaking?

Easier Story

First of all, it makes lazy storytelling so much easier. If you've got all these amazing explosions, worlds forming and unforming, and all these alien races just jumping out of their spaceships, and all this stuff happening thanks to the magic of computer animation, it’s too easy to basically hold back on storytelling. You end up either in the ridiculous position where the good guys are really good, or the bad guys are irredeemably evil. In other word, you're back to comic-book morality. That's not real life. That's not real human experience.

Lazy Character

Second, there's a little lazy character development. Instead of really digging deep into the soul of each character and see how they interact with each other, and how their past influences their present which then paves the way for an amazing future, none of that takes place, or it takes place in a very shallow way. In fact, this goes hand-in-hand with lazy storytelling.

Technology Changes Movies

It’s too easy to just look at the characters as cartoons. Either somebody’s really good, or somebody’s really bad, and call it a day. Worse yet, you use some sort of jungin archetype for personalities and leave it at that.

The world is not a comic book. I’m sure you’re aware of that. This is why this whole idea of just relying so much on technology is just a mistake really. It’s ruined so many films.

Technology is not immersive, and it doesn’t really pull you in to the life of the characters. It doesn’t really speak truth to your personal reality because it remains flat on the screen. It’s some spectacle playing out in front of you which is essentially a commodity if you think about it.

The action sequence in Avengers is precisely the same as the actual the core action sequence as other action-oriented comic book stories. So, it’s easy to see why this is dangerous, as far as responsible and truly artistic filmmaking is concerned.