Director’s Notes #8: Practical vs. CGI

The whole practical effects vs. CGI argument continues to be somewhat controversial. For instance, practical makeup effects guru Tom Savini says he loves it when CGI is done well… check out his somewhat odd interview on Ain’t It Cool News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/55404. Hey, we know CGI is the new aesthetic. Will it go away? Not a chance! Are practical effects dead? Not if we can help it! Our effects will never look as photoreal as ILM’s work on the Transformers films, or Weta’s digital Kong. But we’re NOT going for realism- does everyone get that? Look at the Romantic movement in art. The Romanticists “valued emotion over reason and senses over intellect” (Charles Moffat, The Art History Archive). The Romantic movement began as “an artistic and intellectual movement that emphasized a revulsion against established values” (Moffat). A NO CGI movement could be analogous to the Romantic movement, in that the “established values” in film today are literally to do everything in post photorealistically with pixels. Why? It’s cheaper, it’s faster in a lot of ways, and it’s now an established aesthetic. Perhaps THE MILLENNIUM BUG can be a sort of first entry into a new movement. Will it catch on? Hmmm… time will tell. In the meantime, our campaign at Indiegogo continues ( IndieGogo.com/noCGI ). If enough people see our NO CGI production and (we think) ultra-cool puppet monster effects and miniatures, maybe enough will find merit in these old school-style films. The Romanticists did it. Why can’t we?”

Does this Friedrich painting, Two Friends Contemplating the Moon, look photoreal? Of course not! But do we revel in its own beauty and aesthetic? You bet!

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