Getting Facts Wrong

Today, The Hollywood Reporter–which along with Variety is one of the more respected show business news publications/news sites–totally blew it in a report about some Indonesian martial arts stars who are working on TFA. Not only did the writer used his piece as a golden opportunity to take digs at the prequels, he gets his facts wrong while taking those digs.

“Abrams has stated that practical effects would be used heavily in the new movie, as opposed to solely relying on CGI work as did the George Lucas-directed prequels.

Hiring the marital arts actors, who made Raid 2 one of the best action movies of 2014, would be in line with that philosophy since much of the fighting action in the prequels was sadly done by CGI.”

We know the prequels did not “solely” rely on CGI work; a quick look on Google would’ve found tons of photos of models and other practical effects not to mention real world locations used for shooting. It’s preposterous to say “much” of the fighting action was done by CGI (and “sadly” is editorializing). There were CGI characters in various action segments but Nick Gillard didn’t spend all of his time in front of a laptop either. This writer might not have known boo about Star Wars, didn’t follow the process of filming Eps I-III, and just relied upon lazy assumptions instead of getting the facts. That is bad and irresponsible journalism. Even though THR didn’t approve my comments since they’re not on there, thankfully other fans have taken the piece to task.



24 Responses to “Getting Facts Wrong”

  1. Brian47 Says:

    Just left my own comments on the article as well, thanks for the heads up.

  2. M. Marshall Says:

    I skipped to the comments. What is “Raid 2” anyway? A bug killing spray?

  3. Hunk a Junk Says:

    So another hateboy with a job.

  4. Tony Ferris Says:

    The comments section is quite heartening though, and not a little funny.

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      I only scrolled down a bit but it was surprisingly truthful and fair to the prequels. Comments sections are usually awful, and comments sections about the prequels are worse than most. Glad people are calling this guy on his shoddy reporting.

  5. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    Too disgusted to say anything else.

  6. Jim Raynor Says:

    Sigh, more lazy repetition of the same memes and sound bytes. All of those would be cinema snobs who decry the use of CGI instead of “practical effects” would HATE it if the next superhero/scifi/fantasy blockbuster relied heavily on old school model and puppet techniques from the 1970s instead of computer animation.

    The idea that hiring human stuntmen is some kind of bold move on the part of J.J. Abrams is especially jarring. Every action movie still uses physical stunts. The Prequels certainly did. Does Ray Park not count or something?

    This isn’t some understandable lack of knowledge, like not knowing that some of the fantastical locations in TPM were actually models and sets. This is the writer blatantly grasping at straws for something to say in his article. Because the best way to gather angry fanboy clicks is to bash the Prequels again, right?

    • Hunk a Junk Says:

      It’s worse than that. Did this writer think the CG Millennium Falcon in JJ’s trailer was somehow a full-sized prop? Or that the “fudgsicle” speeder zooming across the desert was a model? Or the X-Wings? Of course not. It’s obvious those things are CG, but no hateboy has said anything negative about those things. Can you imagine the uproar if George Lucas had made that trailer? Just the fact that the Falcon’s engine glow doesn’t look like it does in the OT would’ve sent a million pretentious geeks into therapy!

      • maychild Says:

        Well, they trumpeted the “ball droid” being a practical effect all over creation, but have kept mum about the CGI effects in the teaser trailer. If they talk about CGI, it’s only to whine about how Lucas’ supposed “over-reliance” on it in the prequels.

        We’re supposed to think that the trailer uses CGI “more judiciously” than the prequels did. Whatever the hell that means.

        And of course CGI is only evil when Lucas uses it. Everyone else can use it with impunity and get praise for it. The same folks who were falsely claiming that ROTS was all CGI just about gave themselves hernias to praise the all-greenscreen “King Kong” just a few short months later. Because “King Kong” was done by St. Peter “The Great” Jackson, so his greenscreen and CGI use was “groundbreaking” and “visually amazing.”

      • slicer87 Says:

        I disliked Jackson’s version of King Kong, many of the action scenes were over the top to cartoony levels and was way too long. Yet I don’t go about bitching about it all the time or tell people who do like the films they are stupid and other nonsense.

        Hateboys seem to want rationalize why they don’t like the PT films as Lucas’s fault, when it is simply their taste and opinion.

  7. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    Heck, even Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen and Liam Neeson made good stuntmen.

  8. Hunk a Junk Says:

    What’s ridiculous about articles like this is that it imposes a Luddite standard on Star Wars that goes completely against it’s origins. From the beginning, Star Wars required cutting edge technology to accomplish its visuals on screen. Motion control, Go-motion, early computer graphics — these were all things either developed or advanced to create Star Wars in the pre-digital age. But now hateboys and certain pretentious critics, like this “writer,” demand that Star Wars stop innovating, stop using new technology or new techniques and instead stick to the old methods of moviemaking. It’s the equivalent of saying, “I wish they’d hang the models on strings.” George Lucas spent his entire career working to free artists to create whatever visuals their minds could imagine and these fools are putting the handcuffs back on out of spite and a delusional sense of nostalgia.

    • Tony Ferris Says:

      Hear ‘fucking’ hear!

      I remember a time when we used to get excited about new advances in VFX. Now though, we’re required to bemoan the loss of the old, and approach with apprehension, if not outright hostility.

      What happened to the innovators?

      They’re to be found in the next generation I suspect. The kids with smart phones and YouTube channels.

      At least James Cameron’s still pushing things forward…

      • lazypadawan Says:

        Which is why, if not for “Avatar” taking up his time and his own big fat ego, I think Cameron would be ideal making a SW movie. The only other person besides Lucas who’s willing to push the technical envelope.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      You said it! Star Wars always pushed cinema forward. Now it won’t anymore.

  9. maychild Says:

    Glad to see that people are standing up to the writer and pointing out the error.

  10. discoewok Says:

    Borys Kit needs to correct or retract his story, as well as clarify if his article was news or editorial. Here’s his twitter feed:

    Get to work people!

  11. lovelucas Says:

    If these are JJ’s words, why the hell did George let Kathleen become the captain of Lucasfilm? Or perhaps he knows he lies but is just flagrantly kissing ass. Sorry – and I certainly could be more profane – but this really pisses me off.

    • Tarrlok Says:

      No, they’re the words of Borys Kit, who passes off outright lies as truth (truthiness in this case) in the same sentence as he very indirectly quotes Abrams.

  12. zch81721 Says:

    Why is it that when Star Wars is brought up professionalism is just thrown completely out the window?

    • Jim Raynor Says:

      I think it’s a combination of several factors:

      1) Despite how evergreen it is, the fact is that Star Wars is an old franchise. That includes the Prequels. The most recent live action film is a few months from its tenth anniversary. TPM is going on 16 years old. There’s really little context or reason for most of these films to be singled out in current entertainment media. Most people don’t continually talk about movies they liked if those films aren’t current and relevant to the topic at hand. Now what kind of journalist makes a habit of dumping on decade old movies out of the blue? Someone who’s actually nursing a severe grudge and still can’t let go.

      2) The Original Trilogy was a massive hit on the level of very few other things in pop culture. Thus all of the crazy fanboy stuff (never forget that “fan” was originally an abbreviation of “fanatic”) is magnified. Fans in general, as well as fanboys turned journalists, are very picky and pessimistic about the things they follow. If they’re to be believed, every show has jumped the shark, no good movies are being made these days, and no decent comics have been published in the last twenty years. People like this can be even worse than usual when it comes to Star Wars.

      3) The Original Trilogy was a limited canon that was actually really good. Even most fanboys never followed the Expanded Universe books. They just had three movies which they could safely call three of the best ever made. Contrast this to other fandoms based around TV shows, comic books, or long-running book series. So much more material has been mass produced for those other franchises, and a lot of it is far from great. Other types of fans have had a long time to get used to the fact that fiction is just fiction, and that absolute perfection shouldn’t be expected. Star Wars fans, however, are forever looking back to their rose-tinted image of the Holy Trilogy.

      Entertainment media and fandoms are always going to attract pretentious and condescending people. The articles, columns, and forums that they flock to provide a soap box for them to act as an authority and talk down to others about topics that aren’t actually that important. Star Wars happens to be the perfect storm that brings out the worst in them.

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