Commentary On “Practical” Effects Marketing

A site called Twitch posted a column called “Destroy All Monsters” about the trend in promoting movies using practical effects and “real” stunts:

The fact that a bunch of props, droids, and aliens were developed practically for The Force Awakens has as much to do with the total matrix of its production approach as the fact that a bunch of CGI techniques were piloted for The Phantom Menace.

The Phantom Menace was also one of the biggest practical effects movies of all time, using models and miniatures on a scale that was a powers-of-ten dwarfing of the original Star Wars; and guess what, there will be CGI in pretty much every single shot of The Force Awakens, too, just like there isn’t one shot in Fury Road that hasn’t been substantially digitally manipulated. This is the way we make movies now.


12 Responses to “Commentary On “Practical” Effects Marketing”

  1. piccolojr1138 Says:

    I wonder when Lucasfilm will reveal a glimpse of the two CGI characters and the big CGI space battle of TFA. It seems they want to put it back as much as possible… I wonder why 😀

    • blade57hrc Says:

      The ”usual suspects” have already convinced themselves that JJ only does CGI when practical isn’t possible contrary to Lucas, who according to them, only did practical when CGI wasn’t an option…(which is utter BS basically…).

      According to them Boga for example (a moving & ridable creature that did all sorts of things on Utapau) should be done with a practical prop like JJ’s giant pig-like set prop in Dubai…Try explaining the difference to them…
      To paraphrase the Borg:Explaining is futile…

      But you’re right…
      The thing is Disney/LFL has promised pizza with peperoni but no bacon (i think it was Kennedy who said at SDCC that ”we’ve opted not to use CGI…blah blah”). When the client witnesses the abundance of bacon he/she will be pissed…

  2. darth66zannah Says:

    Funny, no one bitches about AVATAR: THE MOST SUCESSFUL MOVIE EVER when it used tons of CGI…and the planned sequels will make billions also…

  3. bansheegun Says:

    Disney and Abrams sound like the bullied kid in school who did everything to appease his bullies. Stockholm Syndrome to the max. They will ultimately fail because OT purists are the nastiest section of the fandom, and also the loudest.

    • Noah Says:

      A company that makes movies about princesses should have known by now that you just cannot please the demanding whiny unhappy ungreatful princess… even with all of the wishes fulfilled, the OT purists/everything hateboys will still find something to scream about.

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      bansheegun, I think your wording (“bullied kid”) is a bit strong here. But I agree that catering to the OOT purists is a huge risk that may fail gloriously. I believe that Abrams and his crew are passionate about this project, but I do not like the marketing that focuses on nostalgia. And I indeed fear that JJ will in the end try too much to recreate the OT and not develop and extend the Saga. As the final movie has not been released yet, we have to wait and see.
      Anyway, I will probably watch TFA, but only two or three weeks after the release.

  4. Stefan Kraft Says:

    An interesting video about CGI in modern movies. One caveat: TPM is more or less explicitly mentioned as a bad movie with bad CGI.

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      They mention CGI as scapegoat if you did not like a movie. That’s what most of us are saying.

    • lazypadawan Says:

      Then why bring it here (APPRECIATION Society)?

      • Stefan Kraft Says:

        Good point, LP. I did it because the video is a good defense of CGI. It shows that this technique is used in almost every type of movie today and (in a certain way) an art form on its own. The video debunks the myth that “only practical effects are good effects.”
        I therefore thought it would be worthwhile to link to the video despite of the TPM criticism. However, I understand that you consider anti-PT content an exclusion criterion on SWPAS, regardless of the other content of a video.

  5. kenkraly2004 Says:

    I understand some fans think that Disney / Lucasfilm is not going to honor all eras of Star Wars some are saying their going to ignore The Prequel Era. To that I say this for those who are worried The Force Awakens is a Sequel to Return of The Jedi and The Force Awakens is going to be moving forward in The Star Wars Saga not backwards and all eras of Star Wars including The Prequel Era will not be ignored. Now that’s not to say their won’t be nods to The Prequels and The Original Trilogy in their because their will be. All I’m saying is their not going to reference things 60 years in the past after TPM and before TFA. Remember Lucasfilm is making The Force Awakens and making Star Wars and not Disney. And remember they are still putting out stuff from the prequel era like Black Series Action Figures from Hasbro and more recently The Little Golden Books have adaptations of The Prequel Trilogy so stuff from The Prequel Era is still coming out and it is not being ignored plus Star Wars Rebels is set between the end of The Prequel Era and at the beginning of The Original Trilogy Era. I know some fans and Prequel fans are tired of The Practical , Practical , Practical comments made from Disney / Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams that where made at San Diego Comic Con and that was talked about in that reel that was shown on the official site but understand star wars fans it is not a knock on the Prequel Trilogy it’s just that they want to go back and do effects like their was in The Original Trilogy effects days and yes their will be some CGI in The Force Awakens but again it’s not a knock on The Prequels and also most of The Crew working on The Force Awakens grew up on The Original Trilogy to them that is their Star Wars they grew up with. I like all 6 Star Wars Films equally and enjoy all of them and I like and enjoy Prequel Era Star Wars Fans and many I enjoy their thoughts on the interwebs and have had longstanding friendships with over the years on social media and through different Star Wars Podcasts since 2011 and I like The Prequel Trilogy as much as anyone along with The Original Trilogy and Star Wars The Clone Wars and also Star Wars Rebels that being said however this whole Disney / Lucasfilm are going to ignore The Prequels comment that some can’t just get over is just not true because The Story Group and Lucasfilm / Disney will try to make sure it is not ignored. Relax Star Wars fans everything will turn out fine. This is a new Star Wars Movie era we as fans of the series where going into and the goal of The Force Awakens is to move forward in the star wars story. It’s not about marketing sorry but it’s not.

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