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Is the future of film entirely animated?

Analyze the increasing use of CGI and visual effects in films and the extent at which they are taking over from real practical footage. In some movies, the only "real" things you see on screen are the actors, and nowadays they are often warped by visual effects. The popularity of large-scale fantasy-action movies means that practical effects are fast becoming a thing of the past, and this has caused many people to question whether in the future, all of film will be made on a computer once visual effects become to foundation of film production.

  • A great topic choice! Reminds me of how Sir Ian McKellan really struggled with filming for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey because of the sheer amount of green screen instead of communicating with real actors in real environments. Here's an article for reference: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/nov/20/the-hobbit-gandalf-ian-mckellen-almost-quit-acting – Camille Brouard 5 years ago
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  • Not if the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild, camera manufacturers, and indie filmmakers have anything to say about it. – Jonathan Leiter 5 years ago
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  • I guess it's always a matter of how far into the future. But I don't see it happening for a long while. This seems to specifically focus on fantasy/action etc, but there are a lot of movies out there just about "life" with more common real settings. – Tatijana 5 years ago
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  • I think some of it depends on the economics and some of it depends on the type of film being made. Mad Max: Fury Road, for example, prided itself on using very little CGI, although it wasn't /entirely/ free. – Winterling 5 years ago
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  • There are plenty of people out there, thousands in fact, who just like to shoot stuff with a camera. And plenty of other people who would like to act in front of that camera. Those people may have a liking for certain pieces of animation, whatever they may be. But they wouldn't give up what they like to do in order to make films entirely in animated form, even if they still got to hold a motion-capture camera stick, and act on motion capture stages. – Jonathan Leiter 5 years ago
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  • I definitely don't think so...or I hope that's not how it is! In my experience, people actually tend to be bothered by the use of too much CGI. I don't know if that knowledge reaches the ears of the directors and produces of movies, but there may be enough complaints for movie-makers to stay traditional and forgo the use of CGI. – Dominic Sceski 5 years ago
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  • I have thought about this as well. I don't know if you've seen The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies, but there was a clear shift. In LOTR, you could tell so many extras were equipped and filmed, which, although expensive, made the films so much more real. In The Hobbit, on the other hand, you did not need a magnifying glass to tell that most of the characters had something digitally manipulated about them. – Medievalist13 5 years ago
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  • Wow, what a fascinating thought. Its worth considering, though, that in every new era of animation the old animations look cheesy...I was personally also very disappointed that the Hobbit films moved away from old-fashioned prosthetics. It took away from the very raw feel of the LOTR series. – sophiacatherine 5 years ago
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  • I would also take a look at The Mummy (1990s) interview with the director. You might find some of his points helpful. – BethanyS 5 years ago
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  • This transition will definitely have more to do with the epic and large-sized films with a fantasy or sci-fi angle than it will your Oscar-bait annual dramas. I think anybody could agree that one day we may see a Terminator or an Alien film where most of the screen is filled with CGI. But at the same time, no one is going to take the time or front the money to digitally animate the majority of something like "Suffragette" or "Whiplash." Films like that live and breath off of real sets, real actors, real lighting, and a cheap and inexpensive bottom line. So there's no economical reason to do them in motion capture, and no story driven need. The characters are regular humans. I do think there will be a gradual growing interest in de-aging certain actors, or bringing dead actors back to life with the approval of their estate. But even that would become a major contended issue within the actor's guild if it was allowed to become such a big trend that more recent actors have less ability to be cast if the producers are always going for 25 year-old Marlon Brando, 32 year old Dustin Hoffman, and body doubles or voice-impersonators able to recapture their performance. – Jonathan Leiter 5 years ago
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  • I think that the future of film (blockbusters) is full of CGI. With the latest blockbuster hit Jurassic World, the most and only notable thing about it was the CGI, and people bought into it and loved it. Hollow of story, characters, and soul, CGI appears to be enough to satisfy people now. – luminousgloom 5 years ago
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