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CGI and the Death of Workmanship | ManlyMovie

CGI and the Death of Workmanship

The surge of CGI into the film industry has brought many possibilities and trends with it. You can create locales that defy laws of nature and portray scale beyond what anyone could have grasped mere decades ago. Computer generated imagery is a tool which has changed our perception of what movies can provide us with.

CGI done right.

Much like any tool it can also be used for harm and it didn’t take long for that to happen. Instead of utilizing CGI for the enrichment of the final product the people making movies turned it into a crutch. CGI killed the workmanship of filmmaking. It manufactured a new generation of arm-chair directors.

Whereas before you had to fight with tooth and nail against the weather, positioning lights and cameras, rehearse and practice elaborate choreography, have the physical set-piece come apart the way intended, now you can get around all that hard work with 4 words: Fixit in post.

No need to brainstorm an idea around a problem when you can remove the cameras in the shot in post-production and reposition the source of light. Why have a set built for an action scene where you break it if you can have actors in a warehouse filmed against a green screen and fill the images with an ungodly amount of shit getting torn apart, as they flail around with no weight to any of their movement.

What the fuck is this?

I can only imagine what could have been accomplished if the money that has been thrown at CGI the past decade had been used for building miniatures, animatronics and make-up. Just how much better has CGI gotten during this time, maybe the same would have happened with practical effects. I’m not calling for the removal of all CGI from films but I feel we need to take a step back and work for those end results, like we used to.