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Computers have changed cinema permanently (unless we get hit by a series of massive EMPs).
Re: LFL: 2021 Was the End of “Unfilmable” -- Russ Walden Post Reply Top of thread Forum

Posted by: LateForLunch ®

01/01/2022, 22:14:22

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Conceptually, anything that can be conceived and put on a storyboard may now become a feature film if the marketing people give the green light. 

The use of computers in visuals would today allow even epics like Gone With the Wind or the Ten Commandments or Ben Hur to be made without astronomical production costs. What used to require massive sets, employing thousands of atmosphere actors and months of location shooting may now be done in Post Production (CGI etc) at a fraction of what it cost in the pre-computer era. 

That being said, the essence of good movies is still a great script/screenplay which develops characters the audience can relate to. Over-production (such as seen in massive flops like the SF movie Valerian) is the beten noir of modern cinema. 

One has to admire what classic film-director Frank Capra once said in an interview. When asked (circa 1980 shortly before his death) whether movies in his time were better than modern cinema? His response was, "Yes, generally. The reason is that today's movies tend to be about THINGS, while the films of most of my career were about PEOPLE. You can generate more audience interest in say, a camera following a lost little girl through a crowded New York street than with flashy explosions, dazzling shoot-em-ups and whooshing space-ships."

The more things change, the more they stay the same in some regards. Movies are a perfect example. Big production budgets or fancy FX do not automatically translate into audience interest (good story-telling). 

Even author Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) had profound thoughts which ring true today. Aspiring writers often sent him samples of their own writing for his criticism. Being magnanimous by nature he would sometimes oblige. In one case, he responded to one such aspiring writer by saying, "Sir, you have a style before you have a story. May God help you!" 

Note on Dune movies - I disagree strongly with the writer of the article in his wholesale dismissal of David Lynch's version of Dune. It was very much a Lynch movie so it was not really aimed at a "mainstream" market sensibility. It is regarded by many smart critics as historic in its own right (not all great films are financially successful). 

Another version, Dune:2000, was also not bad (considering the limited FX of the time). It did only slightly better financially than Lynch's version but also had some memorable moments for the visuals (limits in post-production notwithstanding). 

As an example of how not all great movies are financially successful consider Capra's magnificent It's a Wonderful Life. When it first came out it flopped. The studio chose to release it long before Christmas season (due to some unknown lapse of sense) and the public didn't get it at all. It lost money. Over time, it has become known as a rare classic (one of James Stewart's most popular movies) but was a financial disaster for the studio.  

Modified by LateForLunch at Sat, Jan 01, 2022, 22:27:29

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