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wrightyp100
01-19-2011, 10:03 AM
This might proove to be an unpopular thread, but I was wondering if anyone else shared this opinion.

The big thing (in my opinion) that seems to be turning me off a lot of blockbusters is that most of the effects all look the same.

The same orbiting reveal of the city the heroes are going to, the same camera can fly anywhere through a battle.

Are studios being lazy?

Tron is the only live action/CG movie that has caught my imagination for a good couple of years. Oh and moon. Which mainly used minatures, but has some seamless and truly exceptional cg. Do you know where? ;)

Other good examples are 300 and sin city.

The worst being the star wars prequels.

I'd love to hear other opinions on this.

Paul

Svenart
01-19-2011, 10:28 AM
If a movie lacks on story, dialogues and believable characters often the producers try to balance this with CG effects (my opinion).

An example for me is Avatar, wich was (for me) a horrible pocahontas clone with lame 2dimensional characters. I was very disappointed, also because of I have excpected soo much more from James Cameron.

Starwars prequels... well after the first time i was disappointed, but after watching them a few times now, they are not sooo bad anymore.

RebelHill
01-19-2011, 10:34 AM
This really has nothing to do with CG, effects, ro anything else.

Visual styles drift slowly along, and there's always a homogeny of whats in fashion at any given time.

Same with all movies, of all genres... cinematography is often similar between pictures, stylistically speaking, as certain shots, angles, moves, or grading choices some and go.

wrightyp100
01-19-2011, 11:18 AM
@svenart: I was impressed by avatars effects and its restraint in places. As in it didnt wiggle its arms at the camera and go ooo 3d. But yes, the characters where flat, and how he didnt met any of his friends in combat, I dont know. But that would have meant writing some drama.

@rebelhill: Fraid I dont agree that it has nothing to do with CG. I DO agree though that the same shots are being used by lazy directors.

Howver my point with cg, is that shots that would be far more interesting if a set where built, an anamatronic used, are not being used as that would be seen as more effort. The amount of times I've had to talk director friends of mine out of using a CG visual effect is astounding.

When used properly, I am the biggest fan of CG ever. I love it. Jurrasic Park is still one of the greatest examples of VFX. EVER. ;)

Alice in wondrland is a prime example. I watched it and, I actually enjoyed it. However, the mount of stuff they could have built... It's criminal.

Take the end scene of the goonies. They built that ship in its entirety and banned the kids from going onset. Their reactions when thy turn around are real. Can't get that from a big blue screen.

bugzilla
01-20-2011, 07:20 AM
I have to agree with the poster, but I think what causes it is the fact that movie studios naturally want to copy whatever is successful. After the Lord of the Rings films were a huge success, how many movies come out with scenes of massive armies clashing? Quite a few. After the Matrix was a hit everyone started doing bullet time, whether it fit the story or not.

THe only remedy is for some film to come along with a unique art style. Of course, it won't be long until it is copied, but at least we'll have something new for a while.

crashnburn
01-20-2011, 07:58 AM
The Void probably fills that space (pardon the pun) but the film is practically unwatchable in my opinion. It would make a great short, but as a whole film, it's too much. There's a point where going too far with the cinematography in a film becomes just self indulgence and forgets that people have to pay hard earned cash to see it.

A good cinematographer will find a balance. My biggest issue with all these new films isn't so much the use of the same FX shots, but just the sheer lack of quality. There are less and less films with a quality feel, that big movie vista feel to them. They just depend more and more on pulling it out of a computer instead of making sure the footage has a wow factor without anything added. It's like they are just thinking "just shoot what ever is there and we'll let the lads in VFX sort it later".

The one thing I enjoyed about Avatar was the amount of colour. Some films have had so much colour taken out they are almost black and white. In some cases this is appropriate, but is it still really necessary if the acting and story are up to strength.

stiff paper
01-20-2011, 09:03 AM
I started in the "entertainment business" in one way or another back in the latter half of the 1980s, and it was obvious even back then that 99% of everything that ever got made was made purely as an attempt to make a ton of money. What this leads to though is a bunch of people being in control of everything who see their function as rigidly enforcing their ideas about what makes a guaranteed seller. Now, to be as polite as I know how, a lot of those people have the IQ of a fridge magnet, and their idea of making sure something is a "Guaranteed seller" is to make sure they've copied everything from product that sold millions when it was released.

Dozens of times now I've sat in meetings and listened to tiny variations on this sentence: "It can't possibly fail, it's exactly like XXXXXX and XXXXXX was the biggest hit ever and this is exactly like that, it can't fail."

Much worse than that though is that we end up with entertainment products where the people in charge of these things actively reject something if they can't immediately think of an example of whatever it is being used recently in a successful product.

I was going to say "movie" there instead of "entertainment products" but changed it because the only example I can think off right off the top of my head that definitely won't get me sued is from games. Before the first Lord of the Rings movie happened and was a big success, I was involved in a game that had a wizard as the central character. The publisher demanded - after the game was finished and delivered - that we had to change the wizard, get rid of the long beard and have him clean shaven, and that instead of wearing the "weird" monk's clothing, he should have his top off and be muscled up.

When we, the developer, asked why, the publisher's response was that "Nobody knows what that is, I mean, a wizard? Nobody's going to be interested in anything to do with that. When was there ever a hit game with a central character that had a long beard? People hate that sh**. Only bums and winos have long beards. We can't sell that. Nobody can sell that. A beard? Dressing like a monk? That's going to turn off every single prospective buyer."
When we countered with something like "Er... Gandalf," and that Lord of the Rings was a pretty popular book that a few people had heard of, the publisher responded with "Well nobody here has ever read it and we're pretty representative, and more than that nobody that buys games has ever heard anything about wizards or Ganfalf. Just change it." What they really wanted was a central character that looked like a bodybuilder, because they'd seen that in a lot of successful games already, so they *knew* that would be a hit.

All I can say is that movies are actually worse than that. I guess this is a really long winded way of saying yes, of course everything in most blockbusters is the same, because that's how the system for develping them works. It's a sausage factory.

When something fairly new comes along, like, say, the first Matrix, make the most of it and be thankful because it's amazing that it ever happened.

stiff paper
01-20-2011, 09:11 AM
They just depend more and more on pulling it out of a computer

Yeah. "Fix it in Post" is the new (although not all that new now) curse of the working FX artist. More than once I've spent two or three days fixing something that it would have taken somebody literally four or five seconds of effort on set to fix, but they left it because they knew it could be "Fixed in Post." Grrr...

Ivan D. Young
01-20-2011, 09:49 AM
Also remember Maya and Nuke and Motionbuilder have totally dominated the market now.

I would venture a guess that over all the tools used to produce this content is more vertically integrated than ever before. There is still some different renderers out there Mental Ray, V-Ray, and Renderman. But when it all goes thru the Compositing "Blender" the look gathers a sameness.

Now it is not Nuke's fault or the compositors, but the speed of these projects is now so ridiculous I think you go for the Fastest Best result and Blamo----Sameness.

Dexter2999
01-20-2011, 10:01 AM
Also remember Maya and Nuke and Motionbuilder have totally dominated the market now.

I would venture a guess that over all the tools used to produce this content is more vertically integrated than ever before. There is still some different renderers out there Mental Ray, V-Ray, and Renderman. But when it all goes thru the Compositing "Blender" the look gathers a sameness.

Now it is not Nuke's fault or the compositors, but the speed of these projects is now so ridiculous I think you go for the Fastest Best result and Blamo----Sameness.


And color grading. It has alot to do with the movies looking the same. In the past few years that almost black and white with a tinge of blue has been very popular.(Not so much in a CG sense but in movies/tv in general)

Aquarian
01-20-2011, 10:32 AM
I started in the "entertainment business" in one way or another back in the latter half of the 1980s, and it was obvious even back then that 99% of everything that ever got made was made purely as an attempt to make a ton of money.

This is exactly why I rarely go to see movies or even rent them. It seems that the only vision people can conjure up is a giant dollar sign, and it doesn't say much for the viewers because we (well I don't i guess) constantly buy it. It's like watching the same movie over and over again, names have changed, scenery has changed, maybe time period, but overall it's the same movie. There even was a time before games became "blockbuster games" that pc games had originality and strong storylines to make up for the primitive graphics, then all that was replaced by flashy graphics and the story lines turned to "shoot everybody and watch their blood splatter" - which by the way is detrimental to the mind.

I've personally seen plenty of FX, enough to last about 10 lifetimes, and would like to see something real and lasting come out of Hollywood, but I know that's too much to ask. The problem is that things never take a distinct turn for the "better" until you hit rock bottom and you can't go any lower, then we have no choice but to start the long climb upwards.

Just my 2 cents on the entertainment industry.

wrightyp100
01-20-2011, 01:24 PM
Fix it in post (shudders)

Ivan D. Young
01-20-2011, 01:32 PM
Yep that too Dexter! Actually it would be interesting to see how in the case of large VFX projects how much the Color Grading is influenced by VFX or VFX influenced by Color Grading.

There is definately some sort of influence going on. I think it is great we have the technology, but I do not see artistic expression as much as I see strategic quality for the best commodity driven project.

stiff paper
01-20-2011, 03:43 PM
You know, I didn't get the feeling from Wrighty's original post that he was really talking about just the surface of modern movies, as in just the grading and the look of a particular render pipeline. But hey, I could be completely wrong.

What I do know is I've read so much over the past couple of years about how grading is ruining movies, in threads on forums, articles on sites (I know nobody on this thread has said anything to that effect or anything that extreme; I'm not picking a fight with anybody) that now when I read something along the lines of "Argh! It's cyan and orange! It's the same colors as a movie I saw last week! It's unwatchable!" I get a little bit annoyed...

I mean... for the longest time movies were only in black and white. Every single movie used to look like a hundred others. Sure, noirs didn't look like a romantic comedy looked, but they definitely did look like every other noir. And guess what? If anybody's going to try to claim that Casablance is unwatchable because its "grade" is exactly the same as the twenty five films that came right before it... well all I can think I'd say in response is a whole lot of rude words that just aren't safe for prime-time.

The enjoyment to be gained from watching a movie has nothing at all to do with the grade. Hell, it doesn't even have anything to do with the quality of the effects. Seriously, come on. Anybody that's ever enjoyed an episode of the original Star Trek, or an episode of Doctor Who from the 70s will tell you that. And that sense you get... that sense that what you're watching just isn't all that good or involving, that sense that what you're watching is just recycled product... well that doesn't come from the grade or the effects either.

Edit: Umm... the vfx work isn't influenced by the grade because the grade isn't done until after the vfx work is finished. The grade is the grade, done by somebody whose job it is to grade movies. The vfx themselves don't influence what the grade will be either. The biggest influence on the grading is what type of story it is and who they're aiming it at (and then to a greater or lesser extent there being somebody with enough control over it deciding that that's just how they want it to be graded).

crashnburn
01-20-2011, 04:37 PM
I think he was looking more at the types of shot all being samey. Well I can see 3D causing a lot of this too. What a lot of people think is great, I see as a gimmick. Besides the fact that 3D causes me serious migraines, it also destroys any chance of quality cinematography because they'll get to a certain shot and they'll want it straight into the camera.......for the hundredth time in the film. Role on the death of stereo 3D in movies.

hdace
01-21-2011, 12:19 AM
I mean... for the longest time movies were only in black and white. Every single movie used to look like a hundred others. Sure, noirs didn't look like a romantic comedy looked, but they definitely did look like every other noir. And guess what? If anybody's going to try to claim that Casablance is unwatchable because its "grade" is exactly the same as the twenty five films that came right before it... well all I can think I'd say in response is a whole lot of rude words that just aren't safe for prime-time.

The enjoyment to be gained from watching a movie has nothing at all to do with the grade. Hell, it doesn't even have anything to do with the quality of the effects. Seriously, come on. Anybody that's ever enjoyed an episode of the original Star Trek, or an episode of Doctor Who from the 70s will tell you that. And that sense you get... that sense that what you're watching just isn't all that good or involving, that sense that what you're watching is just recycled product... well that doesn't come from the grade or the effects either.


Couldn't agree more. BUT, the 25 films released both before and after Casablanca were crap. And the 25 films released both before and after Children of Men were crap. That's because every decade, with the possible exception of the 70s, had a very high number of bad movies. Spielberg & Lucas made sure that the relative number of bad movies over the decades since have actually increased!

CGI is just CGI. It has almost nothing to do with the quality of a film. We need better writers and directors. The actors and CGI artists are almost all hard working and very good quality.

PS - IMO James Cameron is one of THE worst film directors of all time.

OnlineRender
01-21-2011, 01:19 AM
PS - IMO James Cameron is one of THE worst film directors of all time.

ye when he is on yacht , I will remind him of that :rock:

meshpig
01-21-2011, 01:29 AM
This is exactly why I rarely go to see movies or even rent them. It seems that the only vision people can conjure up is a giant dollar sign, and it doesn't say much for the viewers because we (well I don't i guess) constantly buy it. It's like watching the same movie over and over again, names have changed, scenery has changed, maybe time period, but overall it's the same movie. There even was a time before games became "blockbuster games" that pc games had originality and strong storylines to make up for the primitive graphics, then all that was replaced by flashy graphics and the story lines turned to "shoot everybody and watch their blood splatter" - which by the way is detrimental to the mind.

I've personally seen plenty of FX, enough to last about 10 lifetimes, and would like to see something real and lasting come out of Hollywood, but I know that's too much to ask. The problem is that things never take a distinct turn for the "better" until you hit rock bottom and you can't go any lower, then we have no choice but to start the long climb upwards.

Just my 2 cents on the entertainment industry.

Yeah, I'll buy that. I'd even go so far as to say between TV and Hollywood the medium has been systematically drained if not murdered.

- The term "blockbuster" was borne out of the WW2 predicament where civilians were indiscriminately targeted for the first time as a component of war; a "hit" was a bomb on target and a "blockbuster" was obviously where an entire neighbourhood was demolished.

- I don't think it's just a matter of story lines either, more one of habituation and relativity. You can say the same for digitised music... If you follow sport too, it seems like it's the same game/performance over and over ( ... and the sportspeople line up one after another to say only "it's a privilege to play for my country"), cough splutter, but probably because it is, if you get my drift?

- Cinema as a functional aspect of society is already long gone and when I contemplate my LED TV it only reminds me of how bankrupt TV is/was to begin with as even it's inventor thought it was good for nothing... pay tv is %50+ advertising. Critical mass has been achieved...:)

meshpig
01-21-2011, 02:36 AM
Look at it this way...some entrepreneur here will create an original movie with great effects and great story and makes lots of cash - so everyone else can copy THEM. :beerchug:

Name me one original anything apart from using guns in robberies, severe weight loos programs, barbed wire and snake oil to come out of the US?:jam::)

meshpig
01-21-2011, 03:03 AM
Paranormal Activity; The Blair Witch Project - two highly successful films and somewhat original. I'm sure that there are others.

Perhaps you're missing the point about originality? Successful as it might have been the Blair Witch Project is a feeble attempt. A Signifier.

Face the fact, film is as dead as! Ho ho:santa:

Svenart
01-21-2011, 03:40 AM
Name me one original anything apart from using guns in robberies, severe weight loos programs, barbed wire and snake oil to come out of the US?:jam::)

well... how about Frank Sinatra, Coca Cola, Hamburger, Jazz, Graffiti, Breakdance, Mickey Mouse & comics in general, Muppet Show, Jeans, Converse Shoes, Rapmusic, Musicals, Whiskey, Texas Holdem Poker, Basketball, Marshmellows, BBQ, Football, Popart, Kickboxing, Banjomusic, the Simpsons, Family Guy, Star Trek, Blade Runner, Atari, Lightwave and Genfood?

Well the last was more a negative example... maybe there are a few more of them :D


regarding to movies, Im sure there are hundreds of good or "original" movies produced in the Us. A few years ago I was the opinion that Germanys Movieindustrie is only doing crap, but after reading a list of all German Movies from 1920 I was very surprised how much GREAT movies have been produced in Germany. I think the same goes for Us Movies.

btw...

the humans like to use "trampled ways". If a thing (story, effect, whatever) is working, why change it? Its often just too much risk. So better repeat what already was succesfull...

hdace
01-21-2011, 04:37 AM
Name me one original anything apart from using guns in robberies, severe weight loos programs, barbed wire and snake oil to come out of the US?:jam::)

Well, I'm American, original, and I've come out (wait, that didn't sound right). BTW, watched any episodes of Neighbors lately? BTW, can I buy your computer? Sounds really cool. How much did you pay for it?

meshpig
01-21-2011, 04:46 AM
well... how about Frank Sinatra, Coca Cola, Hamburger, Jazz, Graffiti, Breakdance, Mickey Mouse & comics in general, Muppet Show, Jeans, Converse Shoes, Rapmusic, Musicals, Whiskey, Texas Holdem Poker, Basketball, Marshmellows, BBQ, Football, Popart, Kickboxing, Banjomusic, the Simpsons, Family Guy, Star Trek, Blade Runner, Atari, Lightwave and Genfood?

Well the last was more a negative example... maybe there are a few more of them :D


Hamburgers... Hamburg Steaks from Germany, Frank Sinatra was an arsehole who couldn't sing but Italian, Coca Cola is by definition snake oil, Jazz owes it's existence to the story of Africa, Graffiti too is an Italian word also done in ancient Egypt, Mickey Mouse is a pervert, Converse shoes...who gives a ****, Musicals... Germany/Switzerland again, Whisky is Irish/Scottish Bourbon is French, screw Texas, Jeans are French and Levi Strauss was German, BBQ comes from the Mongols on the Steppes of Asia , Star Trek is CS Forester as in "Hornblower" minus the ocean, Blade runner a variation of Lewis Carroll, the banjo african slaves again. Football is as old as the hills and Pop Art mimicked the French impressionists. Kickboxing is Japanese, so OK Genfood.:)

meshpig
01-21-2011, 05:18 AM
Well, I'm American, original, and I've come out (wait, that didn't sound right). BTW, watched any episodes of Neighbors lately? BTW, can I buy your computer? Sounds really cool. How much did you pay for it?

No, never but used to live in the sodding overcast street it was originally filmed in... how did they make it look so freakin sunny?

Ah yes the computer. On loan from higher beings of a really, really super advanced civilisation. I think they accept the Core membership card:D

wrightyp100
01-21-2011, 05:47 AM
Crash, that is more what I was on about, but also shots that are so unrealistic that It drags me right out of the action and thinking, that camera move is impossible. Theres a great shot in the new harry potter where its a far shot of harry and hagrid on the motorbike getting chased at the start. I loved it as it was like I was sat on a broom and riding along side. What I dont like is when the director chooses to have the camera swinging around all over the place and all like "ooo" and "AHHH" because i just dont buy it.

Not sure if i explained my self too well there.

alos i would like to say i never meant it was the vfx artists fault. this is very much a blast at the directors. Micheal Bay I'm looking at you. And you George...

cresshead
01-21-2011, 05:51 AM
successful films breed clones in sequels or other films taking on that successful look or camera move/colour/character style

being different = risky/gamble

with the economy in the mess it's in right now 'risks and being different' don't sit too well with the money lenders when financing a feature film.

so we get 'what works'...template based feature films and tv shows.

an example of risky/being different feature films are:

my dog tulip
killer bean forever
9


http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQTBbECi0A6QZesREsd5f3G_55GEenoh aoATKT_ptVnDMZZzDn13Q

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTpZwU9XMAb7hyl67Z4EU5D6VekwwdyA Tbf4agekWQs1EjjITxE

IgnusFast
01-21-2011, 07:35 AM
Hamburgers... Hamburg Steaks from Germany, Frank Sinatra was an arsehole who couldn't sing but Italian, Coca Cola is by definition snake oil, Jazz owes it's existence to the story of Africa, Graffiti too is an Italian word also done in ancient Egypt, Mickey Mouse is a pervert, Converse shoes...who gives a ****, Musicals... Germany/Switzerland again, Whisky is Irish/Scottish Bourbon is French, screw Texas, Jeans are French and Levi Strauss was German, BBQ comes from the Mongols on the Steppes of Asia , Star Trek is CS Forester as in "Hornblower" minus the ocean, Blade runner a variation of Lewis Carroll, the banjo african slaves again. Football is as old as the hills and Pop Art mimicked the French impressionists. Kickboxing is Japanese, so OK Genfood.:)

Good thing you're not a hater or anything -- that would be terrible! :)

stiff paper
01-21-2011, 08:05 AM
...the 25 films released both before and after Casablanca were crap. And the 25 films released both before and after Children of Men
Oh, absolutely. I'll go along with Sturgeon's Law every single time, and I wasn't meaning to suggest otherwise, I was just trying to make a point about grading not being a deciding factor in the overall quality of a movie, or even that important to a movie feeling "samey".


PS - IMO James Cameron is one of THE worst film directors of all time.
Umm... can't really agree with that one. I don't really rate him as a director, but I don't think he's in, for the sake of picking a number, the bottom 60%. I suggest you watch Green Hornet. Twice. Then re-evaluate.

If you want to pick on big name directors who just might not be all that and a bucket of fish guts when it really comes down to it, I think none of Cameron's movies has been anywhere near as deeply, cretinously stupid from start to finish as Minority Report. And Peter Jackson didn't direct any of the sections of the LotR movies that were any good.


...gives LOTS of VFX artists jobs.

Unfortunately my experience has been that it just causes some artists who were already employed to end up working their a**es off unnecessarily, often doing terrible hours with no extra pay. Maybe it does create extra employment, it's possible, but I'm far from sure of it.


Name me one original anything apart from using guns in robberies, severe weight...
Oi! Settle down over there. I don't know... bolshie colonies...

I know lots of Americans, and some of them aren't even morbidly obese...

Svenart
01-21-2011, 09:17 AM
Hamburgers... Hamburg Steaks from Germany, Frank Sinatra was an arsehole who couldn't sing but Italian, Coca Cola is by definition snake oil, Jazz owes it's existence to the story of Africa, Graffiti too is an Italian word also done in ancient Egypt, Mickey Mouse is a pervert, Converse shoes...who gives a ****, Musicals... Germany/Switzerland again, Whisky is Irish/Scottish Bourbon is French, screw Texas, Jeans are French and Levi Strauss was German, BBQ comes from the Mongols on the Steppes of Asia , Star Trek is CS Forester as in "Hornblower" minus the ocean, Blade runner a variation of Lewis Carroll, the banjo african slaves again. Football is as old as the hills and Pop Art mimicked the French impressionists. Kickboxing is Japanese, so OK Genfood.:)

- Frank Sinatra was maybe not a nice person, but Albert Einstein wasnt it either (to his family). Important is more what they did. Btw Sinatra was born in New Jersey.
- first Musicals started in London AND New York, not in Germany (thanks to god )
- Mickeymouse is a cartoon figure... and hes is NOT real... pervert? lol....
- I was talking about Football, not Soccer
- Kickboxing is an american thing. Karate is Japanese.
- Popart is mimicking french impressionists? Sorry but thats crap.
- Levi Stau was born in germany, but lived most of his live in US.
- Graffiti is an American thing, egypt was hieroglyphics , has nothing to do with graffiti...
- I guess you never played Texas holdem? I was your opinion before I tested it :)
- much people cooked food over a fireplace over the last 5000 Years, but BBQ is american.
- sorry, but I never heard from an African Musician with a banjo... I guess thats more an US thing...
- Hamburgers coming from germany is maybe true... maybe :)

however, I hope you will not tell us that Crokodile Dundee was original :D

hdace
01-21-2011, 06:41 PM
Cardboard: ...food for thought. I guess what I meant was that Cameron is the most overrated director of all time.

Lightwolf
01-21-2011, 07:17 PM
- I was talking about Football, not Soccer
- Kickboxing is an american thing. Karate is Japanese.
- much people cooked food over a fireplace over the last 5000 Years, but BBQ is american.
- sorry, but I never heard from an African Musician with a banjo... I guess thats more an US thing...

Not that it makes much of a difference, but it's fun...
- American football derives from english football (which on the island then turned into rubgy).
- Japanese Kickboxing is apparently around 10 years older than the american type... and those three as well as Thai kickboxing seem to have merged into the current variety.
- American BBQ is a very american thing (obviously) - but even the origins of the word aren't clear (either french or native American).
- The banjo seems to derive from african instruments of similar design

But then again, when is something new and when is it merely a derivation of something that existed before that?

Cheers,
Mike

Svenart
01-21-2011, 08:05 PM
Not that it makes much of a difference, but it's fun...
- American football derives from english football (which on the island then turned into rubgy).
- Japanese Kickboxing is apparently around 10 years older than the american type... and those three as well as Thai kickboxing seem to have merged into the current variety.
- American BBQ is a very american thing (obviously) - but even the origins of the word aren't clear (either french or native American).
- The banjo seems to derive from african instruments of similar design

But then again, when is something new and when is it merely a derivation of something that existed before that?

Cheers,
Mike

... just to be precise :D

- Kickboxing: You probably mean K1, but thats not a martial arts system, its a kind of a tournament. In K1 fighters of different styles fight against eachother (karate, Thaiboxing, whatever) using specific Rules. Well, you are right if you say that Thaiboxing is older, but then classical boxing, chinese boxing or pancration is much older again...

- Banjo: Show me one African Band using the Banjo :) It was invented by african slaves IN America. But you are ofcourse right about the roots of the banjo, ok :)

- Football: rugby and football are different enough I think, but thats a question of the perspective.

- BBQ: I just readed it on Wikipedia, it seems BBQs roots are from Mexico/caribean area. But its an important part of the southern states cuisine.

hdace
01-21-2011, 08:40 PM
But then again, when is something new and when is it merely a derivation of something that existed before that?

Isaac Newton said, "If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants."

If it appears that a lot of the great things about the US were just improved old ideas, one must remember that this is true of virtually all good ideas.

hdace
01-21-2011, 08:43 PM
Getting back to Casablanca, that was a complete re-working of a mediocre play. Typical example of how improving ideas sometimes looks like total originality, and that's the way it should be, and that's why a lot of good things have indeed come out of America.

Lightwolf
01-21-2011, 08:46 PM
If it appears that a lot of the great things about the US were just improved old ideas, one must remember that this is true of virtually all good ideas.
And none of it is US specific either... that's just how it works back to the first humanoid to make fire...

Cheers,
Mike

Silkrooster
01-21-2011, 10:49 PM
I am coming to the realization that the "better" CG effects are in gaming and commercials. Why, because they have a short spot to do and can afford to go the extra step. If anything CG in movies that fall short can be blamed on the editors and the director. Well might as well include the producers in there as well. Since the they see the books. But that what it boils down to is how much of the movie can be cut to keep it where the viewer won't get bored. The fact is there are a lot of movies that should be longer.

The reason why I liked Avatar was the fact that it was bright and colorful. I get tired of seeing dark, gloomy movies. Yeah I know it makes it easier to render but they are harder to see. Especially when you factor in the mpeg artifacting.
Actually I have another reason for Avatar it had the most fluid characters "so far". It made it difficult to believe that it wasn't people in costume.

As for movies that suck, yeah budgeting is one factor, but the other is story line. A good story can carry it self and the CG, funding and actors are the bonuses. After all look at how many famous actors there are that can not act. They are there only for there name in the titles. I can't count how many actors there are that will not dress in costume or change their voice to act the part.

It seams like the movies and TV shows went down hill right after the writer's strike.
Anyway, I said enough...

Dexter2999
01-21-2011, 11:36 PM
from America?? Corn, tomatoes (and by extention of this one Spaghetti, Lasagna, and Pizza as you know it), (Potatoes if you include South America), French Fries, Fortune Cookies, inside out Sushi called the California Roll, tobacco (good if you like cigars, bad if you don't like cancer). We are also known to have some of the finest tanks, jet fighters, nuclear submarines, and aircraft carriers in the world.

Can't take credit for Musicals, Opera was around a long time before that, it's a derivative.

meshpig
01-21-2011, 11:58 PM
Good thing you're not a hater or anything -- that would be terrible! :)

I wouldn't read any hatred into it...

- I think the problem with film today isn't one of originality, story lines or cgi. Rather the density and saturation levels of images themselves with which the art form has to compete.

Images reign supreme, they're everywhere, we're besieged by them... "film" is starting to look like a bunch of actors running around on a set.

cresshead
01-22-2011, 01:23 AM
i'd take "to have or have not" over "casablanca" any day of the week.

http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTIxMjU0NzcyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMzkxNTQ2._V1._ SX450_SY340_.jpg

meshpig
01-22-2011, 01:26 AM
- Frank Sinatra was maybe not a nice person, but Albert Einstein wasnt it either (to his family). Important is more what they did. Btw Sinatra was born in New Jersey.
- first Musicals started in London AND New York, not in Germany (thanks to god )
- Mickeymouse is a cartoon figure... and hes is NOT real... pervert? lol....
- I was talking about Football, not Soccer
- Kickboxing is an american thing. Karate is Japanese.
- Popart is mimicking french impressionists? Sorry but thats crap.
- Levi Stau was born in germany, but lived most of his live in US.
- Graffiti is an American thing, egypt was hieroglyphics , has nothing to do with graffiti...
- I guess you never played Texas holdem? I was your opinion before I tested it :)
- much people cooked food over a fireplace over the last 5000 Years, but BBQ is american.
- sorry, but I never heard from an African Musician with a banjo... I guess thats more an US thing...
- Hamburgers coming from germany is maybe true... maybe :)

however, I hope you will not tell us that Crokodile Dundee was original :D

Ha ha... I was just having a go and that's not a bad retort. Yes, not going to defend crocko dundee but I'll take you up here sometime:

"Popart is mimicking french impressionists? Sorry but thats crap."

except it's a pretty well traversed and logical piece of art history/theory:)

meshpig
01-22-2011, 01:46 AM
Not that it makes much of a difference, but it's fun...
- American football derives from english football (which on the island then turned into rubgy).
- Japanese Kickboxing is apparently around 10 years older than the american type... and those three as well as Thai kickboxing seem to have merged into the current variety.
- American BBQ is a very american thing (obviously) - but even the origins of the word aren't clear (either french or native American).
- The banjo seems to derive from african instruments of similar design

But then again, when is something new and when is it merely a derivation of something that existed before that?

Cheers,
Mike

BBQ is a very every culture word, people here think it's as 'stralian as Vegemite, which is Promite in Britain... derived from the French "Marmite" which was "originally" a super reduced meat glaze. Seems likely the word BBQ entered the US via the Caribbean...

- Or as the chapter in the old testament which begins with "there is nothing new under the sun" says? Nonetheless, there are new states of being and an immanent form of faith:)

Lightwolf
01-22-2011, 02:35 AM
Getting back to Casablanca, that was a complete re-working of a mediocre play. Typical example of how improving ideas sometimes looks like total originality, and that's the way it should be, and that's why a lot of good things have indeed come out of America.
Looking at all the bad remakes of foreign films ... that surely has changed after Casablanca ;)

Cheers,
Mike

firstsingle
01-22-2011, 03:13 AM
Being that the entertainment industry as a whole is a very big 'Small World', some of the same artist, directors, cinematographers are working on all the big budget films. And all the same people are teaching/training all the newcomers also.

It goes around and around until someone exceptionally talented and unique comes along and starts a New Trend. Then it starts all over again.

There is nothing new under the Sun.

Lightwolf
01-22-2011, 03:32 AM
It goes around and around until someone exceptionally talented and unique comes along and starts a New Trend. Then it starts all over again.
I was actually trying to come up with a list of truly exceptional movies (as movies, not just cg showcases that is) - and so far I couldn't get beyond a handful of the usual suspects, most of them being old (starting with Metropolis of course).

Cheers,
Mike

Svenart
01-22-2011, 05:00 AM
I was actually trying to come up with a list of truly exceptional movies (as movies, not just cg showcases that is) - and so far I couldn't get beyond a handful of the usual suspects, most of them being old (starting with Metropolis of course).

Cheers,
Mike

exceptional movies... mhhhh.... what about this:

2001, Clockwerk Orange, Barton Fink, No Country for old Man, Shining, Elephantman, Children of Men, Donnie Darko, Tron, Pulp Fiction, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Baader Meinhof Komplex, Name of the Rose, Alfred Hitchcocks Rear Window, Frenzy, Dial M for Murder, Noth by Northwest, Vertigo, psycho, Citizen Kane, the third man, Taxi Driver, Die Blechtrommel, Murder by Death, Deliverence, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, In 80 days around the World, abyss, Platoon, Michael Clayton, Jurassic Park, Frost VS Nixon, Departed, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, Meaning of Life, Time Bandits, Stand by me, It, Green Mile, Forrest Gump, Big Lebowski or Ghostbusters :D

Lightwolf
01-22-2011, 05:13 AM
exceptional movies... mhhhh.... what about this:

2001, Clockwerk Orange, Barton Fink, No Country for old Man, Shining, Elephantman, Children of Men, Donnie Darko, Tron, Pulp Fiction, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Baader Meinhof Komplex, Name of the Rose, Alfred Hitchcocks Rear Window, Frenzy, Dial M for Murder, Noth by Northwest, Vertigo, psycho, Citizen Kane, the third man, Taxi Driver, Die Blechtrommel, Murder by Death, Deliverence, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, In 80 days around the World, abyss, Platoon, Michael Clayton, Jurassic Park, Frost VS Nixon, Departed, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian, Meaning of Life, Time Bandits, Stand by me, It, Green Mile, Forrest Gump, Big Lebowski or Ghostbusters :D
Hm, most of them wouldn't make my list... even though I do actually like them. And many of them are great movies, but exceptional?
As an example: Tron is a milestone and certainly under-appreciated - but is it an exceptional movie beyond the visuals?
2001 certainly is ... but the novel goes further (even more so for Name of the Rose).
Hitch is Hitch - certainly a very exceptional film maker and one of the most influential ones.

Personally for me it would probably be Die Blechtrommel... but that's entirely personal because it's the only movie that still makes me sick if I even think about eating some eel (I was quite young when saw it on TV).

What I mean by exceptional though is truly revolutionary (Citizen Kane falls into that category) - and those that still stand out.

Cheers,
Mike

stiff paper
01-22-2011, 05:18 AM
hdace: I guess what I meant was that Cameron is the most overrated director of all time.
Oh, then we can agree on that one. (The day after I first went to see "Aliens" way back in the day I'd probably have disagreed, but I surely don't now.)

cresshead: i'd take "to have or have not" over "casablanca" any day of the week.
hdace: Getting back to Casablanca, that was a complete re-working of a mediocre play
Yeah, I was just using Casablance as an example, there are plenty of other really great movies out there. And that it was a reworked story brings me on to something else...

I don't see that originality, in and of itself, is all that important to whether a movie gives you that sense of "Seen this before" either. A lot of people have always seemed to go on about wanting to see something "new", and complained that the movie they just saw was crap because it was unoriginal...

But... but... I just don't see that that was why the movie was crap. I think they might be grabbing hold of the first thing that they think was wrong with it. One of my favorite movies of recent years was The Bourne Identity (the first one, not the inferior "corporate product" follow ons) and when you examine that, there's nothing about it that's original. Everything in that movie, more or less, is an old idea. And the thing is it didn't matter... what mattered was the execution of the ideas.

And I think it's always been true that the ideas themselves don't matter anywhere near as much as the execution of them. The Matrix was wildly unoriginal, Alien, Star Wars... quite often the things people hold up as being original are the least original movies around. And it didn't matter at all.

What I see when I watch The Bourne Identity is that it has director and editor team that really knows what it's doing when it comes to action, and it has a screenplay that gives us straighforward but interesting character interplay. Most importantly though, it had somebody (I assume the director) who knew exactly how he wanted it to play, and knew exactly how he wanted it to feel, and he cared more about the film itself as opposed to caring about pleasing the studio and getting a fat paycheck. And because that guy had a firm idea about how he wanted it to play, I think you can feel that when you watch it.

And for anybody that wants to go and look up the details, the first Bourne had a very troubled production history. The studio hated the first Bourne and refused to spend money advertising it because as far as they were concerned the director was difficult, wouldn't do as he was told and had made a crap movie that nobody would like. Because they have rules about what makes people like a movie and that movie didn't obey them.

And I think just that story alone might explain why a lot of things in movies appear to be the same things as in other movies these days.

Lightwolf
01-22-2011, 05:39 AM
One of my favorite movies of recent years was The Bourne Identity ...
A very good example (and certainly one of my favourites as well). Now compare that to ... Quantum of Solace. Same genre, an attempt at the same style but... yuck.
Another one of the same genre that came out around that time and had style: Spy Game (but that may just be due to Robert Redford ;) ).

Both certainly make my list of great movies.

Cheers,
Mike

prometheus
01-22-2011, 05:39 AM
I wonder how much cg it will be of the creatures and sets in the upcoming ridley scott movie "prometheus"

Im certain there will be some cg elements in there, but I do hope they get
very skilled people and art directors who can choose where and when Its needed and people that have that Balanced sense of how it would look.

Im curious..and wonder if HR-Giger ever touched the 3d graphics tools, you might think that z-brush would be useful for him..or not, maybe techique
might be in the way for him and his artistic work.

Michael

meshpig
01-22-2011, 05:50 AM
I'm rather fond of John Boorman's Excalibur because it's every sword movie ever made rolled into one minus perhaps kurosawa's samurai movies. Also because Le Morte d'Arthur is such a great story which survived for thousands of years as a tale in oral form before being written.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3rrZ07Pig0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuOzte9Ugck&feature=related

meshpig
01-22-2011, 05:51 AM
I was actually trying to come up with a list of truly exceptional movies (as movies, not just cg showcases that is) - and so far I couldn't get beyond a handful of the usual suspects, most of them being old (starting with Metropolis of course).

Cheers,
Mike

Battleship Potemkin, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euG1y0KtP_Q

Alain Renais. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXkbuTmRLpY

... the thing is in it's dying days, great films ought to be all over the new digital field. But what do we get instead?

Kuzey
01-22-2011, 05:58 AM
Personally for me it would probably be Die Blechtrommel... but that's entirely personal because it's the only movie that still makes me sick if I even think about eating some eel (I was quite young when saw it on TV).

Cheers,
Mike

Aaaah...The Tin Drum, I loved the novel and the movie....shocking stuff.

I tried to watch "Salo"...a banned film in Melbourne, that was released in a limited screening. I lasted about 20 minutes before making a run for it.

Kuzey

Svenart
01-22-2011, 05:58 AM
I'm rather fond of John Boorman's Excalibur


Excalibur... only 2 or 3 other movies inspired me more to become an artist for medieval/fantasy stuff... was an extreme influence for my life ... :i_agree:

prometheus
01-22-2011, 06:02 AM
I'm rather fond of John Boorman's Excalibur because it's every sword movie ever made rolled into one minus perhaps kurosawa's samurai movies. Also because Le Morte d'Arthur is such a great story which survived for thousands of years as a tale in oral form before being written.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3rrZ07Pig0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuOzte9Ugck&feature=related

The best ever Arthur saga..and the acting was great, photo and the sound and music..top notch.
The end scenes from where Arthur dispears and talks to himself and banks the stones to yet hear merlins voice, and the following end battle where
merlin and mordred "embraces" each other and the red sun and wagner music...that is unbeatable classic.

If I were to pick a runner up, it would probably be the one with Clive Owen, wich seems to be the best match of a true worthy story to what was going on history wise..Even if the Arthur saga might be only a Myth.

The worst probably Richard Gere and Sean Connery as arthur and lancelot..

Michael

Kuzey
01-22-2011, 06:13 AM
I love the Dark City, The city of lost children, Delicatessen, Dellamorte Dellamore, the original version of the Ring. There's also Audition, one of the scariest Japanese films around.

Kuzey

meshpig
01-22-2011, 06:17 AM
The best ever Arthur saga...
The worst probably Richard Gere and Sean Connery as arthur and lancelot..
Michael

It is somehow, I first saw it soon after it was made and found myself recording it again on cable only last week... won't tell you how many possible times I've seen it in between but it doesn't seem to wear out. It, the story is like Bach...big story compressed into a rhythm where you barely notice/or are imperceptible, the "scene" changes as the tale unfolds.

Ah, dicky gere and monsieur connery is definitely the worst excluding the totally rank attempts.

hdace
01-22-2011, 01:15 PM
I don't have a lot to say since my last post as I agree with 95% of what's been said (and the lists). I don't think, after having skulked around this board for about eight years now, I ever realized how many true film buffs we have here. I guess all the old timers got attracted to this thread and hijacked it a bit.

But all this beautiful film talk has made me feel all warm and cozy inside. Thanks guys!!

faulknermano
01-22-2011, 04:05 PM
This really has nothing to do with CG, effects, ro anything else.

Visual styles drift slowly along, and there's always a homogeny of whats in fashion at any given time.

Same with all movies, of all genres... cinematography is often similar between pictures, stylistically speaking, as certain shots, angles, moves, or grading choices some and go.

+1

But I have to add that trendiness can stem from just 'laziness' on the part of the people involved. When I mean laziness, I mean choosing the path of least resistance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Path_of_least_resistance).

I think CG in movies can look the same, but the greater issue is the vice versa: more movies that 'sport' CGI look the same. And I think a big reason why it looks the same is because of the fact that they 'sport' CG: it's top of mind; it's like someone buying a HMMV to masculinise his insecurity. I won't point the blame on CG. I'd rather say that people reply CG too much as a crutch in the same way they use sex, violence, and cheap-shot sentimentality.

cresshead
01-22-2011, 04:33 PM
FAVE films [not cg] just my favourite films..:)

aliens
the terminator
terminator 2
toy story
the incredible's
the apartment
to have and have not
last woman on earth
the day the earth caught fire
starwars
the empire strikes back
silent running
dark passage
vexille
maltese falcon
the birds
pitch black

wrightyp100
01-24-2011, 05:09 AM
These two blew my mind: Blade Runner, 2001. I think I was 8 when I first saw them.

Then stuff like silence of the lambs, Coffee and cigarettes. Buffalo 66. Class.

Qexit
01-24-2011, 08:58 AM
One thing I've noticed in FX laden films in recent years is that too much time has been spent on making things 'realistic' while next to no effort has been put into making them 'believable'. The result of this is that audiences no longer suspend their disbelief of what they are watching so they can just enjoy the film.

Aquarian
01-25-2011, 09:51 AM
I won't be popular for saying this but the only real cure for lack of originality is through the Soul. Our culture is primarily inspired by the previous great cultures such as Egypt and Greece and of course others but I think those are the main ones. It's always been a bit of a mystery exactly where Egyptians got all of their culture from, explanations from everything from no explanation to aliens, atlantis, etc etc. But really I think it all came from within, from the Soul of things.

In this highly material age virtually no knowledge of spirituality or the soul exists and most people probably don't have a clue what I mean when I say "Soul" and probably automatically think "religon" and the big sales pitch to buy into a religon to "save your soul" but no one really knows what the Soul is or is even conscious of it as a living reality and that is exactly why we see such a lack of originality. Spirituality and soul growth is the only way to tap into higher ideas and get out of the soup of regurgitated and recycled images that make a quick buck but have no real value.

I see some good movies every once in a while and The Fountain I think is a good example of a movie that has some originality and substance...it takes into account the inner life or subconscious which of course has always been regarded by mystics as the real "reality"...anyway, if you want to grow you have to dig deeper into reality and break away from preconceived ideas and change your goals and motives...

Is your goal to create money so you can make more money so you can make even more money or is your goal to strike a balance between making money and good (or even great) art so you can make more good Art and make even more good Art? The Greeks wanted to make the best art and civilization they could, not make the most money the quickest way, and that is why we still look to the Greeks for inspiration...the motivation behind the product. Honor, High Ideals, Freedom, Love, Art, Culture, Beauty...those should be the motivations behind cinema, not flash and shock and cheap thrills, you'll end up empty pretty quick with that.

Kuzey
01-26-2011, 02:05 PM
You think CG looks alll the same?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svOlz2ei4Yk

Man...I could only watch half of that...haha.

Kuzey

TeZzy
01-26-2011, 11:45 PM
:ohmy: beyond awesome

Svenart
01-26-2011, 11:51 PM
You think CG looks alll the same?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svOlz2ei4Yk

the rocketlaunching helicopter was a little bit strange, but the rest was very "believable" :D

ZE_COLMEIA
01-27-2011, 12:28 PM
I dont know if I am on or not in this topic but anybody watched "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" ?

I really agree with the opinion that almost all 3d movies are following boring paterns and I just cannot watch the same Pixar or Dreamworks movie twice, actually usually watch a 3d movie bored but when I saw "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" I was really impressed, it isnt really different but just enough different (at least for me).

When I saw something about the movie before I thought "What the hell! the characters arent well modeled, the plot looks like S*** but my girlfriend was watching and I gave it a try. The fact (at least for us) is that the movie is amazing, it gave us some hope!

Lightwolf
01-27-2011, 03:42 PM
I was really impressed, it isnt really different but just enough different (at least for me).
That's why I really liked the humans in Ice Age I (and I'm in a minority there) - just because they certainly had a unique style to them.

Then again, feature animation is still quite different from cg used in feature film.

Cheers,
Mike