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Peter Jackson Talks Film Technology

Peter Jackson Talks Film Technology


In a recent interview director Peter Jackson talked about the technological changes that have occurred recently in cinema and their impact on the industry. According to Jackson, CGI might finally be to a point that turns it from gimmick to a practical tool saying, “There are all great tools that people haven’t quite gotten their heads around yet. But one of the things that has happened [is that] people focus on technology. Probably the film industry has been guilty; there’s more attention spent on the technical aspects than the story. That’s led to a self-fulfilling prophecy. People regard CGI as a gimmick, they almost blame CGI for a bad story or a bad script. They talk about CGI as if it’s responsible for a drop in standards. We’ve gotten to a point now where there isn’t nothing else we haven’t seen. We’ve seen dinosaurs, we’ve seen aliens; with Avatar we’ve seen realistic creatures. I think we’re going to enter a phase where there’s less interest in the CGI and there’s a demand for story again. I think we’ve dropped the ball a little bit on stories for the sake of the amazing toys that we’ve played with.”

The director also spoke about the fear of actors being replaced by CGI images and the future of the film industry. “Actors will never be replaced,” says Jackson. “The thought that somehow a computer version of a character is going to be something people prefer to look at is a ludicrous idea. It’s just paranoia. What is great, when you would have used prosthetic makeup, you have motion capture to do a more emotive version. That’s great for nonhuman characters, but in terms of creating nonhuman beings, why on earth would anyone want to do that? It’s so expensive. It’s 20 times more than an actor’s going to cost. There’s no doubt that the industry is in a weird position. It’s not just Hollywood, it’s international. The loss of the independent distribution companies and the finance companies, and the lack of ability to get medium-budget films these days. The studios have found comfort in these enormous movies. The big-budget blockbuster is becoming one of the most dependable forms of filmmaking. It was only three or four years ago when there was a significant risk with that kind of film. Now, especially last summer, we saw blockbuster after blockbuster be released, and they all had significant budgets and they’re all doing fine. It almost doesn’t matter if the film is a good film or a bad film, they’re all doing OK. They’ve lost the ability to have that happen with a low-budget movie and with midrange-budget movies.”

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Jacob is a contributor to FanBolt. He updates on entertainment news, reviews books and movies, and keeps everybody up-to-date in the world of comedy. He’s been a member of FanBolt since 2009 and started writing posts shortly thereafter! He also thinks Norm MacDonald is the funniest man alive.


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