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DS Question #9 - Special Effects

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:19 pm
by Liz
On pg. 172 Darren Gross talks about special effects back in the day. In House of Dark Shadows, Oscar winning make-up artist Dick Smith remembers:

“To film the transformation from old Barnabas to his more youthful appearance, the scenes had to be shot out of order. The shots featuring old Barnabas were completed firs, end with Barnabas standing next to Maggie’s bed in a fixed position. The camera was then locked down and Frid was taken away to have the aging makeup removed. Then he resumed the scene from the same position while the rest of the segment was filmed. By placing an oil-dissolve effect between the shots, the old Barnabas features melt away into those of the younger Barnabas.”

Does it amaze you sometimes how we were all mesmerized by DS at the time, and now look at special effects?

Re: DS Question #9 - Special Effects

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:46 pm
by shadowydog
Oh yeah. I loved those special effects like the bat on a string. :harhar:

Re: DS Question #9 - Special Effects

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:51 pm
by nebraska
Sometimes I think today's special effects are a little too much. They leave nothing to the imagination like the older films and TV shows required. The suspension of disbelief was on a different plane - maybe a little more fun and requiring more audience participation. Today, I sometimes feel like movies use special effects simply for their own sake rather than to advance the story. I found a bit of that both with AIW and DS -- the story was going along nicely with "real" characters and events and suddenly the movies became about fantastical creatures and crumbling complexions, where I might have been a little more satisfied with a bat on a string, as SD describes.

Re: DS Question #9 - Special Effects

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:16 pm
by DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
The limits of what can be done are only a function of someone's imagination, skill and the technical ability of the time. It seems the push will always be to go further and bigger when it comes to special effects. Personally, I don't dislike special effects unless, like nebraska said, they are just gratuitous but don't really make a difference to the story. A spider on a string can be very effective sometimes! :lol: I feel the same way about movies being shot in 3D. It seems to be done now just because it can be done. One exception being Hugo where I felt the technique truly enhanced the story telling in the film.

Re: DS Question #9 - Special Effects

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:23 pm
by Liz
When I watch an old movie or TV show that attempts special effects, I always chuckle at how advanced we are today. Star Wars really launched special effects as we now know them. And I think the fact that I laugh at old TV shows makes me think that I AM desensitized.

I appreciate that the technology has come as far as it has. However, a movie cannot make it on fantastic special effects alone – at least not for me. There has to be something more to it… a good story. And I think 3D is way overused. It’s just not a novelty anymore. I think that there should be a reason for it to be in 3D……mostly action, chase things, and the like.

Re: DS Question #9 - Special Effects

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:12 pm
by nebraska
I saw On Stranger Tides in 3D and I mostly found it distracting and not well done at all. AIW wasn't bad in 3D, but I enjoyed it just as much in 2D. So in general, I agree about the 3D thing. It has a place -- like in the coloring book I bought for DGGS1 whose 5th birthday is coming up -- the book comes with some cheesy little 3D glasses to look at the pages, and it will be so much fun for him. 3D is best left for the very rare treat, in my opinion.

Re: DS Question #9 - Special Effects

Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:40 pm
by SnoopyDances
Avatar and Hugo have been the best use of 3D that I've seen. The other 3D movies were just that. 3D. Yawn.

I agree that almost everything is too CGI-ish these days. The special effects are no longer special. They're just effects.

And if you don't have a good story and intriguing characters, you're stuck with just the effects.

If they did DS today, just imagine all the CGI they would put into it.
Oh wait, they did. :barnabas3:
And not really as much CGI as I thought it would have. Tim did rely on story telling, which is crucial to the soap opera, so I applaud him for that. :applause2:
And he resisted the temptation to use 3D (or the studio pressure). :ok:

Re: DS Question #9 - Special Effects

Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:06 pm
by Liz
I thought DS 2012 was very well done. There really was a story to tell. And we will get into comparing the two before this discussion is beginning with today's question. :grin:

I didn't think 3D enhanced OST at all. I could have easily done without it. But I thought both Alice in Wonderland and Hugo benefited from it. I can't even imagine seeing Alice in 2D, so I haven't. I probably should, but it was just so perfect in 3D.