One of the biggest debates in science fiction is if the artificial can ever replace the natural. Can robots ever be as good as humans? Can a green screen ever be as good as the actual thing?
Well, the last one is more specific to movies off-late. It’s a good thing we have access to better CGI- it gives us better movies and makes them far less campy. But are these movies relying way too much on CGI rather than using the natural elements at their disposal?
With the release of the Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Peter Jackson has officially completed the second trilogy of films set in Middle Earth. Throughout the course of Lord of the Rings, Jackson made use of perspective shots and New Zealand’s naturally beautiful scenery to make the movie stand out. There was very little graphics, and this knowledge makes the movies feel so much better. Of course, this contributed towards New Zealand’s tourism too.
However, most of the Hobbit films were shot in CGI. Even though Jackson had already shot incredibly similar scenes without the use of green screens and computers before, he made the decision to not use forced perspectives or real-life tricks for the recent trilogy. How bad was the effect? Well, it reduced one of the lead characters to tears, and made the movies much less believable than the older trilogy.
So, where do we draw the line between the awe reality can inspire in us and the worlds our computers can generate?