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FM3001 – Film and television studies project

What Significance Does Technology Offer To Mainstream Hollywood Cinema?
Khalyd Nazimi - 0717509

4/24/2012

having lacked in technology the directors made up with narrative and acting. having less technology didn‟t lead to poor film making and directors such as Ingmar Bergman were praised for classic titles like “The Seventh Seal and Persona”. Further to discussing the use of green screens and the leap from 2D to 3D we must also look at the views of critics and the reception these films generated from their viewers. and there wasn‟t much technology involved. or the switch to 3D. creating props. and hardly any need for CGI. For example technology is used in almost every aspect of film making. The primary theme of this discussion is technology. These are a few examples of how powerful technology has become and we can only wait and bask at its glory as technology continues to advance. and discuss whether technology has complimented Hollywood mainstream cinema or has rather disguised poor narratives with over the top explosions and amazing visuals. and what significance they have had in Hollywood mainstream films. in post war European cinema directors were made to use natural lighting. We will also look at the scepticism behind the use of technology. drama. we sleep more comfortably and we commute more efficiently. These films were successful due to their narrative. We must also take into account the targeted audiences these blockbusters are aimed at and focus on film genre. However. The first targeted area is the use of green screens. We wait shorter periods of time for our food to cook. films had no colour due to their budget. We need to breakdown the word and focus on three areas of technology in Hollywood screen media. capturing the footage right through to editing and releasing the film into cinemas and theatres. good screen play. How they are used. Technology is a big word and when we use its terminology we could open up a web of definitions relating to different subject matters. It‟s used from applying make-up. apart from capturing the scenes and editing the films. The question under scrutiny is whether big budget Hollywood movies are treated as more of a spectacle and less of a narrative or is this just a myth? This question has been hovering around ever since Hollywood major distributors began releasing huge budget CGI (computer graphics integrated) films. for example love. The second is CGI (Computer generated imagery) how computers and films blend together to offer more in terms of fantasy and action. Would they have been more successful if they had been offered greater technology? We can‟t overrule the question. 2 . The third targeted area is the breakthrough of 3D film making and the leap from 2D to 3D in Hollywood mainstream cinema. and what significance it has had in aiding mainstream Hollywood cinema. This becomes quite the contrary when we look at genres such as action adventures. During the Auteur movement of 1950‟s. and fantasy these genres mostly rely on the use of technology such as green screens and CGI. green screens.Introduction Technology has vastly developed over the years and has offered many tools to improve the way we live. Certain genres require different methods of film making. sci-fi. and thrillers mostly consist of a solid narrative. which were criticised for focusing more on explosions and less on the narrative.

I is a tool which allows computers to blend into films via computer software and film editing. if they don‟t follow the rules it‟s easy to spot. n. one must also take into account the works of director and producer James Cameron. good filmmakers will often find other ways to get the shot they want without computers. and economics of society. we understand that most of this is done via C.d. and how technology enabled his narratives a more compelling perspective when shown to worldwide audiences. and the human brain is very good at predicting what happens to things. When we see movies which deal with extra terrestrials. Titanic (1997). Looking back at the 1990‟s the use of technology in mainstream Hollywood has enabled him and other directors to release epic block buster‟s such as Terminator 2(1991).When considering the role that technology has had on mainstream Hollywood cinema. Green screens have often been used all over media. like clothes and human anatomy when affected by the force of gravity.I.69) that every art is shaped not only by its politics. Let us examine the success behind his major blockbusters and argue whether these films released were successful due to the support of advanced technology. from advertisement.G. Computers have gotten very good at making detailed pictures. weather forecasts. The integration of computers allows directors to add imagery static or active within the film. due to the bayer pattern allocating more pixels to the green channel. This statement almost defines the relationship between directors and film technology. Green is currently used as a backdrop more than any other colour because image sensors in digital video cameras are most sensitive to green.G. or super natural powers where we see the antagonist display amazing abilities. but they often move strangely because it‟s hard to apply the laws of physics precisely. but also by its technology. The portions of the video which match the preselected colour are replaced by the alternate background video. even with stunt men. Monaco argues (1991. directors visualise scenes and technology makes it a reality. This process is commonly known as Keying. p. This shift was indeed the progression and influence of media technology in Hollywood films. and Independence Day (1996) (IMDB.G. C. and even film making. usually blue or green because these colours are considered to be the furthest away from skin tone.) With his films grossing an estimated 6 billion dollars. to music videos. mimicking the human eye's increased 3 . James Cameron has released some of the most highly grossing films of all time. as he has become known as one of the most successful directors of our generation. The principal of green/blue screens is when the subject is filmed or photographed against a background consisting of a single colour or a relatively narrow range of colours. Technology in Hollywood mainstream cinema throughout the 1990’s It is believed that the 1990‟s marked the shift in film making. Computer graphics are readily recognizable because they do things that would otherwise be impossible to film. especially things that aren't stiff.I and green screens enabling directors to indulge into their fantasies thus allowing them to offer more to their audiences. The decade was dominated by special effects technology such as C. philosophy. But because of the way they move.

David stated that he was fascinated by aliens and alien invasions and wondered what it would be like to wake up one morning and face a 15 mile wide alien mother ship. Additionally. Therefore. In the year 1991 Director and producer James Cameron wrote and directed one of the year‟s most ground breaking sci-fi/action called Terminator 2 – Judgement day. a "mimetic poly-alloy" (liquid metal) structure. The film's visual effects included many breakthroughs in the use of computers. Although green screens and CGI were used before the 1990‟s I consider this decade to be the stepping stone in the relationship between computers and film making for Hollywood blockbusters. since the shapeshifting character can morph into almost anything it touches.I James Cameron‟s Terminator 2 was praised for its special effects. including four Academy Awards for makeup. Having been able to make full use of C. Terminator 2 was a significant box office and critical success. (IMDB. This idea progressed to a script and the release of Independence Day. Terminator 2 made extensive use of computer-generated imagery to demonstrate the main two Terminators. The film was distributed by 20th Century Fox and had a budget of 75 million dollars. shapeshifting T1000 (Robert Patrick). the green camera channel contains the least "noise" and can produce the cleanest key/matte/mask. This method of film and computer integration would engulf the tilted model and create the rolling "wall of 4 .d. Models of the Whitehouse and buildings were created and an explosion would be ignited below the model. sent back in time to kill John to stop him from becoming leader of the human resistance. With the budget of around 95 million dollars the movie grossed five times its budget worldwide grossing just fewer than 520 million dollars. In order for director Roland Emmerich to release the alien invasion film he needed the 3. more advanced Terminator as a posed to the one they were facing in the fist instalment. and visual effects. The story follows Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and her son John(Edward Furlong) as they are pursued by a new. and is considered hugely influential in the genres of action and science fiction. An older. marking the first use of natural human motion for a computer-generated character and the first partially computer-generated main character. the liquid metal. Bright green has also become favoured as a blue background may match a subject's eye colour or common items of clothing. CGI was required particularly for the T-1000. n. It had an impact on popular culture. less advanced Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is also sent back in time to protect John. It received many film awards. 000 plus special effects for the shots required for the film.sensitivity to green light. Terminator 2 was distributed by TriStar pictures an American film production/distribution studio subsidiary of Columbia Pictures.G.) In 1996 we saw the release of yet another sci-fi/action adventure blockbuster – Independence Day. less light is needed to illuminate green. such as jeans. The movie held the world record for the highest opening-weekend gross of an R-rated film with over 52 million. sound editing. The use of such technology was the most ambitious since the 1982 science fiction film Tron. and flames would rise towards the camera. again because of the higher sensitivity to green in image sensors. Directed and written by Roland Emmerich who came across the plot when asked by a news reporter why he made a movie like Stargate. and was essential to the critical success of the film. or a dark-navy suit. sound mixing.

like Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. knowing. computer programmer Neo is drawn into a rebellion against the machines with other people who have also been freed from the "dream world" and live in reality. Entertainment Weekly would rate the movie as one of the best disaster movies of all-time. which allows the viewer to explore a moment progressing in slow-motion as the camera appears to orbit around the scene at normal speed.d. and sound. (Schwarzbaum. n. The Matrix was placed 66th in the American Film Institute's "100 Years. The narrative focuses on the life of a computer hacker who goes by the alias Neo (Keanu Reeves) who is on the search for “the Matrix” which references on his computer. The Matrix received Oscars for film editing.destruction" look seen in the film. Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gave it a B+ for living up to its massive hype. The script is witty. With a budget of $75 million the film grossed over $815 million (IMDB. equipped with 25 tentacles. and Jeff Goldblum the movie was a success and received positive feedback by critics. The reception the film obtained was very positive . The film depicts a future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality created by sentient machines to appease and suppress the human population.In 2001. ranking only behind Jurassic Park. 100 Thrills" list. In a 2010 poll. based on a poll conducted by ABC and People. while their bodies‟ heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Warner Bros received positive feedback from audiences who were most pleased by The Matrix’s visuals and fighting scenes. sound effects editing." Eight years later. The film is also ranked number 39 on (Empire Online. In 2007. The film is known for popularizing the use of a visual effect known as "bullet time". the readers of Entertainment Weekly rated it the second greatest summer movie of the previous 20 years. Pictures the film had a budget of $63 million and starred Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. When learning this. Distributed by Warner Bros. visual effects. These creatures wear "bio-mechanical" suits that are based on another design Tatopoulos pitched to Emmerich. The actual aliens of the film are minuscule and based on a design Tatopoulos drew when tasked by Emmerich to create an alien that was "both familiar and completely original". and cool. These suits were 8 feet tall.. The shot of the White House's destruction has been declared a milestone in visual effects and one of the most memorable scenes of the 1990s. The Matrix was voted as the fourth best sci-fi film in the 2011 list Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time. With its stunning special effects and a cast of renowned actors such as Will Smith.d.) worldwide holding a position as the 30th highest grossing movie of all time. The filmmakers of the movie were competing against other films with established franchises. Entertainment Weekly called The Matrix the best science-fiction piece of media for the past 25 years. 1996) Reaching the penultimate year of the 90‟s we saw the release of The Matrix (1999).) "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time”. The aliens in the film were designed by production designer Patrick Tatopoulos.. n.time” scene. yet they managed to sweep all four of their 5 . The Matrix is considered as a breakthrough in film visuals when they stunned their audience with the famous “bullet. adding "charm is the foremost of this epic's contemporary characteristics. and purposely designed to show it could not sustain a person inside so it would not appear to be a man in a suit.

The book TitanicAnatomy Of A Blockbuster describes that with the support of computer generated images which seemed realistic and graphical. The film was released by 20TH Century Fox and was written and directed by Cameron. this drove home the Titanic as a dream.nominations. Titanic has been acknowledged for the famous sinking scenes which brought forward the excellent depiction of the historic event. Upon falling in love the two characters Jack Dawson (Leonardo Di Caprio) and Rose Dewitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) are forever being forced to break up by the fiancé and husband to be Calderon „Cal‟ Hockey (Billy Zane). The film ultimately results in the ship crashing into to an undiscovered Iceberg which causes the ship to sink. Film makers and programmers were able to create more powerful computer generated tools to enable a successful fusion of film and computer imagery. 1999) 6 . who feared for the worse and sold off some rights to Paramount in exchange for cash due to the films escalating production costs. and a kind of unreal. In 1999. Avatar the extremely popular films of James Cameron In 1997 James Cameron took on the role of recreating the devastating events of the Titanic and how it sank due to a collision with an Iceberg. a fatal vision for those who sailed in her. The film was known to be the most expensive and technologically advanced movie ever made. Before the release of the film. With the combination of super star actors and advanced film technology this decade is known to release some of the most influential blockbusters of all time. Titanic tells the story of two people falling in love who come from different social classes and aboard the ship during its ill fated maiden voyage. in addition to nominations in the cinematography. awesome trip for those watching her now. The Matrix also received BAFTA awards for Best Sound and Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects. Titanic. Rose lives to tell her story as she rests on a floating door but Jack dies which formulates a very emotional ending. with several seeing Cameron‟s treatment of the ship as emblematic of his admiration for movie making apparatus itself and for futuristic technology. When finally released into theatres and cinemas in thirteen short weeks became the highest grossing film in North America which shortly led to the film being the first motion picture to hit $1 billion worldwide. Critics had unanimous praise for the production values of Titanic. production design and editing categories. thus resulting in incredible blockbusters for Hollywood mainstream cinema. This view was also shared with its production company Twentieth Century Fox. it won Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film and Best Direction. (Gaylyn. The genre of action/ sci-fi took a powerful boost with the development of media technology. The films unprecedented success resulted to a grossing of just over $2 billion worldwide making it the second highest grossing film of all time. It is logical that the box office and cultural impact of Titanic leads us to ask why this film which is one among the many fictionalised accounts of the sinking of the Titanic should have such appeal with the public. many pundits and critics were understandably sceptical of the films potential for success.

XpanD 3D. and is used to interact with the natives of Pandora.Judgment Day. for a planned release in 1999. the sinking of the Titanic gave the film considerable significance. and for "4-D" experiences in select South Korean theaters. Cameron stated that when using this system "It's like a big.Downplaying the demand for cinematic realism enabled critics to celebrate Cameron‟s delirious visual style. The film‟s rendering of this event in its final ninety minutes was almost unanimously judged as Cameron‟s true triumph. a lush habitable moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system. but according to Cameron. Directed and written by James Cameron. The virtual camera system is showing the actor‟s virtual counterparts in their digital surroundings in real time. During filming. Cameron's film was the second Titanic film to show the ship breaking in half after the 1996 television movie Titanic. Titanic received many praises including 11 academy awards which included best motion picture. Work on the film 7 . the film was released with 2D and 3D versions. Jack Matthews of Newsday stated that none of the previously made films or documentaries on the subject had tackled Cameron‟s focus. The film is set in the mid22nd century. In order to save money. he quoted that “The only thing that has eluded our imagination is the sense of actually going down with the ship”. The film was released for traditional viewing. The stereoscopic filmmaking was touted as a breakthrough in cinematic technology. 3-D viewing (using the RealD 3D. As a subject matter. In 2009 audiences were excited and amazed with the release of Avatar. the first class lounge located on the ship was a miniature set incorporated into a green screen backdrop. the film is composed of 60% computer-generated elements and 40% live action. James Cameron took an 11 year gap from film making which would see him come back with something even more spectacular. when Cameron wrote an 80 page treatment for the film. The scenes were an account of the moment's most likely outcome. and thus enlisted Digital Domain to continue the developments in digital technology which the director had established while working on The Abyss and Terminator 2. The film's title refers to a genetically engineered Na'vi body with the mind of a remotely located human. Released in 2009 James Cameron could rely on the extensive use of cutting edge motion capture filming techniques. Cameron's retelling of the disaster showed the ship breaking into two pieces before sinking entirely. Cameron made use of his virtual camera system which was a new way of directing motion-capture filmmaking. the necessary technology was not yet available to achieve his vision of the film. and best visual effects. According to Cameron. Cameron wanted to push the boundary of special effects with his film. when humans are mining a precious mineral called unobtanium on Pandora. Dolby 3D. Development of Avatar began in 1994. allowing the director to adjust and direct scenes just as if shooting live action. best director. Filming was supposed to take place after the completion of Titanic. The film had a budget of $237 million and with a $150 million budget for marketing. and IMAX 3D formats). as well as traditional miniatures. Unlike previous Titanic films. powerful game engine”. The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na'vi (a humanoid species indigenous to Pandora). As the film was released in 3D audiences were fascinated with the stunning visuals portrayed by big cinema screens.

including Best Picture and Best Director. with the aid of advanced filming technology. John Knoll from ILM was called in for the job. Avatar won the 2009 Academy Awards for Art Direction. I was an early adopter. because my natural curiosity and technical bent had found a new toolset… Things I wanted to see in movies were now possible”. It is also used to mean a person or a thing exhibited to the public either as an object of curiosity or condemnation or an object of miracle or admiration. taking responsibility for the shots of all the vehicles taking off. the Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor was tasked with finishing the most crucial stages of the Avatar CGI work. While working on the script Cameron was also working on a new motion-capture animation technology which he had developed in 2006. narrative A spectacle is a specially arranged display of a somewhat public nature usually on a large scale that is an impressive show for those viewing it. but Terminator 2 VFX supervisor Dennis Muren convinced me it could be done. Technology is forever expanding. Cameron made his actors wear skull caps which were fitted with miniature cameras positions in front of the actor‟s face. and Magic) a special effects company. and advancing and we can only wait impatiently for his next motion picture. The two films mentioned above are to name but a few of his list of inspiring motion pictures. With the aid of advance technical innovations James Cameron‟s Avatar was at its completion. as well as the sequence's cockpit interior shots. At one point there was too much data and technical requirements needed for specific shots and so Cameron called on the help of ILM (Industrial Light.7 billion worldwide making it the highest grossing film ever released. was CG animation. recreating. Spectacle vs. Cameron claimed that this type of technology allowed him to transfer 100% of the actor‟s physical performances to their digital equivalent. I really didn‟t know if it was going to work. The word spectacle is derived from the Latin root spectare which is “to 8 . Internationally the film opened on a total of 14 604 screens in 106 different countries of which 3. To achieve the blend of animation and real life. he has been able to release some of the most notable sci-fi/ action adventures of our current generation. The information on the actor‟s facial expressions was then collected and transferred to computers. ILM also did the effects work on the film's final battle scene. That was a defining moment for me as a moviemaker. Cinematography. obviously. and Visual Effects. The film was set for a release on December 10th 2009 (Thompson. The films total budget came up to $237 million and grossed a staggering $2. James Cameron is known for his compelling script writing and excellent film directing. 671 was shown in 3-D.had been delayed for over a decade due to lack of technical requirements Cameron needed in order to grasp his narrative. Phillip Williams (2010) of website Movie Maker – The Art and Business of Making Movies asked James Cameron “What have been the most pivotal advances in technology that made what you do possible and have in a sense blended with who you are as an artist?” James Cameron in response to the question stated that “The first. 2007) and was released theatrically from December 16th to 18th. and was nominated for a total of nine.

can be used to interpret narrative films and spectacle films. On a year-end poll administered by Moviefone. In Geoff Kings book (2000) Spectacular Narratives: Hollywood in the Age of the Blockbuster. the film was voted the worst film of 2009 and Fox's performance the worst by an actress that year. She goes on to saying that it's easy to walk away feeling like you've spent 2 1/2 hours in the mad. with a budget of $200 million and grossing over 9 . i. for either spectacle or narration. compared with words. Debates on spectacle over narrative in cinema has been going on for some time. and the reception they have received. today‟s special effects epics send objects flying towards the viewer with a promise of immediate sensual stimulation/gratification”. Gilles Deleuze proclaims that to combine the visual pleasure with spiritual touching is the only way for the development of films. it tells both a nice story and satisfies the audience's sensitive appetite.Revenge of the Fallen which received poor reviews from critics worldwide. Theoretically and practically. Hollywood movies and Chinese directors of “the fifth generation” are evidences of this shift. wild hydraulic embrace of a car compactor -exhilarating or excruciating. directors and film makers are offered more from software and I. In June 2009. ear-splitting and unrelenting. Movie is now undergoing a dramatic shift from narrative to spectacle in the era of visual culture. watch” and specere “to look at”. Let us consider comparative analysis between narrative and spectacle in movies. metal groans. the shift in film making with the help of technical innovations. films can be classified into two categories. an Associated Press article by David Germain called the film as the worst-reviewed $400 million hit ever. He takes on this breed of filming. what effects do they have? In Laura Mulvey‟s book titled Visual pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1975) she examines Hollywood narrative films. Are they two difficult choices? Could there be a film that completes its narration in miraculous sights. advocated by Gilles Deleuze. An example of this in Hollywood mainstream cinema would be the release of Transformers. As we reach a more advanced age in terms of technology. depending on your point of view. The dualistic concept theory. David Edelstein of NYMAG criticised the film for being a computer-generated hash.Images can be the means of narration.view. a French philosopher. Betsy Sharkey (2009) a film critic for the Los Angles Time described the films as inyour-face. Comcast ranked the film as the 4th worst sequel of all time.T companies to implement computer technology in films. Mulvey argues that the narratives in Hollywood films are characterised by spectatorial passivity and spectator‟s voyeuristic isolation making these films for her explicitly ideological. can they co-exist. Empire named the film the 25th worst movie ever made. and it‟s not an either or decision. The criticism behind films being treated more of a spectacle and less of a narrative is aimed at the films which use special effects to cover up a poor narrative. and thuds. Having poor reviews the film did exceptionally well at the box office. He then begins to compare blockbusters of our current generation to 3-D films stating that “Much like 3-D films. He argues that blockbusters follow an “impact-aesthetic. images and sights have their unique advantages. spectacle or narrative.e. weightless even with the nonstop booms. or put it simply. based to a large extent on pace and motion towards the camera”.

locations and characters by virtue of its extreme malleability. Geoff King (2000) questions “What though of narrative in the spectacular blockbuster?” in his book Spectacle. The discrepancy between them is the space in which visual effects can be understood by the spectator. With the popularity of the film Warner Bros decided to do a sequel which then turned into a trilogy. but which enables it to create impossible objects. Visual spectacle asks spectators to marvel at the comparison of it with the „real‟. But budgets are wasted if expensive special effects go unnoticed.a perfectly valid qualitative 10 . This makes us wonder if having a poor narrative has any effect to the film‟s success once the special effect takes course. is to confuse this . allowing the spectator to question its construction as well as its evolution from previous imaging techniques. indestructibility and choreographed violence) – what Jeffrey Sconce calls a “hipster playground of high-action and high-fashion” while the real world is a harsh and hungry wasteland. 2003) He goes on to describe the sceptical view of a Hollywood blockbuster. but there are films that have the ability to balance both firmly. extra-textual reference points help to preserve its integrity. CGI thus creates visual images which are “referentially fictional but perceptually realistic” . Almost covering up the poor acting and lacking narrative the film makes up with special effects and in-your-face action. a basic mistake that is often made. fetish-fashion. and special effects. n. And The Spectacular Hollywood Blockbuster. the first (the Matrix) seductively deceptive and the other (the „real‟ world) inhospitably solid.d. Consistency is maintained across the Matrix trilogy through the integration of narrative and spectacle. It makes logical sense that the plot fluctuates between two separate environments.) The Matrix grossed over $460 million worldwide. however. This example of Hollywood cinema would back the argument of spectacle overcoming narratives in mainstream blockbusters. Neo (Keanu Reeves) finds that he has been plugged into the reconfigured post-apocalyptic planet. The film received several awards including 4 academy awards for editing. sound mixing. The plot of the typical Hollywood spectacular blockbuster may not be terribly challenging or complex. It is assumed that complete engagement is the ultimate goal. (King. and that what he thought of as his body was a digital avatar of his excorporeated mind. In 1999 Warner Bros released what has been widely regarded as one of the greatest science fiction films of all time The Matrix. resulting in an environment grounded in what Stephen Prince terms perceptual realism: that distinctive facet of CGI which aligns it with photorealism by virtue of its detailed textural resemblance to its referent. digital special effects perform two functions. and though it might be a gap narrowed by photorealism. The photorealistic aesthetic of digital effects have led to a popular belief that digital imaging technologies are about to usher in a new age of absolute simulation where the filmed and generated are indistinguishable. The virtual world of the Matrix asserts its authenticity by conforming to physical laws. to create convincing deceptive worlds and to make it known.$830 million worldwide. sound editing. The view from inside the Matrix provides the spectator with all of the films‟ comforting filmic pleasures (the spatio-temporal manipulations of bullet-time. Narrative. which starred Keanu Reeves and Lawrence Fishburne. however. Having a budget of only $63 million dollars (IMDB.

a mere advertisement forced arbitrarily onto the screen. with its high budget. (2002) he declares that some people suggest spectacle has become the dominant tendency of contemporary blockbuster production. do we find a complete abandonment of narrative. 3D movies do not allow viewers to experience more intense emotional reactions. more or less linear cause/effect stories organized around central characters. of both varieties. Narrative is usually identified as the victim.with the idea that narrative is in some way absent or displaced by spectacle. He breaks down the two sides to Hollywood mainstream blockbusters by claiming narrative to be understood primarily in terms of the telling of coherent and carefully developed characterbased story throughout the course of the film. He describes the film having a strong carefully orchestrated narrative dimension. by stating that our focus on the narrative is halted while we sit back to contemplate with amazement/pleasure/horror the sheer sensory richness of the audio/visual experience. New research has for the first time supposedly offered proof that 3D offers no measurable improvement in enjoyment for the vast majority of film audiences. Narrative and spectacle are intertwined in complex ways and so by dividing them as mere polar opposites is immoral in films. Conclusion Hollywood's 3D revolution has changed the shape of the modern blockbuster and helped boost box office income for studios in an era of financial uncertainty. They tell carefully organized. He explains the opening moments of the film as both largescale spectacle and narrative exposition. however.judgment. "All other things being equal. He claims that narrative is interrupted by the intrusive presence of the commodity-form insufficiently integrated into the fictional world. but one that could be applied to many other Hollywood films . The film has all the characteristics of a spectacular blockbuster. In Geoff Kings other book New Hollywood Cinema: An Introduction. of California State University. According to a study of 400 filmgoers by L Mark Carrier. In no case however. are no more immersive. He further describes the experience we go through when watching blockbusters. but not everyone thinks they're getting their money's worth and a minority complain of dizziness and headaches. Thus the balance between spectacle and narrative varies amongst contemporary Hollywood blockbusters. Spectacle is important. continue to invest strongly in narrative dynamics. The two sides to Hollywood mainstream cinema are needed in different ways and needed in different genres. that spectacular Hollywood blockbusters. He goes on to argue that the fact remains." said 11 . I would say you're increasing your chances of having some discomfort. and do not offer any advantage over their 2D counterparts in terms of enhancing the ability to recall a film's details. suggest that watching films in stereoscope increased threefold the risk of eyestrain. and a box office hit. headache or trouble with vision. Geoff King makes reference to one of the recent Hollywood spectacular blockbuster Terminator 2 – Judgement Day. and at more than one level. Carrier's study did. sometimes dominant. He describes the spectacle to be seen as a source of distraction or interruption. however. large-scale.

prices will come down – which I think will be fair to the consumer. it's gotta do something. Steven Spielberg said at Comic-Con in San Diego last month that he hoped to see ticket prices for 3D and 2D films converge in the future." The research is just the latest suggestion that the tide is turning against 3D. That's an unfortunate implication." he said. Clash of the Titans and How to Train Your Dragon – in either 2D or 3D. 2011) Participants in the research were asked to watch one of three films – Alice in Wonderland. "Many of us were like. Carrier says there was very little difference between the response of those who watched in 2D and those who viewed in 3D. and realize that slapping a 3D badge on a movie and expecting people to pay a premium to see is a losing proposition." he added. 2011) The research adds to the growing body of studies which suggest that going to 3D films might not be all they are cracked up to be. which surprised researchers. Viewers are forced to pay up to 30 per cent extra just for the privilege of snazzy effects in cinemas where it is often impossible to see the film in „normal vision‟. They were then asked to detail their responses using a list of 60 words ranging from the mild. Because once they stop noticing it. 3-D movies are so cool.3 million at the box office. "I am certainly hoping that 3D gets to a point where people do not notice it. such as "enjoyment". The film made $110. Their emotional reactions were the same. "There aren't going to be any benefits in terms of understanding the movie better or making the movie more meaningful. which is great. The Adventures of Tintin. such as "anger" and "rage". it just becomes another tool and helps tell a story. "It didn't seem to enhance your memory at all. Daniel Bates of daily Mail Online24 released an article conducting a study which had found that when a film was shown in three dimensions viewers did not have a greater sense of „being there‟ than normal pictures." Carrier said. and film-makers are beginning to turn against studios that authorise cheap post-production conversions in the hope of achieving a short-term financial return. 3D films practically printed money in 2009 and early 2010 things started to fall apart with the release of Toy Story 3.Carrier at the America Psychological Association's annual meeting on Sunday. British cinema goers have said 3D makes little difference to the quality of a movie. Hopefully someday there will be so many 3D movies. according to a 12 . as far as we can tell. (Baldwin." Hopefully Hollywood will listen. (Bates. 2011) Speaking at a presentation of his own 3D movie. except that the per-theatre revenue of the 3D version of the film was 5 percent less than the 2D version. plus there was an unfortunate side-effect – that they were more likely to get headaches." According to Roberto Baldwin of Gizmodo. "Then maybe they can make ticket prices comparable to a 2D movie and not charge such exorbitant prices just to gain entry into a 3D one. (Rettner. to the more intense. Many recent films shot in the format – a notable exception is Transformers: Dark of the Moon – have failed to offer a 3D box-office boost in the US. This kicked off a downward trend that seems to be getting worse. (Rettner. 2011) Avatar Director and 3D evangelist. James Cameron hit it right on the nose when he said that movie goers "don't want to pay extra for something that's not a great experience.

we are at a stage in technical evolution where anything is possible in the films industry. they would rather see a film in the traditional two dimensional formats. With the ability to almost portray any fantasy. With the aid of new innovative media tools. dramas don‟t require them at all. Some genres require technology such as sci-fi.000 new installations are currently undergoing across all regions. Electronic companies are also joining in on the hype. while there were fewer 3D films that reached a gross of $1 million+ in 2010. and so the possibilities are almost infinite. from flying men. The nature of these films is mainly to show people events which they could only dream about and ideas which manifest only in ones fantasy. Many of this year's blockbusters such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon was made using the technology. the significance is shown clearly through ground breaking box office hits and innovative fantasy genres.1 Total Recall 2012 . and almost every major retailer has released a 3D TV set. we are able to see films which offer more visually stunning pictures while keeping its originality through clever narratives. and some like romantic-comedies. a significantly higher percentage of them reached the top 20 of that year. 2011) Technology has enabled directors and film makers to give their audiences a more prolific movie experience. film makers can interpret any idea into a film. He states that According to numbers available from False Creek Productions. (Taylor.new survey. Through the examples we have seen. Without advanced visual technology we may have never witnessed epic movies such as Titanic and Avatar. to alien abduction. He went on to claim that more cinemas are investing in 3Denabled theatres. 41% of people called it a gimmick with just 19% agreeing that 3D improves a film. Examples here back the importance of technology as being Hollywood‟s key factor in releasing blockbusters with high grossing potentials. There are also films that don‟t require special effects technology. Price does not appear to be an issue for more than a third of cinema goers who said that even if the more expensive 3D films tickets were the same price as their 2D counterparts. According to the figure some 30. thrillers. A good example is Titanic as mentioned above. action. According to an article by Roy Taylor. and this comes down to the genre. With the use of tools such as CGI and green screens. or the transformation from comic book to motion pictures such as Spiderman. and Superman etc. 3D movies aren’t just a Fad. Just under half of those polled said it made no difference at all. But responding to a YouGov poll. Hulk. The film was hugely successful and presented its audiences with a strong narrative and visually stunning depiction of the sinking RMS Titanic. Figure 2: Total Recall 1990 13 Figure 1. and adventures.

Thus opening new realms of possibilities in creativity and offering directors the chance to delve deep into their fantasies bringing more and more ground breaking motion pictures to mainstream Hollywood. 14 .Another implication is that technology has created a more realistic universe within their films as compared to the technology being used in films of the 1990‟s.

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