The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint – CGI’s unnecessary overuse distracts viewers

By Rodrigo Valverde/reporter

Looking back at classic movies, it is apparent that special effects have come a long way since the introduction of computer-generated imagery, or CGI.

CGI has revolutionized filmmaking in that anything imaginable can be put on the big screen and look real. These days, it is rare to find a movie without it.

However, many movies today are oversaturated with CGI. It often becomes so distracting that the movie can’t be taken seriously.

Granted, CGI can add a lot to a film, especially those that fall under the sci-fi and fantasy genre. But when filmmakers decide they want to use green screen effects in every scene like the recent Green Lantern film, Transformers and many disaster films, it starts to get ridiculous and too cartoony.

The appreciation for practical effects has dwindled over the years, and people are forgetting how impactful and compelling they can be in a movie.

One of the many great things about Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy is that he blended both CGI and practical effects perfectly. He filmed everything on location in New Zealand and only used CGI as an enhancement.

Jackson also added to the realism in his trilogy by using full-body makeup and prosthetics on a lot of his creatures, like the orcs, but decided to make all of the orcs in his Hobbit trilogy motion capture CG creatures. A small change like that didn’t ruin the film series but definitely took away from it.

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and classics such as Jurassic Park and Alien are also films that excel because of their practicality.

When used correctly, CGI can be a useful tool to enhance a viewer’s moviegoing experience, but it seems today it has become a gimmick more than anything.

It’s time filmmakers go back to using CGI more artistically and creatively as opposed to using it as a crutch. It’s hard to take a movie seriously when we know the actors on screen are interacting with people or objects that aren’t there.

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