WITNESS!!! If you were one of the fans who did witness George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road in theaters last year, then you were treated to one of the greatest movie making experiences in your lifetime. George Miller’s masterpiece may have come out roughly a year and a half ago, but people still talk about the amazing care taken with the post-apocalyptic film franchise that was started over three decades ago. And now, a new video has been unearthed that shows even more of that craftsmanship.
New Video Shows Raw Footage From The Film
Fury Road: Crash & Smash is a new behind-the-scenes video that gives us a better look at the amazing stunts and choreography that went into making this film happen. This featurette just goes to show how much time and dedication it took the production crew to bring this film to life. The effort put in to making this film cannot be praised highly enough and this video supports that.
Make no mistake, Mad Max: Fury Road does utilize its fair share of CGI work. However, George Miller wanted to make this film as authentic and realistic as possible. By using mostly practical effects, Miller brought us the visual flair he was striving for. From tumbling cars and trucks, to motorcycles flying in the air, it just goes to show that the majority of the film was shot using practical techniques. These are the many reasons why Mad Max: Fury Road became the blockbuster hit Warner Bros. was hoping it would become. But more than just garnering box office dollars for an individual studio, Fury Road showed Hollywood that you could still make an excellent, successful, four-quadrant movie without having to rely solely on CGI.
Films Should Consider Using More Practical Effects Again
While there are valid points to either side of the practical effects vs. digital effects debate, what I will say is that I found myself enjoying the film more because of its believability, and this carries over to other films. For instance, even though the original Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park did have a few scenes with CGI effects, the majority of the movie used animatronic dinosaurs —including the enormous Tyrannosaurus rex.
This made the movie feel real, especially for the actors who had to believe that this dinosaur was attacking them. Having an actual moving practical effect on set helps the actors be more aware of their surroundings, thus making it a little easier to act accordingly.
But any good actor or actress can compensate for this. The real issue is that no matter how good CGI is, there's always a veneer of the artificial over it — when you're watching it, you know you're watching something that's computer-generated. But practical effects often don't have this issue. It helps the audience feel that what they are seeing is real in a way that movies that rely fully on digital effects don't.
Let's Compare 'Jurassic World' And 'Jurassic Park' To Illustrate This
Though Jurassic World wasn’t a bad film, the movie's big bad, the Indominus rex, was a full-on CGI creature. It lacked the solid vitality of what the T-Rex gave us in the original two Jurassic Park films. It took me out of the movie a bit as the creature didn't feel real enough for me to believe that the actors were getting chased by this monster. The same goes for the digital Velociraptors in the movie.
The original film had plenty of scenes with raptors performed by puppeteers. One of the most famous scenes the kitchen scene where the two kids are being hunted down by raptors. Check it out down below!
Though this scene does use some CGI, it mixes in nicely with the practical effects. Spielberg did a fantastic job blending in the practical with some necessary digital effects, and the care is clear. Though we know now that real raptors looked nothing like this, because of this movie, this is what we all immediately picture when we think of them.
Now take a look at a scene from Jurassic World with Chris Pratt’s character training the raptors:
From that aforementioned veneer of artificiality to the unnaturally jerky movements that comes with CGI, it's easy to tell the raptors are digital from start to finish, nothing animatronic or practical about them. While they look good in their CGI form, they certainly don't look real, not like the raptors in the original kitchen scene.
So Where Am I Going With This?
Though we definitely need our fair share of heavy CGI work (like in superhero films), it seems that Hollywood is slowly shying away from digital and returning to its practical roots. It’s time consuming to make any special effect come to life, and doing it practically is usually more expensive. However, if a director such as George Miller or Steven Spielberg can make great use of CGI and practical effects work cohesively, then it’s a win-win for movie fans.
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Should Hollywood use more practical effects over digital effects? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!