Moviegoers Became Spoiled by CGI
CGI Spoiled Moviegoers
A recent article on the internet lamented the lack of creativity in the design and creation of aliens and movie monsters. It seems that the use of CGI has meant that special effects creators rely more on copying the designs of others than working on a completely unique creation that is actually scary and stunning to moviegoers.
While this criticism was spot-on, it didn’t go far enough into the problems with CGI. When it first arrived on the scene with the release of Tron in 1982, moviegoers were less than impressed. Filmmakers were still figuring out how to use the technology, and Tron missed the mark.
Filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg realized that less is more with CGI as they showed so expertly in the Star Wars and Jurassic Park films. Those films were character and plot-driven and used CGI sparingly to enhance the believability of some of the scenes.
Stretching the Boundaries of CGI and Good Taste
By the mid-90s, CGI houses in Hollywood were booming. The success of big-budget films like Transformers and Independence Day seemed to prove that with a couple of stars and a lot of CGI, you could have a hit movie. But at the same time, there was a growing backlash to CGI among intelligent moviegoers. Profit-hungry studios were increasing the CGI budgets in mediocre movies, trying to create a hit. And the public was becoming unimpressed and bored by the over-reliance on technology to deliver entertainment.
Over the past ten years or so, many CGI houses have gone out of business. This has as much to do with shrinking movie budgets as anything else. But the fact that moviegoers seem to be okay with the situation points to the inflated importance that filmmakers attached to technology as a tool to get people into the theaters. Let’s hope that those filmmakers have learned their lesson and focus more on the characters and plot of a film in the future.