Jun 06, 2016

Can we become immune to movies?

I was browsing youtube and found a random episode of “Ghost Adventures” – a paranormal investigation show – and, for no particular reason, decided to take a look. The visual and audio effects were so over the top and so ridiculous that it got me thinking – will we end up one day being immune to movies?

Not necessarily movies in general, but rather the effects and the special addons, so to speak. Could we end up emotionally insensitive? First there was Black and White. Then there was sound. Then there was color.. and so on and so forth to 3D and now 4D (they splash water in your face and make the chairs move).

One can only ask, is all this done because the newer generations of people are so oversaturated by the constant stimuli-bombardment, that they cannot enjoy a nice story anymore without being “drowned” in it?

Want less, want more

I’ve met people who don’t care much about movies. They see them as a random way of entertaining themselves from time to time. I know people who consider watching a VHS tape equally entertaining to watching an IMAX movie. Yeah, really… and there’s nothing wrong with that, but there are two sides to each coin.

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The “other side” is represented by people who complain that the 3D is not very 3D, that the effects are soooo 2014 and that the story ended with the good-guys winning. I remember how my childhood friends used to look for movies to see and purposefully choose the ones with more blood, more violence and more foul language – probably as an attempt to stimulate a sub-functioning neural system.

I never got that, never understood how those elements could replace or be in any way related to the idea of telling a good story. One night I stumbled upon the Marx Brothers – I never had the pleasure or opportunity to watch any of their movies – and I was surprised by the fact that they made me laugh.

There they were, in black and white, with jokes that didn’t contain vulgarity or obscene ideas, all while tackling issues and situations that are still valid to this day. You’ve got the stereotypical power-plays done in a comedic way that needs no CGI or special 3D glasses with some weird microchip inside.

That… is why I love movies and I love making movies.

The future

Now hear me out, I’m the first to say that 3D technology is awesome. The advances in CGI effects and visual representations of stories are fascinating!

Even so, one cannot help but cringe when, instead of bringing new stories and ideas to the table, Hollywood resorts to digging up fairy tales, sticking a “gore” or “mature” element to them and relaunching them as if it’s the best thing ever. Will we see “Little Red Riding Hood Strikes Back” in 2050? Come on, guys…

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I’ve seen movies without an ounce of special effects, basically taking the shape of a filmed stage-play, which had more of an impact with me than anything. Yet, for some reason I can only speculate on, the newer movies nowadays focus on “jiggling the keys” in front of your face just so you wouldn’t get bored. Those “keys” keep getting bigger and bigger until one day they might become just another background element to us.

All the CGI and all the work of hundreds of people will become background noise as the stories will get worse and worse… until “watching a movie” won’t be enough. We’ll have to “live a movie” in order to feel entertained.

And by the looks of the newest virtual reality 360 films that keep appearing for the Oculus Rift, this future might not be too distant from us.



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