I had a conversation the other day about how visually (over) dramatizing performance in ads for effect is harder today because we just assume everything amazing is CG. That along with once again looking at the beautiful Bravia spot we were talking about below, made me realize that I’ve been missing something in life recently… A sense of wonder at things I see on film.
Save for some documentaries, I can’t remember the last time I was really taken back by something I saw on film. And I’m starting to think it’s not just me getting (more) cynical or because I work in advertising.
Even commercial puffery used to get more attention, more 'wow' – stunts, cool scenes and demos in both film and ads used to have a life and a fame of their own… Ski off a cliff, fire a car out a 10th story window and people used to be like “wow, how did they do that?!” and there would be mini documentaries or press stories about it. And I think it was not because of the visual impact alone, but because it was real. Someone really pulled that shit off!
Today? No chance! Yes there are the crummy cable TV docs about the ‘amazing’ special effects of each new blockbuster that comes out. But no one really cares or gets excited. – The reference to the Bravia spot is that I spoke to some people that just assumed it was all CG and were totally unimpressed by the spot overall and others who realized what was really going on with it and were a million times more impressed.
So anyway I was trying to pinpoint when I think we all lost our sense of wonder at things filmic – I remember earlier CG still packing a punch.... the first Jurassic Park and perhaps even The Matrix or Titanic still being (visually) big piles of the poo that everyone wanted to step up and take a big whiff of... but since then I’m drawing a blank… there was a lot of talk about the effects on StarWars episode I as it was coming out, but it was kind of halfhearted and more negative than anything.
So is it just me or has CG excellence and pervasiveness made life much duller, rather than more exciting?