The Most Egregious Example of “We Didn’t Use CGI” Mythology (So Far) ►

My pal — Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Todd Vaziri — posted on his blog about something that really bothers him, and also bothers me.

Folks who follow me on Twitter (currently known as X) are probably aware of my years-old, depressing, frequently updated and repetitive thread pointing out studios and filmmakers downplaying or outright lying about the use of digital visual effects on their projects. “We did it all for real!” is the message given in interviews, production notes and featurettes. The truth is these movies frequently contain hundreds or even thousands of digital visual effects shots, and sometimes the sequences they’re directly referencing are made entirely out of digital effects.

It’s a trend in movie marketing that’s gone on entirely too long. As Todd points out filmmakers frequently boast about the VFX in their films even when the people compiling these marketing features try to hide it.

Todd’s most egregious example is Gran Turismo and he goes into detail about it.

Another big one for me though, was Top Gun: Maverick. Todd graciously invited me to attend the Academy bake-off (where a small group of VFX supervisors for the current years’ films pitch the visual effects branch of the academy on their films to try and earn a spot on The Academy Awards’ voting ballot) and I got to see excellent work on a wide variety of films, one of them was Top Gun: Maverick.

There was a dazzling reel of all the work that went in to making that movie, and an interview process with the VFX supervisors and leads after it was finished. It was fantastic and it pained me that the forces responsible for marketing that movie chose to suppress this and spin a narrative about real planes.

There were absolutely real planes, and they did amazing work, but creating fully realistic VFX to integrate seamlessly with them is also work worthy of praise. Everyone should get the chance to be proud, instead of enduring public shame for their craft because someone thinks it sells more tickets.

2023-12-06 10:00:00

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