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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old December 21st, 2004, 04:57 PM   #31
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Yi Fong Yu, some of the best writing was in the very early era of television when they hadn't yet figured out there was a hierarchy of quality (theatre -> film -> TV) and many writers went back and forth between all of the media without stigma.

The first Twilight Zone and Outer Limits shows had great little stories despite having extremely low budgets.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 05:14 PM   #32
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SPOILER for "Return of the King" DVD set -



I loved the documentaries and behind the scenes footage on the new "Return of the King" set. Good stuff.

They did have about a hundred or so horses for some of the stuff, which they wove into the cgi footage.

I think the biggest "flaw" in cgi, is when the principles of physics are violated. The mention of Gary Sinese's legs in Gump is one, the Two Towers where Legolas swings up onto the galloping horse took me right out of the film. I've done that in real life, and the way it looked was so bogus.

As a side note, there's a bit in the documentaries, where Peter Jackson is trying to give direction to Christopher Lee on how to scream when he is stabbed in the back. Christopher Lee interrupts him, and points out that he KNOWS what a man sounds like who's been stabbed in the back? Turns out he was early SAS during the war.

I think that goes to the point where CGI, or stunts on "wires" take me out of the movie... when it doesn't feel real, it doesn't work for me.

WATERLOO is one of my favorite films for battle sequences, the charge of the Scotts Greys is magnificent! As I recall, they used the Czec army as "extras", and had them moving by radio commands of course. But when you see the horses moving around and between the squares, it's just amazing.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 05:50 PM   #33
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The only fault in "Waterloo", Richard, is that they have the lead actors riding on rather static fake horses in the foreground. Looks quite bad. If they did it these days they would insist the actors learn to ride or they would have better suspension on the props.

You reminded me also that one of the best shots was an aerial shot which violated one of the things I said a couple posts back, that the shot should be something taken from nature at that time. But that shot of the lancers streaming around the squares is indeed awesome.

If you like cavalry charges, the "Charge of the Light Brigade" (the version with Trevor Howard) end sequence is quite good and realistic. However, it is pretty short.

With the way they are filming horse stunts now such as in "The Lord of the Rings" movies and in many asian movies "House of Flying Daggers" and the Korean movie "Musa", they should be able to make a fine Napoleonic movie now.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 05:59 PM   #34
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Bout time someone does another take on it. What with Alexander, and Troy... big military epics... yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if someone took another stab at it before long.

Regarding Braveheart, I seem to recall they digitally doubled the number of troops, and I liked their "ram air" horses hitting the Pikes, nice touch.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 06:06 PM   #35
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The last one was "The Patriot" and it sucked. A costumer's dream but a historian's nightmare.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 06:10 PM   #36
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Speaking of Braveheart, do a frame by frame advance on the scene where he bashes the guy's head in while he's sleeping. The "head" is clearly a coconut or something, but you only see it for a couple of frames. Definitely no CGI on that shot!
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Old December 21st, 2004, 06:40 PM   #37
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Can anybody speak to the effects used in "The Last Samurai"? I liked their battle scenes a lot, no to mention the fantastic "post card from Japan" cinematography.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 07:11 PM   #38
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I thought the individual fight choreography was good, the battle choreography was crap and the digital backgrounds had a nice style to them. At the time I told a friend that now they had perfected 'showing humans walking into dollhouses'. Not realistic but not entirely bad either. It seemed to almost be like the old school walking into matte paintings.
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Old December 21st, 2004, 09:19 PM   #39
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when someone got stabbed it was CG. i think they utilized 3D Studio Max (correct me if i'm wrong) to insert the swords into tom's hands.

re: Napoleon, you may or may not be surprised to hear that stanley kubrick has a treatment of a Napolean movie =). i have the 9/29/1969 copy of it and have read it. it would have been truly "epic" =). 2bad it won't be made by kubrick =(.
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Old December 22nd, 2004, 10:18 AM   #40
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The Last Samurai did those battle effects better than Zatoichi the same year but Zatoichi was a far better movie even though the effects were pretty noticeable.

I read a long article about that Napoleon project of Kubrick's I believe in the LA Times or NY Times. Really interesting insight into the man. He spent such a long time in research he probably was one of the lay experts on Napoleon when he finally shelved that project.
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Old December 22nd, 2004, 10:59 AM   #41
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i think that speaks of kubrick as a filmmaker and a person through and through. that's why his 2001's space scenes didn't include sound. is it STILL the only movie like that? i can't recall another movie where space is silent and ships don't scream across the screen.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 12:56 AM   #42
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As a kid i was amazed by the effects in Back to the Future 2.
Just wondering if anyone knows any articles i could read about the motion controlled cameras and other effects they used at the time.

I have the 3 disc box set which skims over the effects work, but i would love to see more info about the film.

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Old December 29th, 2004, 07:17 AM   #43
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Just saw "The Aviator." Great movie, but there's definitely loads of CGI. Oh well.
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 12:27 PM   #44
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<<<-- Originally posted by Yi Fong Yu : i think that speaks of kubrick as a filmmaker and a person through and through. that's why his 2001's space scenes didn't include sound. is it STILL the only movie like that? i can't recall another movie where space is silent and ships don't scream across the screen. -->>>

Silent Running. The recent Firefly television show.

Really, though, it depends on the effect you are going for. 2001 and Silent Running both have strong suspense/thriller elements so the silence of space works for them. But could you imagine watching the battles in Star Wars with just the music, but no sound? It would be boring.
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 04:28 PM   #45
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The trouble with being a chef is you can't enjoy a meal without analyzing it to death.
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