Monday, October 28, 2013

What's Live Action?

Good question. And how do we answer it?

Cinematography, art direction and visual effects are so blended in new movies that it might be time for a new Oscar category to be introduced, admitted Hawk Koch, past president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and current co-president of Producers Guild of America.

His suggestion? Something along the lines of "visual imaging." ...

How much does the success of VFX-driven films stem from visual effects, and how much does it depend on cinematography? And what impact might the answer to that question have on Oscar frontrunner Gravity?

"The action of Sandra [Bullock's] body is key frame animation [meaning that it was animated by hand], and that qualifies Gravity as an animated film," pointed out moderator Bill Kroyer, director of digital arts at Chapman University. ...

Director Alfonso Cuaron has said that roughly 80 percent of Gravity was hand animated in the computer. In fact, when the actors are seen in space, only their faces come from live action photography. ...

The differences between animated features and the live action variety continue to shrink. When environments are created by artists, chunks of characters are created by artists, it's hard to call the movie "live action."

I thought the same thing about Avatar. James aCameron got a wee bit defensive about it, but lots of what he directed was an animated feature.


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