Comic book movie fans will thank technology this year
2016 is set to be a big year for movie fans. I hope it’s now safe to assume, a month since its record-breaking release that everyone (even non-movie fans) has seen Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. If, for some absurd reason you haven’t…*SPOILER ALERT!*… stop reading and go see it now!
When it was announced that Disney had bought the Star Wars rights from Lucasfilms, a lot of the original fans (myself included), were very nervous at the thought of Star Wars returning to the big screen. Mostly due to the fear of the beloved franchise being tarnished. However, it can’t be denied that there was a level of excitement at the same time, especially when JJ Abrahams was announced as Director.
Looking into this further, many film ‘classics’ including Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters and many more are being “rediscovered”. Disney is also planning to re-introduce movies like Jungle Book, Beauty & the Beast, BFG, and many more, but this time in a live-action setting.
What is the motive behind this? Is it money? Is it fan interest? Or is it because technology has advanced well enough for our favourite movies to re-born? Arguably, it’s due to a combination of the three. However, it is worth pointing out that the upcoming Marvel movie Deadpool was made thanks to years of petitioning from enthusiastic fans to introduce the anti-superhero to the big screen, specifically with the actor Ryan Reynolds.
Green screen, green machine
An example of film makers taking advantage of modern cinema technology is green screen. Used since the early 1940s, green screen allows film makers to film against a green screen backdrop, then re-film whilst applying a filter on the lens that removes the green areas of the film.
This effect allows us to enjoy optical illusions when we see movies like the Avengers and Star Wars. Another example, is how when we see our favourite on-screen characters, we forget that when they are filming, it’s highly unlikely they’re wearing the outfit we see them in.
Do you think Andy Serkis or Mark Ruffalo look anything like Cesar from Rise of the Planet of the Apes or The Hulk when filming? Of course not, they’re really wearing motion capture suits. This may be more heavily applicable to comic book movies given the fantastical nature of our favourite comic book hero or villains’ appearance, but actors of all genres wear such suits when filming.
Mo’ money, mo’ pixels
Another technology worth mentioning is High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging – a combination of contrast ration and colour accuracy that enhances our movie experience.
With cinemas and TV broadcasters having already evolved from film reels, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray and HD, HDR technology is being applied in all areas of entertainment, including at home. Take a minute to consider how many times films including Star Wars and Disney Classics have been re-imagined using the latest technology.
Advances in technology are allowing the likes of Disney, Marvel and DC to reimagine, recreate and relaunch comic book films old and new. In my next post, I’ll delve deeper into why 2016 is a huge year for comic book movie enthusiasts.