When Steven Spielberg recreated towering brachiosaurs using only computer wizardry for his 1993 classic Jurassic Park, computer-generated imagery (or CGI) skyrocketed to popularity among the big-budget action and sci-fi directors looking to inject some thrills into their story. At first, it looked like practical movie effects might die a slow death in the wake of superior technology. That did not happen. Quite the opposite, in fact. In spite of the popularity of CGI, old-school practical effects remain highly treasured among innovative filmmakers around the world. Why is it that hand-crafted effects remain so popular? That’s a question with a lot of answers.
1. Real Spectacle Never Fades, Even When It’s Tiny
Even on repeat viewings, even 20 years later, even if you hated the end result of the movie itself, it’s hard not to be impressed when the massive alien crafts of Independence Day break through the clouds to impose themselves on an unsuspecting urban populace. Of course, those models were only about ten feet long in real life, but that’s the beauty of practical effects. A superbly built model and a close-up camera angle can transport the audience to a world where it IS possible that the White House might shatter like glass in the wake of an alien super ray.
More in Movies
12 Movies That Broke Impressive Worlds Records
Every year, more than 700 films are released in Hollywood. That number is steadily rising, which means that movies have to...April 23, 2018
The 30 Sexiest Films of All Time
Love, sex, and passion are in the air whenever you watch one of the movies on our list. The displays of...April 16, 2018
13 Surprising Facts About Marvel and Disney’s ‘Black Panther’
It only took a single Thursday evening in release to turn Disney’s newest superhero flick, Black Panther, into a bona fide...March 9, 2018
12 Movie Bloopers That Accidentally Became Movie History
Unlike a lot of other art forms, filmmaking is a genuinely collaborative effort. There’s no such thing as complete control on...February 2, 2018
These 12 Holiday Movies Are Definitely on Santa’s Naughty List
What would Christmas be without all of the great movies that focus on it? Many families include their favorite films in...December 8, 2017
10 Reasons Winter 2017 Is the Best Movie Season in Years
With 2017 essentially over, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the only things left to check off on your to-do list...December 4, 2017