Ghostbuster mise en scene essay

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Ghostbuster mise en scene essay

Speaking invitations to Lund University in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark afforded me with additional opportunities to develop the material. VFX industry journalist Joe Fordham, who has written about visual effects for more than a decade in the pages of Cinefex magazine, graciously read through the manuscript and offered keen insights on digital aesthetics and the effects industry and corrected a few infelicities of expression.

I extend a heartfelt thanks to Joe for his invaluable assistance. He kindly read the material on digital cinematography, corrected some gaffes, and pointed me in the right direction regarding some key topics.

I thank also Leslie Mitchner, who loved the idea for the book from the start. Leslie is a great editor and someone with whom it is always a pleasure to work. At a recent cinema studies conference in Los Angeles, a colleague asked me what I was working on.

Visual effects are sometimes viewed as having taken over Hollywood blockbusters and overwhelmed good storytelling. Yet scholarly thinking about cinema has been relatively slow to grasp the important and myriad roles that visual effects Ghostbuster mise en scene essay beyond those associated with spectacle.

Editorial and rhetorical decisions must be made about what to include and what to exclude, producing a manufactured world upon the screen.

Ghostbuster mise en scene essay

Visual effects merely provide a more overt kind of construction. Visual effects are not live action, and they are not created as an element photographed on the set with actors during production. Furthermore, they are not a peripheral element of cinema but a core feature, essential to its operation as a narrative medium.

Citizen Kane would not exist were it not for the optical printer. Visual effects can be used to create spectacle, but more often they work in subtle, nonspectacular ways. I will have much to say about the compatibility of visual effects with cinematic realism.

Indeed, in numerous ways visual effects provide filmmakers with avenues toward realism, provided the category of realism is expanded from the precondition of live-action filming and image spaces that are created and treated holistically.

Visual effects go in the other direction, away from live action and toward images that are highly designed and that can depart in many ways from camera reality.


Nevertheless, as I show, they open pathways for the attainment of realist designs just as they afford ways of designing fantasy worlds and situations that are patently unrealistic.

Pursuing the relation of realism and visual effects raises issues of indexical meaning, since photographic indexicality is a commonly accepted basis for realism in cinema. Digital images are said to lack indexical value, but, as I show in several contexts, this claim is not tenable.

I examine issues of indexical meaning throughout the coming chapters and show how compatible such meaning is with digital visual effects. A caveat, however, is in order. I wish to acknowledge at the outset that I am concerned with cinema in a narrative mode but not in the context of documentary.

Documentary is an assertive mode. It states to viewers thatsome situation or event exists. Fiction does not inherently do so. Except in a limited sense, the era of special effects is over.

The industry continues to use the term, but it now designates mechanical and practical effects, such as explosions or stunts involving car wrecks.

Everything else is known as visual effects. From tothe industry awarded Oscars in a Special Effects category that also included sound effects. In popular parlance people continue to use the old terminology of special effects, but visual effects operate more broadly and can be understood as creating the kind of fantasy characters and situations that special effects once designated, as well as performing numerous other roles and functions beyond this.

Thus the distinction between the terms is nontrivial; they designate different historical periods. Optical printers in that era were within the province of post-production, blending footage of visual elements that had already been photographed and usually exhibiting a generational loss of image quality in the composites.

Virtual environments found in ChangelingMaster and Commanderand Zodiac are indistinguishable from real locations. On Avatar, James Cameron directed his actors as their digital characters in the digital environments of Pandora. While I will have occasion to discuss visual effects during the analog era, this book is not a history of effects technologies.The first film’s first scene had close-ups of eyes belonging to a different replicant piloting a craft through the November night sky of Los Angeles en .

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