The Aesthetics of Ambivalence: Rethinking Science Fiction Film in the Age of Electronic (Re)production

By Brooks Landon | Go to book overview

7 On a Clear Day You Can See the Horizon of Invisibility: Rethinking Science Fiction Film in the Age of Electronic (Re)Production

There was a time, you read, when making movies took so many people. Actors, cameramen, technicians, screenwriters, costumers, editors, producers, and directors. I can believe it.

That was before computer animation, before the National Likeness Act, before the Noe Fludde of Marvels.

Back in that time they still used laboratories to make prints; sometimes there would be a year between the completion of a film and its release to theaters.

Back then they used actual pieces of film, with holes down the sides for the projector. I've even handled some of it; it is cold, heavy, and shiny.

Now there's none of that. No doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs between the idea and substance. There's only one person (with maybe a couple of hackers for the dog's work) who makes the movies: the moviemaker.

There's only one piece of equipment: the GAX-600.

There's one true law: Clean your mainframe and have a full set of specs.

I have to keep that in mind, all the time.

-- Howard Waldrop, "French Scenes"

Computer graphics will improve to the point where they can create any visual reality or fantasy in complete detail. Movies will take place in these graphic sets. The relationship between the actors and the scenery will be limited only by our imagination. Animation will be possible with what appears to be live images. Animated doubles and stunt men, created in the images of the human actors, will be capable of impossible feats and subject to spectacular deaths. The movie stars of the future may not be people at all, but visual simulacrums whose appearance is crafted to optimize the qualities their character requires.

-- Myron W. Krueger, Artificial Reality

-145-

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