September 18th, 2004


CGI Captain and the Film of Tomorrow

Back in let's say 94, George Lucas made a movie that you probably didn't see. It was pretty good, but we all know that I'm a sucker for Mary Stuart Masterson vehicles. So discount that, and you have a movie that bombed in the box office, but had some interesting technical stuff going on. This movie was set in 1939, and they needed a certain amount of film magic to recreate that era.

Option A) Build a lot of sets, recreate a lot of cars, hire a lot of extras. Pay a lot of money.

Option B) Use fancy computer graphics to dress the set, put your money where it needs to go and let the rest of it be done through special effects.

George went with Option B. Nobody really noticed. And that was the point. This farce was made on the cheap because of (now) 10 year old technology... actually, even older, probably - nothing was all that cutting edge, but Lucas was interviewed as the movie was opening up and he said that this was the real promise of all that fancy stuff that he's so connected to.

Cut to: a picture of a calendar with the months tearing off one at a time, quicker until you see the years passing by, and we land on:


George Lucas is now off in his own little world. Mostly his fans think he's lost his mind. Presumably he's pressing on, tilting at crazy Star Wars windmills. Things like trying to get a Mountain Dew product placement in the middle of a lightsaber battle.

And a film comes along that does Lucas a little bit better - it, too, recreates The City. Not quite as cheaply as Lucas had envisioned, but they were going for something a little different.

Seems to me they did a pretty reasonable job at capturing the Buck Rogers grainy film serial look and feel. And the dialog - is it an homage, or is it just bad? I leave that to you to decide.

(no subject)

There's not much that measures up, surreal-wise-speaking to the following.

I have in my possession what may be the "hippest" thing my father owns. I know it's "hip", because it says so. It's Steve Allen's "Grimm Fairy Tales for Hip Kids". See how "hip"?

I'm currently transcribing it into digital media. Cause I'm that kind of loving son. Oh, I forgot to mention: it's a record. You know, black and round. Grooves. It's weird, I find myself thinking phrases like "drop the needle", phrases that kids these days (Cassie) never knew.

I exaggerate - I'm almost too young to be nostalgic about records. Cassettes were my thing. You know.

So, I'm revelling in artifacts from an era I wasn't alive for. I'm kinda surprised that my dad owned this record. So that's interesting.

Oh, and one more aspect that makes the whole experience even stranger: the record is a 78. The best I can do is play it at 45. It's almost like Miss Othmar speaking through Jell-o. Maybe backwards, too. At these speeds, I can't make out words most of the time.