Movies are hyper-reality

Why we go to the movies to largely escape our own reality for a while and engaged with hyper reality.

I came across an old blog post by Prolost about Using After Effects fro Visual Effects.

In the post, he quote the author of Adobe After Effects CS4 Visual Effects and Compositing Studio Techniques saying the reason if you are a Visual Effects artist is to not make it real.

“Make it look real.” That would seem to be the mandate of the visual effects artist. Spielberg called and he wants the world to believe, if only for 90 minutes, that dinosaurs are alive and breathing on an island off the coast of South America. Your job: make them look real. Right?


I am about to tell you, the visual effects artist, the most important thing you’ll ever learn in this business: Making those Velociraptors (or vampires or alien robots or bursting dams) “look real” is absolutely not what you should be concerned with when creating a visual effects shot.

Movies are not reality. The reason we love them is that they present us with a heightened, idealized version of reality. Familiar ideas—say, a couple having an argument—but turned up to eleven: The argument takes place on the observation deck of the Empire State building, both he and she are perfectly backlit by the sun (even though they’re facing each other), which is at the exact same just-about-to-set golden-hour position for the entire ten-minute conversation. The couple are really, really charming and impossibly good-looking—in fact, one of them is Meg Ryan. Before the surgery. Oh, and music is playing.

What’s real about that? Nothing at all—and we love it.

That’s why I realized that making images it’s not about how accurate reality but how we can create an emotion from the images we make. This also applies to video games and other interactive mediums though the methods to get an emotion would be different.


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