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- Joined: 13 Jan 2010, 01:39
SpudmanWP wrote:Models of what? They are all CGI.
I often bitterly complain about the lack of scientific accuracy in TV and movie SF shows. Todd Boyce of Ninja Magic actually works in Hollywood, and explained to me the facts of life about media SF:
To boil down all the possible reasons, it is because of one or more of the following:
0) It's a business
This is a business venture - you put money in with the expectation that more money will come out. The general audience is historically happier watching space ships woosh by shooting glowing bolts of energy than they are watching a slowly rotating spaceship lazily drift across the screen. If you're putting tens or hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, you go for the shooty-wooshy space ships every time, pure and simple.
1) TPTB (The powers that be) don't care.
If whats on the screen looks good, and the storytelling is sufficient, then scientific accuracy rarely if ever matters. If they don't care that cars don't blow up when shot with bullets, why should they care about the theoretical effects of FTL travel.
2) There isn't time to dissect and fix scientific inaccuracies
Once production on a movie is started, it is an unstoppable steamroller with a tight deadline. If the script says a spaceship wooshes by, the people working on the film don't have time to work out what kind of propulsion it uses - they just make the engine glow, push it across the screen in an interesting way and move on to the next shot.
3) The decisions are made in too many places and it isn't even thought about except by people who aren't in positions to make judgment calls.
A jet fighter shoots missiles at a big space ship hovering above a city. The director tells the visual effects supervisor to make it happen. The visual effects supervisor tells the digital effects supervisor to make a space ship and to make a jet fighter woosh by and shoot some missiles at the space ship while he goes off and directs the on-set pyro effects.
The digital effects supervisor tells the modeling supervisor to have his team make a space ship and jet fighter and tells the FX supervisor to have his team make some missiles shoot, engine effects, vapor trails, smoke trails and whatnot.
The modelers build a jet fighter and give it harpoon missiles. The modeling supervisor says it looks good. The digital effects supervisor says it looks good. The modelers are done with their job and get put on another production.
The FX supervisor hands the model to the FX team who look at the fighter and say "um...that's not really the right kind of missile to do an air-to-air attack..." "Sorry, the modeler is off the show and these have been approved. Can't change it now" is the response. So the FX team launches harpoon missiles at the space ship.
The final shot is shown to the director/visual effects supervisor and it looks cool, but don't pick up on the fact that the wrong missile is being used. It's approved and put into the film.
(You're probably sensing that this is a true story and know what movie I was working on at the time.)
4) The script-reader's gauntlet
Writers use descriptive language to express action in their script. They don't often get into technical details because each page of a script is supposed to represent roughly one minute of screen time. A writer who spends his time describing the intricacies of a space ships propulsion system is a writer who finds his scripts in the script-reader's trash can.
People who write heavily technical novels are almost always terrible script-writers as they have difficulty working within the confines and limitations of that medium. The scripts that pass through the script-reader's gauntlet will likely be of the less technical variety.
5) People in film making have education in film making, they don't usually have PhD's in physics/astrophysics. And people who have PhD's in physics/astrophysics don't usually know how to make a good film.
It's not that they aren't smart enough, it's that their focus of expertise is in other areas. That's why they hire consultants if they're trying to do something with any degree of accuracy, but even then, accuracy is desirable only if it doesn't interfere with the storytelling. Often, things are set in motion that can't be changed after the fact anyway and you just have to shrug your shoulders and say "That's the way it has to be" if you learn too late of some scientific ramification.
6) The power of ego
You know how people fall all over themselves when a famous actor is nearby? Its worse when companies deal with well known directors. Just yesterday we were kicked out of the screening room during our dailies because Michael Bay was parking and MIGHT be needing it. With that sort of hysteria going on, are you going to be the one that walks up to him and say "this is totally unrealistic and you need to change it" knowing that saying so will mean the end of your employment?
What the director says goes, and few people have the will or the power to contradict him. Film making isn't usually done by committee, it is done by imperial decree and if the decree is that cars blow up when shot with bullets, then that is the way it is.
I'm sure there's a few others I've missed but, speaking of unrealism in Hollywood movies, I need to get back to work on a sequence involving bits of LA breaking off and sliding into the ocean because the Earth's magnetic field has collapsed.
I'm not kidding.
I heard the F-35 will show up in the not confirmed movie, Top Gun 2.
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