Computer Generated Images or CGI have become as much as a part of some movies as the actors, directors or writers. Some films seem to just be focusing on the spectacle of the way a film looks rather than story telling. This may be degrading the story and the art of the movie but a new art has been formed. Movies once were considered pieces of art some still are but tend to be very vague and boring. And despite to contrary belief the audiences of cinema are passive no matter what expects say. The use of CGI and special effects allow a new reality to be created within in film. Landscapes can be shot to look as if they are right in front of us. Characters can be created from scratch and show facial expressions and the hairs on their heads move in the wind.
If you look at a film like Avatar which was shows a completely new planet with a race of giant blue aliens and floating mountains. However you can still see that this is not real. We believe it is but the audience know the difference between something generated from nothing and something that was filmed on camera. Or do we? Technology is always advancing and images can be placed over and rendered to real life images to create new worlds. As we know it is not real we do not question it, we as the audience still are amazed by landscapes and characters created from nothing. This is particularly helpful in Science Fiction moves. New worlds and creatures are shown and over the next few years it may be impossible to tell the difference.
Although CGI is not needed to make a film. Some films look incredible without the use of CGI. There Will Be Blood included a spectacle of an oil pump on fire and this was done for real. And the fact that it was real makes a load of difference to the viewing experience. An old school film that looked incredible was Rear Window. That relied on the set being built no background with a green screen simply one set built from scratch. The whole of Rear Window takes place in one place and the set contained a block of flats which had running water and electricity and running water. It looked incredible even to the audiences nowadays. Although it is sometimes apparent that this is not a real place but as the audience are passive we refuse to question it. The same with alien planets and 100 meter tall robots. They can’t be there but we believe they are.
This just shows us the new art of cinema that films can look like a beautiful painted canvas as well as include moving stories, believable characters and shocking moments.