The Corner

Re: Mature Technologies

Derb says: “Movie-making’s a mature technology. It’ll improve around

the edges a bit, but the heavy lifting was all done in the first half

of the 20th century.”

Hmm. Don’t know about that. The part that’s mature, I think, is the

art, not the technology. The art has barely changed at all in 80

years — characters, fictional or otherwise, tell a story through

their actions, interpreted by the filmmaker through his choice of

shots and edits. Technology, though, continues to evaporate before

our eyes. Film, the very substance, is now fast becoming obsolete.

Many if not most TV shows are shot on high-def videotape. At least

one big budget feature, ‘Gods and Generals,’ was shot that way, and

digital video projection is replacing film. Sound can now be recorded

digitally directly into a computer, skipping over more primitive

media. Animation is done on computers, instead of by hand. With

’motion capture’ technology, actors can now give life to animated

characters through actual movements in the physical world. Flesh and

blood actors can interact with animated characters seamlessly (giving

us the joy that is Jar Jar Binks.) I have fantasized about computer

technology that can take a deceased actor and replicate him and his

performing abilities digitally, allowing me to write a movie starring

Spencer Tracy and Lindsay Lohan. (Not really, but you get the idea.)

Speaking of weekend movies, we saw ‘Sky High,’ which was good fun for

the whole family, though it did have some teen kissing, and I believe an industry first: a cool character named Warren. Meanwhile,

Kurt Russell quietly approaches the 50 year mark of his career in the

business. Stardom, it seems, will never be obsolete.

P.S. I never liked “2001.” A movie that holds up well: “The Princess Bride.”

Warren BellWarren Bell was nominated June 20, 2006, by President George W. Bush to be a member of the Board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the remainder of a ...

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