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Post #640886

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24-May-2013, 10:56 AM
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24-May-2013, 11:12 AM
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Practical FX all the way for me with CGI for seemless compositing and the big crowd/epic stuff.

I love the often simple yet seemingly magician like techniques used for practical FX. A great demonstration of this is checking out the Commentary on the BR of Francis Ford Coppola's 'Dracula'.  He reveals that he had to fire the original FX team as they were insisted that he needed to use CGI to accomplish the shots Coppola wanted.  So Coppola just put his son in charge and they used strictly near-silent-era in-camera trickery to do all the FX.  They didn't even resort to optical compositing never mind digital compositing!

I remember seeing the film in 1992 and thinking they were some of the best FX I'd ever seen so I couldn't believe how simply they were achieved when I heard the commentary.  I think today if a Director wanted a rat running upside down on the ceiling they'd just reach staright for the CGI. But in Dracula they filmed Dracula with the top half of the negative matted, then just flipped it over, rewound the film, matted the bottom and then filmed the rat, genius.

'Jurassic Park' was in production at around the same time, which would usher in the era of big dazzling CGI action blockbusters. Of course JP still holds up today thanks to Star Wars' own Phil Tippett probably because he'd had a whole career of doing practical FX, so knew if a CGI shot wasn't looking as good.

'Dracula' cost $20million less than JP to produce but JP took four times what 'Dracula' took at the box office. I'm sure studio executives took note of that.