Discuss The Technological Impact On Film Theory And The Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Invasion Of The Digital World

1536 words - 7 pages

Films are one of the most popular media in the modern world, watched by hundreds of millions of people all around the world. Films began in the late 19th century as a technological novelty, transferring to a new means of presentation and distribution an older tradition of "entertainment, offering stories, spectacles, music, drama, humour and technical tricks for popular consumption." (McQuail, 1983) And, as with any popular media, people began to talk and write about it, and film theory arose from these writings.Why the need for film theory? Because in watching a film, the spectator is not merely a passive receptacle being filled with the film's meaning, but is engaged in a series of ...view middle of the document...

For some twenty years, serious writing on film has operated on the diametrically opposite principle that theory is inescapable, that far from being an intruder, it is already there.'However, technological advances in many fields relating to cinema, for example cinematography, technical equipment, photography, digital imaging, computer graphics and film editing, have had a very profound effect on traditional film theory. Stam (2000) theorises that 'changing audio-visual technologies dramatically impact on virtually all the perennial issues engaged by film theory: specificity, autuerism, apparatus theory, spectatorship, realism, aesthetics.' Jenkins (1999) goes into specifics about the different technologies, stating that 'e-mail poses questions about virtual community; digital photography about the authenticity and reliability of visual documentation; virtual reality about embodiment and its epistemological functions; hypertext about readership and authorial authority; computer games about spatial narrative; MUDs about identity formation; webcams about voyeurism and exhibitionism.'New developments due to technology have given rise to a whole new wave of modern processes in the films business. One of these is the induction of computer graphics into films. The robots and futuristic battle sequences of Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991), the monstrous dinosaurs of Jurassic Park (1993), the breathtaking fight sequences in The Matrix (1999) and the lifelike squid tentacles of Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), were all computer generated images incorporated into the film.The ever first fully computer generated feature film was Toy Story (1995), which was a resounding success at the box office. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was the first attempt to create a lifelike fully computer generated feature film, while The Polar Express (2004) was the first movie ever which was fully CGI but used motion capture for all the actors. Other examples of such films include Toy Story 2 (2000), Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001), Shrek (2002) and Final Fantasy: Advent Children (2006)An ironic side effect of the digital invasion is that films no longer have as great an emphasis on film - the material on which the film is shot. The work of the camera or the film stock are no longer as essential in determining the end product, or the way films eventually look Digital technologies such as computer enhancement, imaging and editing have shifted the production balance increasingly towards the postproduction phase, thus further reducing the need for photographic accuracy. Not only can mistakes made during shooting be corrected, and recording effects be maximized, live action images and sounds can be generated independently of the outside world.The advent of the digital age has affected not only the production and postproduction of the films, but also the cinema and post-cinema aspects as well. Cinemas now have features like THX or Dolby surround...

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