15.9.12

Why do CGI creatures always scream at the camera?

So I was watching Show White and The Huntsman the other day (*). There's a scene where the titular duo stumble upon a huge, giant (**), computer animated (***) monster thingy (****), and what does it do? It screams at them. Directly at the camera (*****)(******).

And then I was thinking.... That happens quite often doesn't it? I mean, a CGI creature screaming directly at the screen. I wonder how often. So I went through my shelves, just to get an idea about how many of those shots I could find in a quick search of my own film collection.

These are the ones I found:

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Troll in Snow White and the Huntsman (2012).


Cave troll in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).


The Kraken in Clash of the Titans (2010).


The zombie leader in I Am Legend (2007).


The mummy in The Mummy (1999).


And the mummy in The Mummy (1999) again.


The flashback creature in The Mummy Returns (2001).


Zombie pygmies in The Mummy Returns (2001).


Hulk in The Avengers (2012).


Some alien soldier from The Avengers (2012).


Arena creature in John Carter (2012).


Ice planet creature in Star Trek (2009).


King Kong in King Kong (2005).


Jake in Avatar (2009).


... And his flying buddy in Avatar (2009).


The kid in Up (2009) (*******).


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FINAL THOUGHTS

That's what I've got, though I'm sure I missed some obvious ones. If you think of others, sound off in the comments below.

I'm off to watch Jaws, I'm pretty sure it's got no CGI creatures screaming at the camera.

NOTES

(*) It was Saturday, September 8th.

(**) "Huge" and "giant" mean roughly the same, I realize that.

(***) This is NOT a dig at those wonderful people who work so hard creating these wonderful monsters. It really isn't. I promise.

(****) It's a troll, I know.

(*****) Yes, I realize there's technically no camera, since the creatures aren't real.

(******) Sorry for these notes, but recent experiences have taught me to be extra precise when I mention CGI.

(*******) This is a joke.

5 comments:

  1. I have a theory. The era of CGI came only a decade after the era of the VHS. Both changed the way films are made. In this case, VHS meant most audiences will watch films on their smaller televisions; meaning the amount of spacing used to frame scene was shrunk and the number of closeups was gradually increased.

    In the 1930s, Kong was not permitted to scream straight into the camera because film viewers would see a 30 foot tall ape face growling them out of the theater. Folks are able to ingest such veracity in the comfort of their living room spaces...plus, they don't have the same illusions. They know they're watching CGI.

    If movies were still restricted to the large screen, we would certainly see the screaming creature and the poor soul who it was screaming at. Today, we have only so much information on the screen--so we have to settle for that. :)

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  2. That may have something to do with it.

    Also, animatronic creatures are tied down with cables, and their heads are rarely build for extreme screaming. The CGI counterparts are free to do anything, and by golly if they can move, they're going to.

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  3. The T-Rex puppet from Jurassic Park does scream at the screen during the climax of it's famous attack scene.

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    Replies
    1. The exception to the rule, surely!

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  4. They do so they can gloat "lol look at our great spechul effecks" at the audience.

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