That the new Golden Age of Television coincided with huge advancements in computer-generated effects can’t be a coincidence, right? Sure, celebrated shows like The Wire and Deadwood were maaaybe better known for their writing than they were for CGI, but these days it’s hard to find a classic show that doesn’t somehow include seamless special effects.
Most of the big genre hits have effects that rival or surpass those found in summer movies, but even dramas like Breaking Bad and Mad Men use computer imagery in such crucial ways that these shows may have been prohibitively expensive to produce in earlier eras.
So let’s give all those unheralded tech whizzes their props: Special effects have never been better or more crucial to the shows we love.
Below are some off-the-top-of-our-heads picks for TV shows with the best effects work. Which show’s visuals are YOU constantly amazed by?
Game of Thrones - is another show that uses effects in both ostentatious AND subtle ways. There’s no debate about how straight-up incredible the wildfire incident was, but Season 2 also gave us Dany’s haunting hallucination scene, plus the now-CGI direwolves looked just as organic and normal as their real dog predecessors. And those baby dragons looked so real that I’m pretty sure everyone in the world wants one now.
“Snow White and the Huntsman” reinvents the legendary story in a film of astonishing beauty and imagination. It’s the last thing you would expect from a picture with this title. It falters in its storytelling, because Snow White must be entirely good, the Queen must be entirely bad, and there’s no room for nuance. The end is therefore predetermined. But, oh, what a ride.
“Snow White and the Huntsman,” starring a fierce Kristen Stewart and an even fiercer Charlize Theron as warring sides of good and evil, is a baroque enchantment filled with dazzling darkness, desultory dwarfs, demonic trolls and beastly fairies. It is an absolute wonder to watch and creates a warrior princess for the ages. But what this revisionist fairy tale does not give us is a passionate love — its kisses are as chaste as the snow is white.
Both reviews fawned over the special effects in the movie, from the overbearing castle to the forbidding forest. Describing it as “a triumph of art direction and CGI” and, “a forest lush with bewitching flora and fauna is otherworldly to behold.”
Which means you can count me in, I love that stuff!
A short skit about friends playing ping-pong. With any competitive sport, winning is part of the satisfaction. As the game becomes more about who can smash harder, things start to get interesting with subtle VFX and anime style exaggeration.
Peter Jackson’s first video production blog for The Hobbit for 2012.
Looks like they’ve started shooting part 2 of The Hobbit now which will be coming out in 2013, while the first part comes out this Christmas 2012. There’s also some cool footage of Andy Serkis directing the 2nd unit as well.
Previous production videos (#2-5) can be found at IanTeanStreet
For more on the special effects check out the WETA Workshop
Also, visit Peter Jackson on Facebook for more personal details.