Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Film Projects Due! Home Video, CGI, and The Modern Blockbuster

Your film projects are due today.

Please allow 10 minutes or so at the end of class to render your film (this takes a bit of time!)

When you complete your film, please upload it to Youtube and send me the address link. You will also need to save your MP4 file on my jumpdrive for storage.

HOMEWORK: Please read the articles on Home Video, CGI, Toy Story, and the Modern Blockbuster. For each chapter (4) identify 3 things that you found interesting, important, or confusing. List these items on a separate note sheet to use for your quiz/reflection next class (after which you will turn in the homework). Additionally, please read and view the material below for next class: 
Sony unveiled their VTR (video tape recorder) in 1967, but it wasn't until the 1970's that it took the world by storm. The early versions cost a prohibitive $1,000 to $4,000! That's about 8-10 I-phones and at least as many TiVos. Watching movies in your home again threatened the movie industry, but under the Betamax VCR (1975) viewers could watch pornography without feeling guilty about it (the internet had not yet established itself). As fall-out, the porn and "X" film production grew and later would help release a whole host of B-films which would not receive a wide release in cinemas.

Steven Spielberg (American New Wave director/Auteur) filmed his blockbuster Jaws in 1975. The success of the book and the film began to show the possibility of mass-produced entertainment and give film a legitimacy through popular culture. There were few film programs in colleges and schools at this time. You may recall Spielberg's other work (mostly blockbusters, like Jaws). After the Blockbuster phenomenon, film gained much attention (and money). Writers like Michael Crichton and Stephen King became quite wealthy as popular authors since so many people went to see the movies based on their books. Now, bestsellers almost always get made into films as a way to capitalize on profits (J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, for example). Stan Lee is also doing nicely recently.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
E.T. (1982)

George Lucas on the other hand created the single most influential film in the 1970's with his space opera (part IV) of the seminal Star Wars (1978). Both Jaws and Star Wars became the first two films to make more than $100 million, rocketing both directors into fame!

Star Wars (1977)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and the famous "melting face scene just for fun - SPOILER."

In 1982 the film Tron (1982) effectively used CGI for its special effects. Since then CGI has been married to the Hollywood Blockbuster.

Westworld (1973) (same author as Jurassic Park)
The Black Hole (1979)
Star Trek (1979) (VO by Orson Welles)

As you might note, CGI greatly improved the sci-fi genre.

Now, the goal of Hollywood remains to produce a blockbuster film. These are traditionally action-packed epics chock-ful of CGI and special effects. Many films also are mass produced so that even if the film fails at the box office, the production company can make back a loss by selling the music tracks, toys, or DVD's.

Recent blockbusters include:
Avatar (2009) $2,782,275,172 Billion
Titanic (1997) $2,185,246,990 Billion
The Avengers (2012) $552.7 Million (and counting)
The Dark Knight (2008) $533 Million
Spider Man (2002) $403.7 Million
E.T. (1982) $359.2 Million (see clip above)
Jurassic Park (1993) $357.1 Million
Forrest Gump (1994) $329.7 Million

Top 100 Box Office Blockbusters of All Time It pays to be a producer!

And for perspective, the top three films that flopped:

Cutthroat Island (1995) loss of $147 Million
The Alamo (2004)  loss of $146 Million (we lost the battle as well)
The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002) loss of $145 Million

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