Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Rulebook Casefile: Writing for 3D and CGI in Pacific Rim
It’s tempting to say that writers aren’t to blame for the crappy quality of movies these days, it’s the directors and producers that ruin them with CGI and 3D, right?
But more and more, writers are writing for CGI, and pre-ruining their own movies. I’m not talking about the presence of giant monsters and robots, I’m talking about the weightlessness of both. The screenwriter has to ask himself: how are these gargantuan robots supposed to get from the base to where the monsters are? Insanely, in this movie, each one is flown there dangling from helicopters!
Needless to say, as soon as we see helicopters lift a thousand ton robot, we lose all ability to believe in the robot’s existence, and we just start watching the effects. It’s as if the writer is just saying, “Screw it, these things are just CGI, they don’t weigh anything, I don’t have to figure out how they get around.”
(And don’t get me started on the scene where a character in a heavy suit of armor does the breast stroke in the ocean!)
For that matter, it’s tempting to blame all the rest of this movie’s other problems on an even newer phenomenon: “Writing for 3D”. After all, the whole idea of 3D is that you’re throwing stuff at the viewer, because you want us to say, “Wow that piece of wreckage almost hit me here in my seat!”…but of course the problem is that we don’t want to be in our seats, we want to be in the movie.
Now that the 3D has come to seem like a permanent stain on the screen, it’s seems that the writers of these types of movies have come to see identification as an impossible dream, and no longer worth pursuing.