Star Wars: Episode VII: The Nerd Rage Awakens

Discussion in 'Star Wars' started by cooleddie74, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    It varied. On the one hand the Tatooine sets all had something real to match to, which in this case was the location where they shot the moisture farm' courtyard. But cut to the Death Star and it's clearly all wobbly painted plywood sets. The Echo Base set was very well done IMO and a vast improvement over the hanger from ANH with was quite obviously 90% cardboard cutouts, mirrors and black cloth. But then Cloud City is back to looking very fake and closed in with the bright, monotone pallet and curving corridors. The Death Star set in RotJ was a bit of an improvement, though I feel only because they took a queue from the carbonite chamber set form 'Empire' by keeping it mostly in shadow with some coloured light highlights.

    Basically it all depends on how it's shot, not whether they used a CG city scape in the background or mat painted in extra troopers in the medal ceremony. I *think* what made the PT sets look so bland was that they were lit to be optimal for the compositing process, but I'm far from an expert on that.

    What's often a bit of a give away that an exterior scene is being shot on a stage aside from the lighting, is that they often forget to simulate the kind of subtle breeze you get outside. It's not something you may consciously notice, but your brain will still register it as an eerie stillness and thus label it as unnatural looking. Add to that the flat lighting and the actors not getting their eyelines straight and the end result may as well have been shot on location in the uncanny valley.
     
  2. AgentCoop

    AgentCoop Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    My issue with the CGI and CGI-enhanced sets and locations in the Prequels is that the lack of a "real" environment seems to have had a negative effect on the actors' performances. It's probably tough to find your character when you don't even know what the "room" you're standing in is supposed to look like. Only Liam Neeson and Ewan MacGregor seemed to manage it with any degree of success.
     
  3. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    Theater actors do that all the time.
     
  4. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    ^Exactly. One of the first things you do as an actor is improv, and 90% you create whole scenes with nothing but your imagination.
    Or just look at people who actors who do mo-cap for games like The Last of Us.
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFnfxzrqqXA[/yt]
    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2fNUeQ6L6s[/yt]
    They got awesome performances out of the actors, and all they had were plastic guns, tape on a floor, and a few other props or pieces of scenery.
     
  5. Savage Dragon

    Savage Dragon Savage Mod Moderator

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    I think we can chalk up the bad performances to the direction they were given.
     
  6. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    Pretty much, yeah.
     
  7. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    This.

    George Lucas between 1997 and 2005 was many things, but an excellent director of consistently credible human emotions wasn't one of them.
     
  8. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  9. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    interesting bit of realistic pessimism regarding putting the old trio in the new film

    [yt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpOEm6Ezw3I[/yt]
     
  10. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    Actually I'm pretty sure a lot of the characters' stiffness was intentional by Lucas. I vaguely remember an interview with one of the actors back then (probably McGregor or Portman) where they talked about how anytime they would try to inject more life and energy into their performance (à la the OT), Lucas would have them tone it back down.

    Presumably either because he thought the prequel story required them to take things much more seriously, or because he thought modern audiences might consider the corny banter of the OT to be too outdated.
     
  11. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    He makes a good argument, but I'm also confident JJ has more in mind than simply making a nolstagia-fest involving the original cast. And that he didn't hire all these other great actors just to hang out in the background for an entire movie.

    Not to mention the fact this is likely the first of many, many more SW movies. Which means there will be plenty of opportunity to explore new characters and ideas in the future. Letting the original actors have this first one is hardly asking that much, I don't think.
     
  12. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    ...but he was NEVER a boy scout!

    Sorry. :p
     
  13. Corran Horn

    Corran Horn Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    But also quite obviously paintings. They've just had 30+ years of burn-in to our psyches.
     
  14. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    Okay. I'll give you a bonus point for that one.
     
  15. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    Lucas wanted the Prequel characters to be more cold and austere because it was the high point of civilization. Obviously not a decision that most of us agree with :lol:
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    And that thinking makes sense if he was doing a documentary. But people go to movies to be entertained. :techman:
     
  17. cooleddie74

    cooleddie74 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    The abundance of bright colors and vivid backgrounds in the Prequels makes a lot of sense because that was the era before the Galactic Empire imposed its sterile brand of authoritarian conformity on the worlds it ruled, and as the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe demonstrated all too starkly, conformist, statist authoritarianism isn't exactly the most lively nor colorful way of living. All the greys, whites, blacks and silvers in the Original Trilogy were to be expected.

    But as per the bland personalities? It's one thing for characters to come from a more formal and refined era where communication was often more lavish. It's another to be guided by a film director who has trouble depicting many basic human emotions. I get what Lucas was trying to do, but it just didn't come across that well.
     
  18. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    There's nothing wrong with that idea and I love the concept for the prequels. Where everything falls apart is in the execution.
     
  19. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    There is also an outtake of Episode II in which Natalie Portman says something along the lines of "this is ridiculous, this is for the gag reel, right?" when she is supposed to jump'n'run those non-existent Geonosis steel mill stuff thingies. Hints at bad direction because he couldn't make it clear what the whole thing was about, to the point where she thought he was pulling her leg.



    George Clooney and Sandra Bullock gave great performances in Gravity, even thought that filming process was extremely difficult, and they basically were pupeteered while trying to act.
     
  20. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: New Casting and Story Rumors re: EPISODE VII

    ^To be fair, I think that had more to do with that droid factory sequence being an 11th hour addition they pretty much made up the day before they shot it. Combine the fact that they had her running along a blue treadmill, avoiding limbo poles with the fact that it's nowhere to be found in the shooting script they game her it's no wonder she thought it might be a prank.

    IIRC the way it originally went was that they were captured almost as soon as they stepped outside the ship and there was another talky scene between Padme and Dooku.