Musings on CGI and Video Game Based Movies

Over the past couple weeks the world has been treated to some fantastic leaked footage of various trailers of upcoming movies thanks to some brave souls who broke the rules of SDCC during panels. There were some trailers that surprised me, some that swayed me to go see the movie next year, and some that did absolutely nothing to change my mind (I’m looking at you, Batman vs. Superman).

However, there was leaked footage for one specific movie that I was absolutely blown away by, Warcraft. Now, you can call my biased if you want due to my love for WoW, the older Warcraft games, and Blizzard itself, but Duncan Jones and Co. has made Stormwind, Blasted Lands, and I’m sure a couple others, come to life like any Warcraft (or WoW) player has never seen before. And not only did they bring to life these absolutely massive and grandiose worlds come to life, they made the Horde come to life.

Now, let’s not get me confused for a Horde player because I am totally all for the Alliance, but seeing Orgrim Doomhammer, Blackhand, and the others actually come to life on a movie screen, kind of gave me some chills. But, there was one tiny thing that bothered me when the footage leaked – a certain comment.

You’re probably thinking, ‘really, Jill, a comment grinded your gears?’ Why yes, young padawan, because of the time, skills, and dedication to make a movie like this come to life. If you were lucky enough to see the footage I’m talking about before it was taken down, you may know what I’m talking about. It was toward the beginning of the footage where someone said something to the extent of ‘Oh, great another Avatar, or ‘it looks like another Avatar.’ But in a tone that sounded like ‘Seriously? This is all CGI? Give me a break.’

Did you know a lot of beloved TV shows have a lot of CGI? Game of Thrones is an example. Yes, they do shoot on locations, so why couldn’t the Warcraft team do that? Well, one, can you tell me of a location where a castle, like Stormwind’s, exists that would be safe enough to film within? Also, I’m sure cost came into play as well. Game of Thrones has success behind it, whereas, Warcraft doesn’t – at least not yet. But the comment wasn’t made when a world was on screen; it was made when the orc’s/Horde were on screen. They are these big, green, menacing looking creatures with giant teeth and massive weapons. And, my god, are they spot on. A world and race people have loved for over 10 years (because WoW wasn’t the first game) has come to life in a brilliant way.

Don’t get me wrong, having actual humans do the parts would probably have been okay, but it would have taken a lot of time to get each of them made up, a lot of effort on the actors part to move and, well, act within the prosthetics/makeup, and- in all honesty – they would have probably looked absolutely ridiculous; puny, not menacing, not tall or big, like they’re supposed to be. Without CGI, I feel that the Warcraft movie would not do the justice that it needs to do for the fans who have been craving for this movie for a decade. If this was created 10 years ago, we wouldn’t have seen what we seen at SDCC.

Also, CGI takes a lot of effort for the artists to bring their creations to life. It takes a lot of work and a lot of skill. So, suck it up and enjoy it for what it’s worth; without it, a lot of things wouldn’t look the way it looks on the big screen or television.

Until next time, xo.

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