Muppets, Makeups, and Other Scary Things A Very Brief and Selective History of Hollywood monsters throughout the years By Janet Martin
“Cinema works hard to erase any traces of its own production process, including any indication that the images we see could have been constructed rather than simply recorded” Manovich 298
Three Kinds of Monsters: • Makeup and Costuming: • The Fly, An American Werewolf in London, Zombie movies • Muppets: • A movable model of a person or animal used in entertainment and typically moved by the control of another person, group, or power. • E.T., Jaws, Jurassic Park, Aliens, King Kong • Computer Images: • Effects using computers and other types digital post-production work • Jurassic Park, Transformers, Van Helsing
“The production of illusionistic representations has become the domain of mass culture and of media technologies” Manovich 177 “Body painting is used to enhance features and create illusions…liquid latex and rubber are used to transform the appearance of the body” ehow.com
What to Know About Makeup Monsters • “Makeup artists” can be responsible for everything from masks and prosthetics to paint jobs and costumes • Special effects makeup artists can manipulate a models face and create the illusion of a different shape, different structure, different skin tone, different eyes, etc. • In some movies, monsters are created by putting a man in a suit, then having them walk around a scaled down set • The original Godzilla (1954) suit weighed about 220 pounds and was so hot, the actor would sometimes faint under the movie lights • Greg Nicotero (special effects director for The Walking Dead) has four regular makeup artists for the show • He told CNN that he and his team have got each individual makeup down to about an hour and a half per character.
Muppets • The more correct term is animatronics • A mechanized puppet • The early origins of animatronics can be traced back as far as the Middle Ages • The biggest problem with animatronics is motion • Designers are working to create robots that move as smoothly and easily as real-life creatures • Movement can be achieved using hydraulics, water-jets, pivots • Most are remote-controlled. • Some popular animatronics include the Jurassic Park dinosaurs, E.T., the original King Kong, and Abraham Lincoln
Fun Facts About Famous Muppets • The Spinosaurus in Jurassic Park III is 43.5 feet long and weighs 24,000 pounds. • It is powered entirely by hydraulics, even down to the blinking of the eyes. This is because the creature was made to work above and below water. • In 1964 the first fully animated human figure debuted at the New York World’s Fair. This Abraham Lincoln figure incorporated 57 moves, including 22 different head movements. • In Jaws, the were actually 3 different models of the shark, all named Bruce after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer. • Each shark cost $150,000 to make • The sharks were constantly malfunctioning, eventually doubling the movie’s budget with all the repairs
http://www.johnnolanstudio.com/films/nolans-cheddar/ A video by John Nolan
Digital manipulations can be traced back to 1967 • Hummingbird a ten minute computer animated film by Charles Csuri and James Shaffer • In the 1990s, things really took off • Die Hard 2 (first digitally-manipulated matte painting), Death Becomes Her (first human skin CGI software), Casper (first CGI lead character in feature-length film and first CGI characters to interact realistically with live actors.) • In the 2000s, movies start expanding their use of CGI • Beowulf (entirely made in CGI, features motion capture for all actors and has realism as its foremost goal), and Avatar (first full length movie made using performance-capture to create photo-realistic 3D characters and to feature a fully CG 3D photo-realistic world “Live-action footage is now only raw material to be manipulated by hand—animated, combined with 3-D computer generated scenes, and painted over.” Manovich 302
Fans have mixed feelings about CGI in films • - People either love it and think it is innovative and the next big thing, or that it looks fake and ruins the integrity of traditional film. • “How do filmmakers justify turning a familiar reality such as a human body or landscape into something physically impossible in our world?” Manovich 310 • Some of these problems include stiff faces, plastic-looking skin, character movement is spastic, and characters do not look like they exist in the same world • People complain that 3D movies make them feel sick or they feel the price you pay for a ticket is not worth the effects.
A little video showing CGI:http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jyjto2RqSLI
Computer media redefine the very identity of cinema…Given enough time and money, almost everything can be simulated on a computer; filming physical reality is but one possibility.” Manovich 294
Works Cited http://www.ehow.com/about_5086946_history-animatronics.html http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/enlarge-image.htm?terms=animatronics&page=0 http://www.cracked.com/article_18484_the-5-most-pointless-ways-big-budget-movies-blew-millions.html http://www.ehow.com/facts_5032416_special-effects-makeup-artistry.html http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/12/showbiz/tv/walking-dead-zombies-greg-nicotero/index.html http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-7-most-common-cgi-screw-ups-explained_p2/