Don’t Let Practical Effects Go Extinct!

I am here to plead with you all.

Let me ask you a question, how many films have you watched that were ruined by terrible CGI?

This is something that has bothered me for years now and this isn’t the first time I’ve wrote a piece like this but I felt it was something that needed readdressing.

It was also something that really started getting to me when Rick Baker announced his retirement stating:
“The business is crazy right now. I like to do things right, and they wanted cheap and fast. That is not what I want to do, so I just decided it is basically time to get out. First of all, the CG stuff definitely took away the animatronics part of what I do, “It’s also starting to take away the makeup part”.

Now I’m not saying that I think CGI is a terrible thing and it should be banned and only practical effects should ever be used, this isn’t an anti-CGI post.

What I’m saying is that we need to stop using it so much and find a balance so that the two of them can co-exist in the film industry.

The problem is more and more film studios are choosing the CGI option, now I understand this with action films, fantasy, superhero etc but when it comes to Horror it’s well known that practical effects are what fans want to see.
“Hatchet” was a great example of how the two can co-exist, practical effects that were touched up by cgi but only to take away things like wires that were visible to make it look more realistic.
Because of this the movie was a hit among fans and deservedly so, it helped launch a new wave of independent Horror which wasn’t easy and also the career of Adam Green who I’m a big fan of.
Just think of many of your favourite films, especially the older ones from the 80’s backwards and you’ll realise that it was more than likely a practical effect, there’s a reason why those old films are so beloved and it’s more than great writing (that’s a whole other post).
The world of effects is an art form, it truly is, both practical and CGI, I just warm more to practical as it’s a more hands on approach and it’s heavily featured in my favourite films. The problem is that practical effects can be expensive and time consuming.

Because of this CGI is used more heavily when in my opinion it should be used more as a crutch, practical effects is a dying art form that needs to be saved.

I know this has turned into a bit of a rant and it’s all over the place and I apologise for that, I’ve tried getting my point across but this post has become a muddled mess.

I guess I’m just simply trying to say that practical effects is too valuable to be pushed aside by CGI, more valuable than you think really.

At least with a bad practical effect I could appreciate the work that went into it, with CGI there is no leeway and you’re expected to get it perfect.

I urge you to take a look at the photos featured in this post, I’ve posted more below to try and get my point across more visually as well.

Some great practical effects:
Some not so great CGI:

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