Inappropriate use of CG on TV #3214657852624521.
Did anyone catch Hindenburg on Channel 4 Monday night? Well, it was rubbish. I’m sick to several deaths of documentaries and this annoying presumption that the plebs need sub-standard ‘drama’ reconstructions to get historical points across rather than very clever men with beards just telling us things in an interesting way. Did I need most of the show’s narration to come from an in-character voice over bollocking on about how he should’ve taken the helium option when he had the chance? NO, because it was distracting and CHEAP. Anyway, that’s besides the point.
Those of you who attended Dimension Jump last year may remember that Mike Tucker and the fellas at The Model Unit were pitching for the job of recreating the flight and destruction of the airship for the show. Well, it seems this didn’t transpire, and instead CG house Red Vision were brought in for the visual effects, according to the credits.
And, surprise surprise CG turned out be COMPLETELY the wrong direction to go in. The visual effects basically consisted of a few fly-bys of the ship and, finally, footage of the thing bursting into flames. Now, call me a bluff old traditionalist, but I always thought the best way of representing flames ripping through fabric on screen would be to… set fire to some actual fabric. But, no, apparently not. CG flames are far better, obviously, despite the fact they look nothing like flames. Gah.
Ironically, this constant desire for TV to mimic cinema with the use of copious amounts of CG (Doctor Who‘s only physical effects are prosthetics at the moment, with everything else being done by The Mill and no Model Unit work) is starting to look pathetically outdated, as Hollywood increasingly seems to be moving in the sensible direction of using the tool that’s best for the job. Just look at Batman Begins and Casino Royalé – both films with extensive physical effects and only minimal CG and they both look and feel utterly wonderful.
Still, with Ealing Studios making a very welcome comeback with The Model Unit gathering a good body of work from that revival, things seem to be going quite well for the ex-Dwarf boys. Let’s hope things thrive for them in the future, because model making is an art that just can’t be lost, despite the fact that TV people seem to be completely ignoring at the moment. The trendy bunch of twats.