Cinefex: “These Violent Delights” – Westworld

Publication Name: Cinefex
Bio: Cinefex is a visual effects publication, and its first issue was released in 1980. Its content is currently geared towards professionals and enthusiasts.
Name of Article: Westworld – “These Violent Delights”
Date of Article Publication: February 2017
Describe Article: “These Violent Delights” talks about the development of Westworld, from the acting to the set design to the graphics. As a remake of the 1973 movie, Michael Crichton’s vision is elaborated and turned into a full-fledged HBO series.
Opinion of Article:
Perhaps the most striking part to me about “These Violent Delights” is how the article stresses how much of the visual effects Westworld tried to achieve was not digital. The fact that Jonathan Nolan–and apparently it runs in the Nolan genes–wanted to do as much with physical tricks I think really brings another dimension to Westworld. Perhaps it doesn’t bring as much to representing future tech, but I think it has a really positive effect on the hosts. The uncanny valley is a strange threshold, and to achieve just the /right/ amount of uncanny for the hosts (especially for the audience who is going to be perceiving this uncanniness) it makes sense that they would want to have actors simulate the nuances of being an android as much as possible. Things like the ‘bucket’ simulate a kind of reality by projecting a 2D image that feels unquestioningly 3-dimensional. Most shocking for me and most impressive is how they made the android bodies – to leverage power such that a factory will create glue without the binding agent, and relegating a Kawasaki robot arm really speaks to the lengths studios will go to create effects that are beyond digital. I can’t even imagine the business influence Jonathan Nolan has to make that happen. No matter how out-of-this-world effects and technology may be, “These Violent Delights” really just made me remember that “movie-magic” is really just industry.

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