Make Your Picks
The deadlines for the Noir and Neo Noir lists are TODAY! You can submit your neo noir ballot here and your noir ballot here

The Mythology of "Practical Effects"

Tools    





Want to sell horror? Say that it's based on a true story.

Want to sell a love story? Promise steamy sex.

Want to sell action? Claim that all the effects are practical.



The demand for stunt and spectacle to have been shot "for real" in camera has taken filmmakers to interesting lengths of puffery, obfuscation, equivocation, and general bulls*ittery.






Want to sell action? Claim that all the effects are practical.
“Practical”? What does that mean?
__________________
I’m here only on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. That’s why I’m here now.



“Practical”? What does that mean?

Exactly. The embedded video discusses how the word has been carefully constructed and negotiated so as to offer the promise the "real stuff" to audiences even though a film like Top Gun: Maverick has a ton of CGI.



It is a God-term, a glimmering ambiguity, a feel-good phrase. The challenge for modern filmmakers is to firmly assure the audience that their effects are "practical" without directly lying to them about it.



Sorry if I'm rude but I'm right
CGI is for pussies!

Stunt doubles are for pussies too!

"The most precious and exciting shots ever on movie. At 7 pm on 19 May, 1989, Hu Wai Chung (Sibelle Hu), Li Sai Fung (Moon Lee) and Lu Liang Wai (Ray Lui) acted the explosion shots in person. They were challenging death with their lives. Unluckily, the gunpowder - -(illegilble) - - and the flames wrapped around them. Hu Wai Chung and Li Sai Fung were seriously injured. On behalf of our company, we are sending our best regards to Wu Wai Chung, Li Sai Fung and Lu Liang Wai"
__________________
Look, I'm not judging you - after all, I'm posting here myself, but maybe, just maybe, if you spent less time here and more time watching films, maybe, and I stress, maybe your taste would be of some value. Just a thought, ya know.



Huh? Assuming that it is said to be "practical" but in fact, is digital, wouldn't the digital animators still have to have a line in the credits? That seems like a union contract thing.



The slide at the end of the film on the Archive.org copy reads
At 7 pm on 19 May, 1989, Hu Wai Chung, Li Sai Fung and Lu Liang Wai acted the explosion shots in person they were challenging death with their lives, unluckily, the gunpowder is too much and the flame wrapped around them Hu Wai Chung and Li Sai Fung were seriously injured we are sending our best regards to Wu Wai Chung, Li Sai Fung and Lu Liang Wai
Of all the exploitative sleazy ways to promote a film, this bug-into-a-feature maneuver elevates this from schlock to almost being a snuff film (the credits roll over newspaper accounts of the accident).