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Are Disaster Movies Really That Popular?

2268 words - 9 pages

Ever since the movie Star Wars came out, there has been an ever progressive increase in the use and development of special effects. From the very well detailed models of the Star Wars movies, the trend has been towards more realistic special effects as a whole. In the middle 1990’s, computer technology reached a point where complex visual effects could be rendered in such a realistic fashion that the special effect in question looked breathtakingly real. Seizing on this realization, the movies Twister and Independence Day were released which used the latest in computer graphic effects which seemed so realistic, it was actually very difficult for audiences to determine where the CGI ended and where the models began. As a result of this, disaster movies enjoyed great success, leading to movies such as Volcano and Dante’s Peak, as well as a slew of other movies with disaster as a central theme.
Many of these movies were so popular, that they went on to become some of the biggest movies of the decade as well as some of the biggest movies ever. What’s more, audience participation showed a desire for audiences to not just be entertained, but also to participate in the disaster itself. The upshot of this catharsis has been to allow disaster preparation officials the opportunity to communicate at large about the hazards we as a nation, as well as us as a world, can be reasonably expected to face in our lives.
With the development of special effects cinematography in the early 1900’s, signified best by with George Millie’s “A voyage to the moon”, there has been a constant strive to take viewers to exotic places. The effect is to immerse the viewer into this world they are visiting. From the early days, it was always a prop of some sort. This could be a back-round or a miniature. However, with the advent of better production techniques of the 1970’s, miniature and specialized sets allowed for more realistic depictions of scenes that would otherwise not be possible. At this time too, came the onset of computer technologies as cameras could be programmed to perform the same basic motion over again.
Another development in the 1970’s was also the more economic special effects. Due to recessions in the 60’s and 70’s, more special effects crews were forced to freelance rather than be attached to a set studio. This allowed them to bid and contract on specific movies at lower prices. With the success of Star Wars, these business models became more attractive to movie producers. By the 1990’s, this trend of competition and cheapness allowed for innovations of special effects which grew more and more lifelike. However, it was the onset of computer graphic integration in the 1990’s that sealed the fate of special effects.
Prior to the 1960’s and 1970’s recessions, most special effects teams were in house, meaning that they were attached to a set studio. This meant that special effects teams were basically limited to the movies that the studio in question was...

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