CGI Isn’t the Attraction it Once Was


CGI Doesn’t Sell Tickets Like It Used to


There once was a time when, in order to have a movie perform well at the box office, it didn’t need to have major celebrities. As long as it had some cutting-edge CGI, that was enough to sell tickets. When audiences first saw the dinosaurs in the first Jurassic Park movie, many of our jaws dropped. We were awestruck by what CGI could accomplish. But by the time the last in the interminable series of Terminator movies ended, many of us had had enough CGI to last a lifetime. 

A Little Goes a Long Way

The problem with CGI is it was a new, shiny toy, and directors wanted to play with it and show it off. Some directors were innovative and featured it in productions that could not have been made any other way, like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. But many directors wanted to use it just because they could. 

They beat you over the head with CGI and used it in scenes that could have easily been shot using practical props and actors. They lost sight of the adage that a little goes a long way. They caused audiences all over the world to become jaded and bored with these ridiculously expensive effects that took an army of technicians months to create. They ruined the thrill of CGI for the rest of us. 

Today, it’s come full circle. I saw a snippet from an interview with a leading director who was talking about the realism achieved in his latest movie by shooting a particular scene without the use of CGI. It’s ironic that the lack of CGI has now become a selling point for films.