Letters

Published on April 13th, 2013 | by Clint Davis

Too Much CGI? — Reader Q&A

In our first month on the web, feedback has been slowly coming at Overdue Review–but I got a couple of good questions via email, Facebook, and Twitter posts that I thought could make a nice weekly segment.

I appreciate you all for reading and recommending the site to your friends, also any reader responses and requests will be answered so send them in!

#1: via email to TheClintDavis@gmail.com –

Glenn in Ashland, Ohio writes:
I absolutely love the new review site you’ve started. You’ve got some great artwork as well. Who has been designing your banners? I loved your Dr. No and Red Heat review. How have you been picking your movies?
 Anyway, great work and I love reading your reviews!

Thanks a ton, Glenn, glad you’re digging the site!  For as little as I know about running a website, I know even less about graphic design but I knew I had a specific look in mind for the site.  I went to my old friend Paul Weber, a graphic designer out of Washington D.C., and he was kind enough to create our various logos as well as the prototype for our weekly Facebook and Twitter banners.  Check out Paul’s website if you want to see more of his work.

On your second question, I don’t really have a method for picking the films.  If you notice, I try to never review more than one movie of a given decade per week.  I don’t subscribe to Netflix so either I’m getting my movies from my own collection, one of the premium movie channels on TV (HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Showtime…), or at the local video store/library.  Also, if someone writes in a review request, I put it on my list and track it down somehow.  I’ll try to rent 3 or 4 movies at a time, all from different decades so I can continue to spread the site’s base.  If I just reviewed my favorite films all the time, it would be a bunch of long dramas (PT Anderson, Coppola, Lumet, etc…)–and I don’t want the site to be pigeonholed!

Thanks for reading and writing in, Glenn!

-Clint Davis-

#2: via Facebook to Overdue Review’s page –

Dan in Dayton, Ohio writes:

What are your thoughts on the current use, or “overuse” of CGI in movies?  My personal opinion is that it’s definitely overused and I yearn for the days of hand-made special effects.

Dan, good to hear from a fellow special-effects enthusiast!  One thing I worry about with today’s culture of remaking older horror pictures and using digitally-created effects exclusively is that we won’t see future great artists like Rick Baker and Ray Harryhausen of yesterday.  Technology is a gift and a curse as it makes our lives and jobs easier but also can cause us to get lazy.  The hand-made special effects of movies like The Evil DeadThe Fly, and An American Werewolf in London were examples of artists being commissioned for a project, then using just their minds and materials to create lasting images.

Rick Baker’s Oscar-winning work in 1981’s An American Werewolf in London.

Also, no matter how realistic CGI looks (my favorite recent example being Aaron Eckhart in The Dark Knight), it typically still feels like cold animation.  I realize that animators are artists too and that without CGI, great films like The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings trilogy wouldn’t have been possible–but I give kudos to anyone who still has the balls to use special-effects, because it always packs a punch to see great makeup.  I think film fans can agree that a mix of the two is the ideal practice.

My best, Dan!

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About the Author

Clint Davis is a Cincinnati, Ohio-based journalist who dropped out of film school to write news! Email him at TheClintDavis@gmail.com.



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