Hyperreal cinema.

Mar 17, 2016

By now we've all seen what Photoshop is capable of - just look at Worth 1000 for examples of things that just can't exist, and yet do have a strange sort of life on the screen. People can be added and deleted, colours can be changed, and still scenes can be fabricated from stock images after a couple of hours of skilled effort. Editing moving footage is more difficult, though, because you've got thirty-two frames in each second to edit, times however many seconds long a particular piece of footage is. Impossible? Hardly - video editing technology is an amazing thing. I don't think that I have to name any movies that make heavy use of video editing and rendering, because just about every movie does these days. The subtlety of the editing is what gets me, though - tears can be added to moving footage of actors, facial expressions can be mathematically tweaked, and even random movements of eyes and the motions of breathing can be digitally removed. It is one thing, apparently, to create your own reality, but quite another to tweak one that looks so familiar, so real, that you can't tell that you're being tricked. It's even possible to create scenes that were never even shot - for example, in The Crow, a few scenes that apparently starred Brandon Lee actually didn't, because they were digitally composited after his death.

The world's become a much stranger place, and most of us (myself included) weren't even aware of it.