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Star Wars: Episode VII will use more practical locations and effects, less CGI

Jul. 29, 2013by: Alex Maidy

Psyched about the news that John Williams is returning to score STAR WARS: EPISODE VII? How about this additional information from Star Wars Celebration Europe: EPISODE VII will not be a CGI-saturated green screen movie but will return to a more realistic method of film-making. That's right, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy informed those in attendance that there will be a lot less computer-generated effects in the first Disney STAR WARS.

"We're looking at what the early Star Wars films did; they used real locations with special effects. So [for Episode VII] we're going to find some very cool locations, [and] we're going to end up using every single tool in the toolbox."

Even cooler is that Kennedy says it was the amateur STAR WARS fans all over the world who have built and shared their creations on the Internet.

"I was amazed yesterday, looking at what the fans are doing," she said. "Using model makers, using real droids, taking advantage of the artwork that you can touch and feel – we want to do that in combination with CG effects."

So far, so good, Disney. Lucasfilm seems to be operating with a newfound energy and vigor that was sorely missing during the prequels. Gone will be George Lucas' stilted dialogue and over-reliance on computer wizardry. What made the original trilogy so endearing was that it looked like you could reach out and touch everything in the world on screen. The new films had multiple occasions where you couldn't be sure the actors were even looking at something physically in front of them or not.

No further news was shared aside from the fact that Michael Arndt is still working on "story and character" for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, something that could be worrisome if the film intends to begin shooting in mere months.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII will hit theaters in 2015.

Source: The Guardian

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+1
3:53PM on 08/19/2013

Thank god!

I love CGI, but.........models give the best texture and give so much more substance to the objects. There needs to be a return to when CGI and models were being mixed together. Last year, the release of Titanic looked amazing, and the special effects from 16 years ago still hold up with awe and wonder as they did back in 1997. I will say, the CGI and model effects of the Star Wars special edition are amazing, especially with the Death Star battle. The X-wings looked 3D enough without being 3D
I love CGI, but.........models give the best texture and give so much more substance to the objects. There needs to be a return to when CGI and models were being mixed together. Last year, the release of Titanic looked amazing, and the special effects from 16 years ago still hold up with awe and wonder as they did back in 1997. I will say, the CGI and model effects of the Star Wars special edition are amazing, especially with the Death Star battle. The X-wings looked 3D enough without being 3D and you could see all the little details (the starches, the battle damage, the pilots moving their heads) of the space ships. But by the time Episode III came along, the CGI was still great, but didn't capture us in the way model effects and model CGI effects did.
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1:27PM on 07/30/2013
This is great news but don't expect puppets or models I am sure they are simply talking about doing away with the cartoon landscapes that basically made up the entirety of the prequels. Take a page from the makers of Game of Thrones or LOTR find awesome locations then add the CGI touches you need such as ships, characters etc, but don't go making entire worlds CGI it just doesn't look of feel right.
This is great news but don't expect puppets or models I am sure they are simply talking about doing away with the cartoon landscapes that basically made up the entirety of the prequels. Take a page from the makers of Game of Thrones or LOTR find awesome locations then add the CGI touches you need such as ships, characters etc, but don't go making entire worlds CGI it just doesn't look of feel right.
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12:18PM on 07/30/2013
In my opinion this is even better news than John Williams coming back.
In my opinion this is even better news than John Williams coming back.
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8:32AM on 07/30/2013

I've heard this bullshit before

I'll believe if I see it.
I invite these concepts, but the claims usually end up being a bunch of bullshit and every movie that banks on the idea of being "set more with real-world locations and practical effects" end up making the CGI look even more glaring... or just as obvious as if they said nothing about this goal.
Just like "Gertfroebe" and others said... "They said this with INDY IV".
I'll believe if I see it.
I invite these concepts, but the claims usually end up being a bunch of bullshit and every movie that banks on the idea of being "set more with real-world locations and practical effects" end up making the CGI look even more glaring... or just as obvious as if they said nothing about this goal.
Just like "Gertfroebe" and others said... "They said this with INDY IV".
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5:43AM on 07/30/2013

Phil Tippett could use the work

Dude is on Facebook way too much and his beard has gotten CRAZY BIG.... Plus, his practical work was always way better than his CGI stuff.
Dude is on Facebook way too much and his beard has gotten CRAZY BIG.... Plus, his practical work was always way better than his CGI stuff.
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9:01PM on 07/29/2013
Between this and John Williams coming back, they're saying all the right things.
Between this and John Williams coming back, they're saying all the right things.
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4:55PM on 07/29/2013
HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!
HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!
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+15
4:44PM on 07/29/2013
In all honesty I could understand where George Lucas came from with the CGI in the prequel trilogy. I'm sure while he was making the OT, as much as he created sets and puppetry and costumes that looked cool for the time, I bet they weren't exactly what he imagined in his head. So going into the PT, he probably got too wrapped up in the cgi because of how easy it was to make what was in his imagination become real. He clearly went a little overboard, but whatever....
In all honesty I could understand where George Lucas came from with the CGI in the prequel trilogy. I'm sure while he was making the OT, as much as he created sets and puppetry and costumes that looked cool for the time, I bet they weren't exactly what he imagined in his head. So going into the PT, he probably got too wrapped up in the cgi because of how easy it was to make what was in his imagination become real. He clearly went a little overboard, but whatever....
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4:30PM on 07/29/2013
I don't mind a lot of CG. What I do mind are 45 minute pod racing scenes, Jar Jar Bink-like characters, bad acting, and ridiculous one-liners (hold me like you did on Naboo).
I don't mind a lot of CG. What I do mind are 45 minute pod racing scenes, Jar Jar Bink-like characters, bad acting, and ridiculous one-liners (hold me like you did on Naboo).
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10:56PM on 07/29/2013
The line is: "Hold me like you did so long ago, by the lake on Naboo."
The line is: "Hold me like you did so long ago, by the lake on Naboo."
9:43AM on 07/30/2013
Well, you can't argue with Red4.
Well, you can't argue with Red4.
4:17PM on 07/29/2013
That's what they said when Indy IV was made.
That's what they said when Indy IV was made.
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10:57PM on 07/29/2013
Yeah, but George Lucas was still puppeteering that mess.
Yeah, but George Lucas was still puppeteering that mess.
+5
4:12PM on 07/29/2013
Great news. Michael Arndt is great news as well. Hopefully the new movies will regain the charm the prequals sorely lacked.
Great news. Michael Arndt is great news as well. Hopefully the new movies will regain the charm the prequals sorely lacked.
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3:58PM on 07/29/2013

sweet

I don't have a problem with CGI per se, but it, like everything else hollywood touches, it goes beyond overboard with it. Take for an example the trailer (because I have no interest in the full movie) for Grown Ups 2. It had several CGI gags that had no business being in a "comedy" movie. For all intents and purposes, it's a live action cartoon, and for that I'd rather just stay at home and watch Spongebob or Phineas & Ferb with my kids. They're actually are cartoons, and *gasp* funny.
I don't have a problem with CGI per se, but it, like everything else hollywood touches, it goes beyond overboard with it. Take for an example the trailer (because I have no interest in the full movie) for Grown Ups 2. It had several CGI gags that had no business being in a "comedy" movie. For all intents and purposes, it's a live action cartoon, and for that I'd rather just stay at home and watch Spongebob or Phineas & Ferb with my kids. They're actually are cartoons, and *gasp* funny.
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5:21AM on 07/30/2013
I'm not a huge fan of Adam Sandler. I used to be when i was 13 and i thought Happy Gilmore was the funniest shit ever, but not so much anymore. That being said, give Grown Ups 2 a chance. Alot better than the first, and Salma Hayek's cleavage steals every scene she's in. And yeah, the CGI deer gag is a little stupid, but it only gets better.
I'm not a huge fan of Adam Sandler. I used to be when i was 13 and i thought Happy Gilmore was the funniest shit ever, but not so much anymore. That being said, give Grown Ups 2 a chance. Alot better than the first, and Salma Hayek's cleavage steals every scene she's in. And yeah, the CGI deer gag is a little stupid, but it only gets better.
3:27PM on 07/29/2013
Awe yeah!
Awe yeah!
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2:57PM on 07/29/2013
It's why Jurassic Park's effects blow away some movies that are released now, 20 years later. They used Animatronics in combination with CGI. They went out and filmed some scenes in Hawaii. It's much better than a movie that is all CGI and green screens.
It's why Jurassic Park's effects blow away some movies that are released now, 20 years later. They used Animatronics in combination with CGI. They went out and filmed some scenes in Hawaii. It's much better than a movie that is all CGI and green screens.
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+22
2:50PM on 07/29/2013
I'll believe it when I see it. Spielberg said the same thing about "Crystal Skull" and it was teeming with useless CGI.
I'll believe it when I see it. Spielberg said the same thing about "Crystal Skull" and it was teeming with useless CGI.
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4:53PM on 07/29/2013
Don't you remember? It was an ACTUAL refrigerator he hid in.
Don't you remember? It was an ACTUAL refrigerator he hid in.
+11
2:49PM on 07/29/2013
Like slimbo, I am wary that this is only relative to the prequels as opposed to more akin to the originals... I'm sure we'll get PLENTY of falsity through CGI... but the fact that they are reportedly making this conscious effort to scale back on that economic nonsense is refreshing, and I can only hope that as the original trilogy set many many trends, this sets a new trend and more films begin reverting to practical effects, which, even if not as fluid as CGI, *always* look better than pure
Like slimbo, I am wary that this is only relative to the prequels as opposed to more akin to the originals... I'm sure we'll get PLENTY of falsity through CGI... but the fact that they are reportedly making this conscious effort to scale back on that economic nonsense is refreshing, and I can only hope that as the original trilogy set many many trends, this sets a new trend and more films begin reverting to practical effects, which, even if not as fluid as CGI, *always* look better than pure CGI (practicals enhanced with CGI, a la Wink in Hellboy II, however, are fine, imo). Then, this is all coming from a guy who staunchly believes the greatest special effects ever engineered can be found in the creatures of Ray Harryhausen.
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2:44PM on 07/29/2013
I hope other movies follow suit, but I remember when they said the same thing about Indiana Jones 4 and we got CGI prairie dogs, and Shia Lebouf sword fighting while standing on two different vehicles while looking completely green screen produced.
I hope other movies follow suit, but I remember when they said the same thing about Indiana Jones 4 and we got CGI prairie dogs, and Shia Lebouf sword fighting while standing on two different vehicles while looking completely green screen produced.
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