Green Screen: 7 Movies Shot With Digital Environments
In the golden age of cinema, filmmakers had to scout out locations or build sets for their movies. Now, directors have the freedom that comes with all-digital environments, built in a computer and made to look however the director wants. All they need is the right software and buckets of green paint. Here are a few movies made with these types of techniques, for you to enjoy from the comfort of your living room/virtual reality chamber.
One of the most common reasons to go with the green screen approach when you're making a movie is to capture the look of a particular graphic work: In most cases, a comic book. And Robert Rodriguez spared nothing in bringing Frank Miller's crime comics to the screen with an often-creepy accuracy. The actors in "Sin City" don't just resemble the characters they're playing: They seem somehow xeroxed from page to the screen.
Also based on a Frank Miller comic, Zack Snyder's "300" brings the graphic violence Miller is famous for from the urban noir environment of "Sin City" to the ancient world of Trojans and horses and stuff. The result was a surprise hit, spawning dozens of parodies, rip-offs, and eventually a sequel/spin-off or two.
"Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow"
Rather than comic books, "Sky Captain" strives to replicate the hazy, nostalgic feel of 1930s adventure films. And it does that and more, but perhaps the all-digital environments were too much for viewers back in 2004 - the movie was unfortunately a notorious flop. But now there's no excuse not to check out this fun and underrated ("funderrated"?) adventure.
The "Star Wars" Prequels
One of the most common complaints about George Lucas' "Star Wars" prequels is that they "look fake." This is probably because unlike the original trilogy, much of the prequels were shot in digital environments. In fact, the animation-to-real ratio got so big that Lucas tried to get one of the movies nominated in the Best Animated Feature category at the Academy Awards!
James Cameron used all the toys at his disposal for this 3D action-drama. The digital environment came in the form of the planet Pandora, which is the kind of wondrous place where all manner of creatures thrive. Some viewers even reported going into a kind of depression that they could never visit Pandora themselves. Maybe one day, as TVs get more and more advanced...
What better movie to use digital environments than one about characters who get sucked into a digital environment? That's the hook behind this sequel to the cult 80s science fiction classic. The computer worlds depicted in "Tron" and "Tron: Legacy" might not have much to do with actual computers, but they were created with computers nonetheless.
And now we come back to Frank Miller, who made his directorial debut with this adaptation of the famous and revered comic series by Will Eisner. But rather than trying to replicate Eisner's unique visual style, Miller went back to his "Sin City" roots to make one of the weirdest movies ever made by a Hollywood studio. Samuel L. Jackson plays the crime lord The Octopus, who "has eight of everything" and some kind of Nazi fetish, and he's only the 3rd or 4th weirdest thing about the movie. but if you have to watch "The Spirit" at least Eva Mendes makes the film more bearable.