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Krisana Polyotha

Do we still need a stuntman?

Not long ago, I wrote a blog post about predicting the future. I didn’t predict anything, but it raised some questions for readers to think about. For example, how future actors have to compete with AI. We already have robots taking the role of a stunt double to avoid the stunt double from getting a serious injury. Even more interesting is how Hollywood is now avoiding getting robots damaged and creating a digital double where it can be damaged multiple times. But is this a good thing or a bad thing? It depends on who you asked.

As an actor, I guess it’s a good thing for the time being. Especially in the genre of superhero! Where certain movements can be dramatised and slightly abnormal. One quote that I love from the video above is, “animators like to exaggerate movement and sometimes is about what feels right, not what is right.” This is one of the reasons why I feel blessed to try to create an animation with an animator for my FMP. Of course, it’s a little bit unorthodox for my degree course. Still, I believe it will open up many opportunities for me when I step into the industry. Obviously, I had to learn particular things that I didn’t get taught by my lecturer.

On the other hand, it gave me a better understanding of why it feels right to see a specific movement that you would never see in real life. Maybe it’s partly because when I was younger, I watched a lot of animations. So when I get older and watch films with animation elements, it feels right. In addition, it’s very similar to my sound design course too. I remember Paul (my lecturer) telling me about sound design and how to create sounds in films. He said it is very similar, but in a sound design context, “it doesn’t have to be right, but it needs to feel right.”

However, actors might have to start getting slightly worried in the future. Right now, actors might get to collaborate with animators when it comes to facial expression and body language. Although, animators are getting close to replicate face without relying on actors that much anymore, as special effect animations have gotten better year by year! I remember when I watched Avatar for the first time, and I was like, this is so cool! Going back to watching it, the story is excellent, and it’s still a great film, but with the quality of the special effects, you can tell it’s not at the same level as 2022! So how long would it take for animators to put actors’ jobs out of business? Well, I guess it depends. There are a lot of possibilities here. I believe Hollywood will make a statement before that happen, and the world will go on a protest. Why? It’s because we civilians just love Hollywood celebrities too much. Especially when a big group of them start to stand up and protest together.

Can I just say it’s funny how I always include Futurama writer’s in my blog post? But those writers actually do their research so well! Because it’s possible that robots can become the new actors in our world. However, I also wonder why it wouldn’t work entirely. In my opinion, it depends on the genre of the film. When it comes to comedy films, they tend to rely on bloopers and improv. Which is something that hard to get from a perfect design AI. Unless the AI is designed to make mistakes but would it feel natural? And artificial actors can work very well as extra they’re already here, but you just don’t know it yet. Or maybe you do if you just watch the most recent superhero films and look at those villains and extra that get easily killed by main characters. Yep, back in the day, those guys would be the stormtrooper. Now it’s all artificial. However, I believe it also depends on the director and producer. I believe some producers want to save money and get animators involved as much as possible. Sometimes spending money on more labour can be extremely expensive compared to paying animators’ fees. But then there would be directors like Christopher Nolan trying to avoid CGI as much as possible. But that doesn’t mean he won’t use it. It just means he cares about his film’s appearance, and maybe he cares about people who used to be involved in the film.

Why did I say this? It seems like the animators have a lot of ability to design clothes for the film, not just the movement. So, it made me question how much collaborative input costume designers have in post-production. Don’t get me wrong, I still think they put regular clothes on when superheroes are having a conversation in the day-to-day in film. But imagine you’re a film costume designer, and you have been invited to work in a superheroes film. Still, you don’t get to design the clothes. Or maybe you did, but it didn’t make it to the final cut. That would be pretty devastating. The one beautiful thing that makes the film a special place for artists is that you get to create things and still make a living. But what happens when technology becomes something that starts to threaten your job. I would be a hypocrite if I say this is happening just in film. It’s happening everywhere! The world is shifting towards technology. So, as a worker, you have to keep adapting. However, I also believe the government, unions, and leaders who have the power. They need to help the unfortunate as much as possible.

In conclusion, the world is moving forward, and that’s a good thing. However, sometimes it’s going too fast for other people to catch up! This is why it’s necessary for whoever is ever taking the driver’s role to be a precaution about the speed. Because if you’re going to 100mph in a 30mph lane, it’s dangerous, and there can be a lot of collateral damage. As a driver, you have to look at who is in the passenger seats. Because one of them might be a kid looking up to you, and that kid might become a driver one day and think about going forward so much that they don’t know what’s next to them or behind them. Therefore, we should try our best to collaborate technology with humans as long as possible, just like how we tell stories with a simple pen on paper. But at the same time, it’s not wrong to start writing a story on a laptop where you can easily erase and correct yourself. Also, don’t get all upset about how we’re relying on technology for films and arts. There are still many films that can’t afford animators and don’t need special effects in their movies. This will depend on the writer who creates the stories too. Of course, we’ll only need animators for animation and films that heavily rely on SFX. It depends on the budget as well. Big budget films will sometimes be able to collaborate with all sorts of artists and get them to work together. And there are still directors out there who would avoid using digital cameras like Nolan and Tarantino. There are still directors like Speilberg who are unsure about Online Streaming Services. Directors like Scorses believe superheroes films aren’t cinemas because it feels like a theme park experience. There are still great directors who are still unsure about the current film’s cultural shift. Because when they were making films when they were younger, it was so much different to what it is now. However, there are cinematographers like Roger Deakins who don’t mind doing both digitally or on film. And don’t get me wrong, all those directors they’re aren’t old school. We still see their films with a lot of modern technology involved, but I think they were making those statements because they cared about the people they used to work with. These new technologies might expand opportunities for young artists trying to make it into films. However, what happens to all the experienced artists who have craftmanship that only works in temporary eras?

This entry was posted in Video.
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