View Full Version : Acting, Prequels vs OT, a thought on environment.

08-21-2007, 05:31 PM
As the debate continues on how the prequels stack up to the originals, in regards to acting, I have to wonder how much the completely digital sets play into this.

In the originals, the actors had complete sets to interact with and to set mood. While actors can take direction, I think some of their acting is impacted by the lack of sensory input. Most of the time, actors only had a vague idea of what their environment on-screen would actually look like.

I personally felt more from the originals for this very reason. In a sense, everything in the original movies (not SE) were "real." Even a matte painting gives a visual sense of where they are and continual reaffirmation as they act their scenes.

Hopefully for the live action they will cut down on CG effects.

08-21-2007, 05:45 PM
First of all, there is no debate. http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Now, I like how they did the blue screen work in the PT. Where other movies of today (like 300) may have the actors on a completely green set, then make a computer animated enviroment and place them in, Star Wars actually made miniture sets.
I found this fascinating. The work and quality that goes into those miniatures is astounding. Especially Mustafar and Utapua. So in the OT,they had miniature models, like AT-ATs and Tauntauns running stop-motion in front of real-world photos or reference. In the PT it's the opposite, real world models like people and creatures walking around in front of miniature sets. It's has a romance about it, no? http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/wink.gif

08-21-2007, 05:46 PM
A point well made, actually. I'm sure acting in front of greenscreen and adressing your lines to a tennis ball on a stick does not bring out the best performance from even the world's greatest thespian.

Having said that, I don't think actors had access to matte paintings when they were filming a scene in the old days. I'm pretty sure those were part of post-production only.

08-21-2007, 07:25 PM
But there were some sets on the PT movies. It wasn't all just blue screen. Also, they had drawings and things to show to the actors what the stuff looked like.

It's really no different from stage acting where the actor has to create a world on the stage. Things like the Taun Taun in ESB were added months after the actors were done filming.

08-22-2007, 12:55 AM
As far as sets go for the PT, most indoor stuff was physically built (Padme's penthouse, Palpatine's office, etc). I was amazed to find how much of it is miniatures enhanced with CGI (Utapau sinkholes, Kamino scenes, some Coruscant scenes, etc).

Being a fan who pretty much grew up with the PT (Ep I came out when I was in 5th grade and I'm now 19 for those of you keeping track), I'm very pro-PT. I love all the Star Wars movies, but I've never thought of Star Wars as an example of fine acting. To me, it's a visual experience and meant to be a fun, action adventure series. I'm very much emotionally attached, of course, but clunky dialogue or stiff acting doesn't bother me one bit (and there are plenty of examples of both from all the Star Wars movies, IMO). Just wanted to get that off my chest after a lot of negative feelings on the last podcast.

08-22-2007, 07:33 AM
I think Ewen McGregor did a fantastic job as did many of the cast, but their chemistry together wasn't nearly as tangible as the OT. I do like the PT, and really have grown to enjoy Ep1, but EpII really lacked the interpersonal connections we have seen in the other films. I just wonder if some of it was lost due to the lack of true sets. In the OT, other that scenes of space or other vehicular combat, most things were location shoots or full sets and creatures. Sand Crawler, Mos Eisley, Death Star Interior, Millenium Falcon Interior, Yavin Hangar, Command Center, Hoth Base, Dagobah, Bespin Interior, etc... all constructed sets with all aliens/creatures actually present on set. I think it gives ambiance which helps actors develop chemistry between one another, because it doesn't leave details to the imagination of the actor, when you need all the actors present in a scene to be in the same place.

I do enjoy the PT though, but just a thought on some chemistry that I felt the PTs were lacking.

08-23-2007, 11:18 AM
Well, as I talked about last night on the show, even though I am 16, I still prefer the OT to the PT. I guess hanging around the fanfilm section of TFN's forums for over a year does that. But what I like about TPM was that it was captured analoge(sp?), so it felt like the OT, and after watching the documentary of the making of TPM, they seemed to have the perfect combination of CG and Minuature. The sabers look pretty decent in TPM as well. I think that part of the reason that the OT was better than the PT was the action. Its Star WARS people. In the OT, most of the character was seen through action, sometimes little action, but something was still going on. Lets take ROTS for example. How much do you see "down" time between Anakin and Padme, and in ESB or ROTJ, how much "down" time do you see between Han and Leia there. And one more thing that came up last night. Who cares if Jar Jar is the way he is. You cant and shouldnt be expected to like each character. Just like in real life. There are people you like to hang around with, and there are the people you like to avoid. Its one thing that bridges reality and Star Wars.

08-23-2007, 11:58 AM
True about Jar Jar. I don't hate him. He makes me laugh everytime. I can't help but smile when I see the Jar Jar publicity pics of his stupid, ear to ear grin.
Very astute persception. What was that Yoda said about the mind of a child? (I know you're 16, but relatively speaking-as a 22 year old myself, we're still kids in the eyes of the OT boys, who were between our ages when SW came out, so..)

08-23-2007, 01:51 PM
I hate Jar Jar, but the Jedi Council in TPM was amazing with all the different aliens. But then you go to ROTS, and they all look too human. What happend?

08-23-2007, 02:23 PM
Two arms, two legs, too human? http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/wink.gifWell, I guess I have seen people on subways that look like they could be from the outer rim.

08-23-2007, 02:30 PM
Well in the TPM Jedi Council, you have Yaddle, Yarel Poof. Some interesting characters. Then by the time AOTC rolls around you get a guy with sticks on his head.

08-23-2007, 02:52 PM
True about Jar Jar. I don't hate him. He makes me laugh everytime. I can't help but smile when I see the Jar Jar publicity pics of his stupid, ear to ear grin.
Very astute persception. What was that Yoda said about the mind of a child? (I know you're 16, but relatively speaking-as a 22 year old myself, we're still kids in the eyes of the OT boys, who were between our ages when SW came out, so..)

I agree, Jar Jar is pretty amusing. There's bound to be one clumsy character in the universe. I think the same thing that you said about not every character is going to be your favorite. Sure, it panders to children a bit, but if that gets them interested in SW for the rest of their life, then I think it's great. My 6 year old cousin LOVES Jar Jar (especially the tounge thing that he did in the Skywalker kitchen).

I also admit that I think the C3P0 Ep II head gag was pretty funny. On paper, it's so lame, but I always find myself laughing to "What a drag" and all the rest. lol

And a quick response to atattack's original post, I'm sure they'll cut down on CGI for the live action show. It's just too expensive to do what they've done in the movies week in and week out. I have a hunch that it will be similar to BSG or Firefly, in that we get a Falcon type ship that the gang is on most of the time. It's much cheaper that way. There will be great CGI, but to keep the cost down, I assume that it will be used much more sparingly.

08-23-2007, 03:28 PM
I loved Threepio's stuff in the droid factory. Every time I saw that in the theater people were really laughing at it. And Threepio's part in the battle was great, too.

08-23-2007, 10:36 PM
I loved Threepio's stuff in the droid factory. Every time I saw that in the theater people were really laughing at it. And Threepio's part in the battle was great, too.

Yeah, I think that overall the droids doing their slapstick comedy bits were pretty hilarious. I also think that R2 on Grevious' ship was rather funny also.

08-24-2007, 08:35 AM
My favorite moment out of all the prequels would still have to be the moment the doors swung open, presenting Maul in direct confrontation with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. That moment was amazing. It reminded me of how I felt when I was young and went to see ESB; when Luke first ignited his saber to face off against Vader. The excitement was palatable! It was a moment that I couldn't find replicated elsewhere in the PT.

08-24-2007, 10:56 AM
I read an interview a while back, but I can't remember the source...It may have come out of a sw.com interview, but it was Rick Mcullum, telling a different version of that scene from what's on the Ep. I commentary.
Apparently, Natalie Portman had a line of dialogue in that scen...On set, first take, the doors opened, Maul looked up, and Natalie, who was like 15 at the time, froze. Forgot the line-just turned to walk away. Later in the cutting room they realized the first botched take, had to be the one.

08-24-2007, 11:22 AM
Maybe I'm misremembering, but I'm pretty sure Padme has a line in the scene. It's something like:

(Darth Maul appears, with Duel of the Fates in the background)
Qui-Gon: We'll take care of this
Padme: Fine, we'll take the long way around

Or something like that, I'd need to check http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/grin.gif

08-24-2007, 12:33 PM
Yeah, I think so; something like 'there's another way around'.
I didn't look at the script, I just assumed there was originally another line or maybe they spliced her pale reaction with another take of the line.

08-24-2007, 01:15 PM
Hmm. It does look they added in a voice at that scene. Anyway, that was a good moment. I remember it gettting a reaction in the theater.

08-24-2007, 02:21 PM
I remember it gettting a reaction in the theater.

That it sure did, it was awe-inspiring, to say the least.

08-24-2007, 04:34 PM
Hey guys, just thought I'd share my opinion on this as well. I saw TPM when I was 11, so I guess I'm part of the so-called "prequel generation". I'll be the first to call out Jason and Pete on a comment they made during today's show, that the generation gap determines which trilogy you prefer. I'd have to disagree with this somewhat. I think it depends of how you were first introduced to Star Wars. Most of us gravitate toward the original trilogy becuase it's what we first saw (myself included, although I enjoy the prequels equally as much and for different reasons). Nostalgia plays a big factor in Star Wars fandom, so being able to trace your experience back to either the OT or the PT makes a big difference in how you view the saga as a whole.

I have a 6 year old brother, for example, whose first real experience with Star Wars (other than watching a few of them at home) was seeing ROTS in the theater. To this day, it's his favorite Star Wars film. He enjoys them all (EVEN the OT, guys! This is my point!) because he realizes it's all Star Wars. Kids are really spoiled by all the CGI and flashy visual effects these days, which IMO is one reason why the OT gets labeled as "boring" a lot of the time. But even with all of that, it's still possible for today's generation to recognize the significance of the films that started it all.

08-24-2007, 04:42 PM
Well, my first exposure of Star Wars came from Muppet Babies. So...what does that mean for me?

And I agree, the most fandom I've experienced was during the PT. But most of my childhood nostalgia is centered around the OT. Making them different but equals. http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/wink.gif

08-25-2007, 03:57 PM
Well, my first exposure of Star Wars came from Muppet Babies.

I remember that episode! I loved it, and I never saw it again, in spite of the Muppet Babies being on reruns for years and years over here.

08-25-2007, 07:10 PM
Haha, I guess you've got me on that one, Cramer. http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

We all know you're waiting for the "Star Wars Muppet Babies: Special Edition" on DVD. http://threads.rebelscum.com/images/graemlins/laugh.gif