Prequel Trilogy models, practical effects, and sets

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Sadly most of the practical effects still had a big old chunk of CGI added to them and it made it look video game cheap. The PT lacked a tactile feel to it, no matter how many models and mini sets they used.
 

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Good thread, some pics I haven't seen in years.

The PT doesn't get enough credit for the models and sets that were used, I think from memory ROTS used the most out of any film. Everyone assumes it's all CGI when in fact they actually made it as a set or as a model. The biggest issue for the PT should be the scripts, not the models, sets and effects.

I also think that AOTC and ROTS being shot digitally through people off and make people assume it's all CGI effects.
 
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Sadly most of the practical effects still had a big old chunk of CGI added to them and it made it look video game cheap. The PT lacked a tactile feel to it, no matter how many models and mini sets they used.
I couldn't disagree more. It looks nothing like a video game on my home setup. I suspect you may be confused about the "video game look" though, it looks the way it does, not so much because of the CGI, but because these were filmed on digital video cameras as opposed to 35mm film stock like the original films. While it's true that Episode 1 was shot on 35mm, it was post converted digitally before its release. That's why Episode 1 looks closer to the the original films than Episodes 2 and 3. IMO though, all 6 look great! :)
 
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While I personally never worried too much about cgi, you have to realize at the time the prequels pr and ad machines were pumping that "cgi is the way of the future" mind set down everyone's throats. From Lucas actually saying he only decided to make the prequels BECAUSE "the technology had finally caught up to his imagination", to rick mccullum talking about every single shot, every single shot is so rich with cgi. When the movies were released, and when it set in that they were terrible (for many reasons), it seemed as though this was partly due to a perceived lack of priorities. Cgi cgi cgi was all we heard...and yet the story sucked. I believe this is were the contempt for cgi started. Before that...to most movie goers and Star Wars fans in particular, cgi was pretty cool. The Specidl editions didn't help either. Again , more mixed up priorities and a lack of respect for story telling, coupled with Lucas's "these are MY MOVIES, and I say Greedo shot first!" Attitude didn't help.






Ps please dont fall into the "people just want to hate these movies for no reason" mind set, we didn't watch the movies wrong. These films really do suck. Hard.
 
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STAR WARS PREQUELS miniature effects - YouTube Interesting that there were more models and miniatures for each successive film in the prequels, not less. Rots had around 100 people alone working on these.....sweet! At the end of the video there's a little nugget that I found interesting, Rick Mccallum pushed for more of the miniatures and model work as the films went on, when George wanted to go more and more cgi. I guess another of the haters make believe fantasies goes up in smoke! "He's surrounded himself with yes men, no one to challenge him", sound familiar?
 
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Nice, good shots. Alotta these pics are available in many of the reference books out there nowadays (Making ofs, 365 days, Chronicles etc). But, the sets seem to be mostly partials, and others alotta miniatures. The giant SW Blueprints book has very few PT blueprints, because so many were indeed digital, it's about 85% OT in the book, and it even states it in the book, the lesser volume of complete physical designs in the PT.
 
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STAR WARS PREQUELS miniature effects - YouTube Interesting that there were more models and miniatures for each successive film in the prequels, not less. Rots had around 100 people alone working on these.....sweet! At the end of the video there's a little nugget that I found interesting, Rick Mccallum pushed for more of the miniatures and model work as the films went on, when George wanted to go more and more cgi. I guess another of the haters make believe fantasies goes up in smoke! "He's surrounded himself with yes men, no one to challenge him", sound familiar?
People making up fantasies so they can pretend to hate the prequels. Sure. It couldn't be that people actually dislike these films for valid reasons. It's just a conspiracy created by " the haters". Makes perfect sense.
 
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CGI is not the enemy-- CGI is not the reasons why the Prequels are poorly-made films.

I think what some people don't understand, or maybe just doesn't accept, is that the Prequels are poorly told stories; with the most disjointed, thoughtless and sloppy direction and acting. Even the action sequences are bland, cold, and boring because there's never any tension. The amount of practical effects, models and sets can't change the soulless mess George produced. The Prequels lacks passion, dedication, the human element that no amount of expensive, groundbreaking technical marvel, or any amount of money can buy.

TPM probably had more models and sets than all the OT put together. If you have the Art of The Phantom Menace, you'll see how incredible, how rich and world-building the art department was. The costumes alone were extraordinary in contributing to a new level of the SW-universe. But all of that, along with so much money, amounted to not really much-- if anything, did it, with George's storytelling and direction.

CGI remains a powerful, potent instrument in the art of filmmaking. Look how revolutionary, and visionary Peter Jackson implemented it to his LOTR films, all the while elevating the written word to new emotional heights--- and, forged ahead with how innovative and groundbreaking actions sequences can be. Had the creature Gollum been all practical effects, it would not had worked, at all. The dedication, the skills and most of all, the passion created a spellbinding, and groundbreaking performance: This was the perfect marriage of classic talent of the actors and the skills of utilizing the latest technology. Such a performance could never have existed without either. And that passion, soulfulness and the all-important human touch, working alongside the latest technical skills, is there again with the creation of Caeser in the new Planet of the Apes.

And Rick remained a yes-man because he didn't challenge George's storytelling. Insisting on superficial changes like more models, more sets and more practical effects did not change George's sloppy storytelling and result; look at his expression when he finished seeing the first-cut of TPM in the making-of feature. That is not the look of someone who was spellbound and blown away from a visionary experience. It was the expression of a businessman who just saw how poor the result of his investment was. I have that same look when I'm shown garbage that I have to transform into a million dollars in my job: The wheels start going at a high speed and my head is working overtime quickly coming up with ways to salvage, revise, spin... It's not a brainstorm-- it's a brainhurricane. I had a feeling that was what was going through Rick's head as well that moment...

The designs of TPM was the film that pulled me into SW, but I became a fan because of the OT's vision.
 
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CGI is not the enemy-- CGI is not the reasons why the Prequels are poorly-made films.

I think what some people don't understand, or maybe just doesn't accept, is that the Prequels are poorly told stories; with the most disjointed, thoughtless and sloppy direction and acting. Even the action sequences are bland, cold, and boring because there's never any tension. The amount of practical effects, models and sets can't change the soulless mess George produced. The Prequels lacks passion, dedication, the human element that no amount of expensive, groundbreaking technical marvel, or any amount of money can buy.

TPM probably had more models and sets than all the OT put together. If you have the Art of The Phantom Menace, you'll see how incredible, how rich and world-building the art department was. The costumes alone were extraordinary in contributing to a new level of the SW-universe. But all of that, along with so much money, amounted to not really much-- if anything, did it, with George's storytelling and direction.

CGI remains a powerful, potent instrument in the art of filmmaking. Look how revolutionary, and visionary Peter Jackson implemented it to his LOTR films, all the while elevating the written word to new emotional heights--- and, forged ahead with how innovative and groundbreaking actions sequences can be. Had the creature Gollum been all practical effects, it would not had worked, at all. The dedication, the skills and most of all, the passion created a spellbinding, and groundbreaking performance: This was the perfect marriage of classic talent of the actors and the skills of utilizing the latest technology. Such a performance could never have existed without either. And that passion, soulfulness and the all-important human touch, working alongside the latest technical skills, is there again with the creation of Caeser in the new Planet of the Apes.

And Rick remained a yes-man because he didn't challenge George's storytelling. Insisting on superficial changes like more models, more sets and more practical effects did not change George's sloppy storytelling and result; look at his expression when he finished seeing the first-cut of TPM in the making-of feature. That is not the look of someone who was spellbound and blown away from a visionary experience. It was the expression of a businessman who just saw how poor the result of his investment was. I have that same look when I'm shown garbage that I have to transform into a million dollars in my job: The wheels start going at a high speed and my head is working overtime quickly coming up with ways to salvage, revise, spin... It's not a brainstorm-- it's a brainhurricane. I had a feeling that was what was going through Rick's head as well that moment...

The designs of TPM was the film that pulled me into SW, but I became a fan because of the OT's vision.
QFT

So, you became a fan of Star Wars after Ep1? How old are you if you don't mind me asking? If the Prequels were your introduction to Star Wars, but you still reject them as inferior to the OT, then that shoots down one of the primary boilerplate arguments against those who criticize the PT: that we're all grumpy, disgruntled OT fans who can't stand change.
 
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^^^ I was 19 when I saw TPM in the theatre. So... I'm probably seen as some grumpy geezer now to someone, somewhere...

I did see the OT when I was little, so SW wasn't new to me before TPM. I liked the OT enough I just didn't grow up with them as a fan. My dad dragged me to see ROTJ when I was a few years old... I'm saying "drag" because it was sold out almost everywhere, and my dad was a SW fan and determined to see it that day-- so when you're that little, and you just don't want to go from cinema to cinema on a hot summer day, the thrill of seeing any movie became a "drag".

TPM clearly seemed to me that it was a case of hugely squandered potential by George-- not a matter of the film being unable to live up to the hype, as many have suggested as a reason for such distain for the film. That's when I started to revisit the OT, and was drawn into it by the sheer force of its vision-- which was rather simple, effortless but stunningly unique, subtle but extremely rich in tone. And of course the designs are brilliant, visionary. SW is not high art, it's not highly conceptual by its artistic structure, but it is visionary in its presentation and take on a timeless, and simple story.

By the time I saw AOTC, I gave up on the Prequels. There was one scene that I found "real" and beautifully striking in AOTC: the short clip of Clones firing blindly and moving slowly through a veil of thick dust against the Droid Army. AOTC didn't improve from TPM, but became even worse. And ROTS is a caricature of everything SW--- it's like a cartoon and completely one-dimensional at this point. But one scene did stood out like a beautiful mole on a tumor-riddled body: Amidala and Anakin pensively thinking about their fates at opposite ends of the city while the Republic silently starts to come crumbling down all around them. Had that scene set the mood and tone for the rest of the film-- or Prequels, god, how amazing would that have been... TPM remains the most sophisticated and confident of the Prequels to me.

And now, looking at the few morsels of teases from the Sequel-- both designs and story rumors, I'm not impressed, or interested, at all, so far. Once again, the over-relience on the OT is even more desperate this time, to me. That, and I don't care for the Sequels being told. But, maybe the new era/ new film will be engaging and amazing, despite what these previews may suggest to me... Just like I never cared for wizards, dwarves, elves and hobbits... but then Peter Jackson came along with the LOTR adaptations, and blew me away-- despite all the wizards, dwarves elves and hobbits. JJ (Abrams not Jar Jar) and company might just be able to pull it off if they focus on the story...
 
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Saw an interesting interview with Ewan Mcgregor recently on Top Gear , and he admitted that the OT is classic whereas the PT is...okay...

Said he had to act in a room with Green Screens all around him and above.....And even now he isnt really interested in any of the PT movies....

Says it all really......
 
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Saw an interesting interview with Ewan Mcgregor recently on Top Gear , and he admitted that the OT is classic whereas the PT is...okay... Said he had to act in a room with Green Screens all around him and above.....And even now he isnt really interested in any of the PT movies.... Says it all really......
Hmmmm........I've seen interviews where he says he loved being a part of the PT and really enjoyed his role as Obi-Wan.
 
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HI GS76 ,

The Top Gear episode looked to be fairly recent - i didnt catch the date but it was quite interesting how he preferred the OT - although i do recall that Harrison wasnt that big of a fan of the OT back then either..??

The impression i got was that Ewan found it hard to react to Green Screens - for instance he was told to" gaze at the moons" when in fact he had no idea where they were going to be - apparently the whole room was green from floor to ceiling...
 
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