There was a programme on TV at the weekend about the making of the new Star Wars film. Everyone knows that the recent Star Wars films have mostly been filmed in front of a blue screen, but it never really occured to me how dull it must be for the actors involved; there is no need for extravagent soundstages costing millions of dollars; no need to fly the cast out to exotic locations. I wonder if the wooden performances in Episode 1 have something to do with the overall lack of inspiration the actors have from the blue walls around them; no matter how hard they try and pretend they’re high up above Coruscant, they can’t escape the monotony of the their real surroundings. Of course, for the special effects artists, it’s a dream come true; they get to muck around with expensive compositing equipment all day. The making of The Lord of The Rings trilogy was a different matter; the actors were clearly spurred on by their surroundings of the New Zealand countryside and the fact that they had a unique and rewarding experience while making the film impacts on the viewer while watching it. I think Lucas has much to re-learn about film-making; that actors aren’t digital characters like Jar Jar Binks, they’re human beings who can’t simply be inspired by multi-million dollar cheques.
A film I saw at the weekend which didn’t use any blue screen trickery at all was Y To Mama Tambien which I really enjoyed. I might write a review later.