Working with Digital Tools
As an art director and television producer, I witnessed the evolution of special effects. I was excited about every new development and jumped at the chance to experiment with each new twist.
The problem was that for years and years these effects carried baggage: they were obvious. Each one left “tracks” that said, “This isn’t real,” or “That was made with a.”
As enthusiastic as my co-creators and I were by the introduction of each new tool, we always speculated about what we would have to work with in five years–always five years, because that seemed to be the cycle for incubation and radical change in the television and film industry.
Then one day I realized we had passed a major milestone. Special effects no longer necessarily left “tracks.” They were smooth and realistic.
Special effects continue to get cheaper, and faster, and easier to use. What makes these special effects really special came about with the transition of analog to digital.
Now I have what I’ve wanted for nearly three decades…tools I can afford, and tools I can use without having an engineer or an editor standing between me and the creation; and, most of all, tools that don’t speak of their origins (leave tracks) in my works.
That’s what makes the digital canvas a joy to use.
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