Nearly every movie you watch these days has some degree of CG technology in it, whether you see it or not. It’s easy to point to films like Transformers or Jurassic World and blame them for an overreliance on CG effects over practical (which in some cases is warranted), but to deny the fact that CG is utilized just as often in dramas or comedies as it is in big action epics is, well, false. David Fincher is a perfect example of a filmmaker who doesn’t make blockbuster films (in the traditional sense, anyway), but still uses plenty of CG to enact his vision. Everything from backgrounds to objects to camera placement are altered or completely fabricated in the digital realm under the direction of Fincher, which is why the behind-the-scenes documentaries on his Blu-rays are so damn fascinating.
And then you have the “dirty little secret” of CG artists touching up actors’ faces to take away blemishes, aging marks, etc. The team behind Harry Potter famously utilized plenty of visual effects to rid the central actors’ faces of acne during their teen years in the franchise, and you probably didn’t even notice.
The point is, bad CG is bad, but CG overall is not a bad thing. A new video essay from the folks at RocketJump Film School tackles this issue head on, and it’s a concise, informative distillation of how CG is used in films these days, and why it gets blamed for making bad movies, well, bad. And—surprise—plenty of Fincher clips are used to get across this point. Check out the video below.