[FOUNTAIN]Improving on reality

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[FOUNTAIN]Improving on reality

“Movies as science” is not a new concept. The idea began when three dimensional (images) materialized in two dimensions (the screen) using light. The role played by science and technology in commercial movies grows each day. All blockbusters rely on the latest digital technology to give moviegoers a magical experience. Technology is the essence of Hollywood, which appears to be a “dream factory” but is actually a “factory of technology and capital.”
If George Lucas’ science fiction movie “Star Wars” was epochal in the development of movie making technology in the ’80s and ’90s, Peter Jackson’s fantasy movie, “The Lord of the Rings” did the same for this century. He created an amazing world from a fantasy novel, one that people had previously considered impossible to bring to the big screen. He was rewarded with Oscars for all 11 categories in which his film was nominated. This inspired a boom in fantasy movies, and digital technology is essential in bringing such films to life.
The fantasy era finally began in Chungmuro with the release of the blockbuster “The Restless,” which had a budget of about 14 billion won ($15 million). Set in the “after-world”, the movie aims to set the standard for Asian fantasy films. A digital character, played by Jeong Woo-sang, aids a real character, Jeong Woo-seong, in performing difficult action scenes. The film represents a significant breakthrough from the standpoint of its technological innovations.
What is very interesting about these big movies is the relationship that forms between the movie and the moviegoers. Movies can transcend the boundaries of space, time and the senses through technology.
Moviegoers are taken on a rollercoaster ride and view scenes that are impossible in real life. Displaying the medium at its best are the rushing crowds with millions of characters born through computer technology. The camera is not at eye level but expands the field of vision, shooting from the point of view of an eagle flying over the scene. IMAX movies are an example of an expanded visual sensation pushed to extremes. High definition digital images present colors more vividly and intensely than those seen in real life. Moviegoers feel that the image splashed across digital space is aesthetically better and real life seems pale by comparison.
In this manner, visual experiences through digital technology transcend the boundaries of reality and even surpass real- life experiences. Unwittingly, technology and images serve to improve our imperfect reality. In modern-day blockbusters, technology and images have already surpassed reality.

*The writer is a culture and sports desk writer
of the JoongAng Ilbo.

by Yang Sung-hee
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