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The Science Behind Movies

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Film Studies
Wordcount: 2488 words Published: 13th Oct 2021

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Movies are usually one of the best tools to engage the audience with certain emotions that you would like to communicate, in order to tell a story, to make people conscious about something. All that we see is the actors developing a character in front of the camera and following a script line by line, but… What is hiding behind all this work?

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There are plenty of tools that writers make use of in order to bring out a series of emotions, either way by changing something in particular on the story or by adding a certain characteristic to the main character. All this just to assure that the main message is going to be communicated. The use of music, different scenarios are just some useful resources.

There are different kinds of stories that can engage the public better, but there are certain types that can work better. One of the stories that is used and tends to work really well because it has a great response to the audience is when the main character begins its successful life from scratch and ends up being famous or rich. There are many aspects that we could analyze about a movie, but the one that we are going to aboard here is about the physics of the special effects that are often used to create the amazing stories that we have seen. From the muscle-bound dad in The Incredibles, to the dinosaurs running wild in Jurassic Park, to Brad Pitt aging backward as Benjamin Button. In San Francisco, California is where we can find the biggest editors of the big screen. You may probably think of Silicon Valley when thinking about San Francisco, but it is also the house of many of the biggest names in the movies industry. There is the place where they adapt and develop the best computer programs to create and edit the movie scenes. If you ever wondered how do they did the scenes of Benjamin Button getting younger and younger or how do they did the squid-like David Jones or how did they do the toys look so real on the Toy Story movie, well, this is the place where all the dreams come true.

There is an article, about an interview made by "Talk of the Nation" that was transcribed by the "NPR", where the people who were interviewed was three of the most important animators in companies like Pixar or Universal Studios. On this interview they talk a little bit about how technology is getting better and better every day. On how there was a concert where there was used a hologram of Tupac singing and rapping along side with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. This is a huge advance, and it is not the first example of this, there was another presentation at the Bill Board awards a few years ago, where they made a hologram of Whitney Houston that was singing with Christina Aguilera. The movements used for creating these illusions are outstanding. More recently, on 2014, there was another presentation of

Michael Jackson, where they made him dance and sing one of the songs that were unreleased. This image of MJ was not a hologram, this was a different and more sophisticated technology that they used in order to capture the dance moves and the essence of MJ.

It is incredible how technology can create all this people. In the interview, they commented that the holy grail of animation will be when by using only technology they could be able to recreate a person in order to be like another actor, even though there is no one there. They talked about wanting to make a film with Marylin Monroe acting, with no actor

impersonating her, just by using technology to recreate her. But in order for this to work, it would be needed that you could not tell that there is no actor there.

There are also plenty of movies, where they use a combination of an actor and the technology to bring a character to the story. One of the examples of this could be Golum in the "Lord of the Rings", where they used an actor in order to impersonate the character, but the most work were developed to create the aspect that most of us know. There are many things to considerate when creating a computer edition into any character. For animated movies, the frame rate has been the same, 24 frames per second since the 20´s. This has worked really good for 2-D animations, but this has changed along time and the frames per second have been improved a lot.

One of the hardest things to do is to convert a 2-D movie into a 3-D movie. This process takes a lot of time and a lot of effort, because you are literally starting from scratch because you do not have any conception of depth or any metrics about objects. But at the end, it can totally worth it. The advances in technology are taking huge steps ahead and we may one see a movie or a T.V. show where the main character is a person created completely by computer animations. Probably a famous that already has passed away, like a movie of Michael Jackson or a show where we can see Frank Sinatra interpreting one of his songs. The possibilities are huge. When recording a fantastic animal, another huge process comes along the way, like when a dragon comes in a scene a you see it throwing fire and flying, like in Game of Thrones or in Harry Potter. The animation takes a huge part here, you can find that there are going to be actors in specific parts of the scenario, wearing funny suits, in order to resemble the character. This is one of the main sources that are used and also there is a lot of animation that is being used that we do not even notice, like when a big scenario is needed or an environment. A lot of times this is not noticed by the audience, but this is why these animators are like hidden heroes among the people from the movie set.


- Ira Flatow. (2012). How Movie Makers Use Science to Make Magic. 2021, de NPR Sitio web: https://www.npr.org/2012/04/20/151047256/how-movie-makers-use-science-to-makemagic

- Sarah Tesh. (2019). Physics at the movies. 2021, de Physics World Sitio web:


- Gabe Mitchell. (2018). The real science behind your favorite movies. 2021, de Smile Politely Sitio web:



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