Author: Juan Carlos Alonso
Course: Writing as an Argument
Instructor: Ms. Waggoner
Date: September 27, 2012
Within the past decade, there have been several films that have relied on the technological advancements of computer animation to truly set their films apart from the past. The Watchmen, is a landmark film for this generation as it enabled computer effects to carry the film. That is not to say the acting, or plot is weaker than other films broadcasted on the silver screen, but moreover a testament to the changing interest of audiences around the world.
Throughout the movie there are countless scenes that illustrate the awe dropping capabilities of computer animation. As spectators enjoy The Watchmen, they become familiarized with Dr. Manhattan (Immortal Blue Man) in different landscapes across the globe performing miraculous feats. Although it is certain to the audience that his actions are entirely based on fiction, the film introduces mind provoking scenes of a scientifically engineered man creating mayhem in south east asia during the Vietnam war, as well as creating intricate glass empires on the planet mars. Thereby, illustrating the incredible technology available to make previously unimaginable scenes appear to be real. However, the cost in making these digitally enhanced films does not come cheap. According the to article read for class labeled Special Effects, “This digital technology, perfected in the 1990’s, revolutionized special effects. Although it’s very expensive, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars for only a few minutes of screen time, eventually CGI will save film producers millions” (p. 1). As illustrated through the text, the cost of using computer animation can add up quickly, especially given the dependance that The Watchmen has on computer generated scenes. Yet, as filmmakers struggle with the costs of using extensive special effects within their films, they must also realize the potential the film has to attract a larger audience as a growing number of viewers attend the cinema with hopes of being amazed by a film’s special effects.
After viewing The Watchmen, it is quite evident the the special effects of the film significantly contributed to the movies success. Given the nature of the film is based on a comic novel, it was necessary for the film makers to strategically use special effects throughout the film to enhance the story line. Furthermore, several of the character in the novel have supernatural powers that required special effects in order for the audience to appropriately comprehend the characters in the film. For instance, had the film makers chosen to not use special effects as effectively in the film, it would be extremely difficult for the audience to follow along with the direction of the movie, especially in regard to the characters and the plot that make up the Watchmen.