One of the many things J.J. Abrams has been praised for, with regard to his work on STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, is that he went old-school with it- both in terms of storytelling, and in terms of technology. He hired Lawrence Kasdan (EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK) to co-write the script, and he committed the project to sticking with practical effects and sets as much as possible. One other thing? He shot it on film. During an age when Hollywood is pushing all of its filmmakers to switch over to digital because it’s supposedly cheaper, Abrams extolled the virtues of shooting on film and stuck to his guns.
The result was a film that really felt like it belonged next to the original trilogy, and it now looks like that tradition will continue on through the remainder of the new trilogy.
While director Rian Johnson, who’s handling EPISODE VIII, has already revealed he’s sticking with film, now Colin Trevorrow has made the same pledge. He revealed his decision to stick with film at a press conference during the Sundance Film Festival.
This news, of course, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, film helps create a richer, more authentic feel- which directors like Christopher Nolan say is why the format needs to live on- but it also makes CG effects seem that much more…fake. Digital effects look best, unsurprisingly, in the digital format. Yet for JURASSIC WORLD, Trevorrow shot on film and still relied heavily on CG effects. The result was a film that many fans claimed felt fake, less authentic, and far more unrealistic than JURASSIC PARK despite all the advances in technology in the last 20 years.
So yes, this is good news, but only if Trevorrow also pledges to push for practical effects and sets as well. If he doesn’t, and the film ends up looking like JURASSIC WORLD, it could result in the same disconnected viewing experience many folks had during that film.
We shall see.