The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Posted by Matt on February 11, 2011

And now: Godzilla.

We all know there’s going to be another stab at an American-made Godzilla movie, right? Well, now you do. This one has the distinct advantage of not having Roland Emmerich involved. I’m not saying this guarantees it won’t be terrible, but at least it could be a different kind of terrible. The hiring of Garth Edwards, the man behind some weird little horror movie that came out last year called Monsters, as director also guarantees it at least has a decent chance to be interesting in some way.

Chances are this will be another attempt to recapture the feeling of the very first movie. It’ll hard to really get at that atmosphere, considering the historical reasons the 1954 Godzilla was made in the first place (read: not-so subtle metaphors!). But there’s still something there for the creative types to grapple with, some decent science fiction ideas that could still be mined. And if they can do something interesting with it, I say go for it, as much as I like the monster vs. monster movies.

One thing I’ve considered for this theoretical movie is the way in which Godzilla will be rendered. Of course, rubber suits are out, unfortunately. As fake as they were, those movies in some key ways still feel more ‘real’ than a lot of CGI, which feels rather floaty and cartoony (it’s one reason why the original King Kong still looks better than all the subsequent remakes. Stop motion may not look ‘realistic’, but it feels ‘real’ in a way, because it’s actually there, with physical objects being manipulated and interacting with eachother). In a perfect world, we’d get at least one chance to see what top-of-the-line animatronics could bring to Godzilla, but it is not to be.

This is a situation where I think motion capture would help. The problem with a lot of purely CGI creations in otherwise live action movies is that we have a really hard time really suspending our disbelief, because often they look like video games projected onto a green screen (which is what it is most of the time) and the actors being told to react to something that isn’t there. But CGI can and is used to great effect in enhancing what’s already been filmed. If there’s some form of ‘reality’ that the CGI is being layered onto, the effect is usually much better. In order to get that lumbering movement characteristic of Godzilla to be represented on-screen, mocap would be the best option.

I don’t know why I’ve been putting so much thought into this.


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