The Weekly Geek: New film technology


Those of you who watch Retro Reviewing know that I’m not only a web geek, but I’m also a total film nerd as well. So when I came across a very cool feature in Wired’s Underwire blog (which always gives me pause to chuckle at the bra reference) about some amazing new film technology, I was stoked.

The piece in question details the ways that digital filmmaking and 3D animation are moving Hollywood closer to a Technicolor vision of the future. Aliens vs. Monsters stereoscopic supervisor Phil McNally even comes out and says, “Every technological advance in filmmaking points directly to something like Star Trek‘s holodeck … That’s lucid dreaming as realized by Star Trek technology. If you have a choice between watching a movie and going on the holodeck, I guarantee you’d be going on the holodeck.”

If you don’t speak Trek, let me explain: The holodeck was a hyper futuristic entertainment device that allowed 23rd century shipmates to actually create and go “inside” their games and stories — as opposed to watching passively. It was like the ultimate videogame — and I guarantee that if one were ever built, most human progress would grind to a halt.

Fictional entertainment devices aside, the new technology employed by recent and upcoming films like Tintin, Avatar, Goon, Watchmen and Monsters vs. Aliens is incredibly impressive — and the new focus on “world building” is appealing too. If you watch movies for escapism — or you’re just fascinated by all the artistic possibilities in creating new worlds, then it looks like things are about to seriously start heating up.

Just when I was at the peak of my animation/holodeck nirvana, I had a quick Debbie Downer moment when I realized it’s pretty unlikely that any of this amazing new tech would be applied to stories about lesbians anytime soon. In fact, I quickly scanned the article again and noted that no women’s names appeared at all — this is about as male-dominated a field as they get.

Sure, prominent actresses take roles in animated films — and the Wired piece is topped with a large image of Reese Witherspoon’s character from Monsters vs. Aliens — but the chances of a women-directed or even just a women-oriented production anytime in the near future are pretty slim.

But I’m not one to dwell on all that is evil about Hollywood — since I believe a future wherein an enterprising young woman comes out of a digital animation program and creates her own version of the 50-Foot Woman — and repurpose it as a love story between her and another big and tall lady. Or imagine an all-female, all-lesbian take on something like Watchmen, complete with whiz-bang effects and gorgeous, manipulated scenery. Or hey — what if Seven of Nine and Captain Janeway got caught in the holodeck together in a recreation of an “early 21st century woman’s bar”? It could totally happen.

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