Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Boy, these BBC Docu-dramas are fascinating! It's an ideal kind of filmmaking. While textbooks inform you about history, these shows allow you to live it.
Many people say "Story is King", while I don't completely agree with that, I agree that a good story is one of the most crucial fundamentals of a good film, and few fictional stories can rival with the mind-blowing landmarks in the progress of mankind.
History also provides strong characters (which are the generators of good stories anyway), "Space Race" focuses on two men: Sergey Korolyov and Wernher Von Braun, they both share the same dream: to reach for the heavens.
In realizing it, All sorts of things get in the way: competition, rivalry, politics, and even war.
The same things that keep us on our toes everyday make the characters and situations relatable, And on top of all, educational and inspiring.
Wernher Von Braun is an enigmatic, multi-shaded character, It's hard to describe him with absolute certainty. The man who developed the fearful V2 for the Nazis using slave labor, was the SAME man who sent Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the surface of the moon. I admire his scientific brilliance and his vision which was years ahead of his time, But unsure about his personality.
The connections don't seem to end, according to the BBC show, Von Braun had to first persuade America they NEEDED a space program, and to do that, he took the aid of famous cartoonists
"The only people showing any interest in space are in Walt Disney's studio...Maybe that's the answer, go directly to the American public"
"Show them there's more to it then missiles, Show them space as America's new frontier"
In the clip below, Ward Kimball introduces Wernher Von Braun, In the 1955 Disneyland episode Man and the Moon. some of Von Braun's dreams have yet to be realized.
Doco-dramas, In My opinion, also provide the best use for CG animation,
I think cg is the best for replicating real environments, scientific processes and objects. While
hand drawn is the best for creating characters and fantasy.
Ward Kimball's animated segments dealing with the myths of space are some of the finest cartoons I've ever seen. On the other hand, while the illustrations and animation describing scientific processes in Disneyland are very appealing and crystal clear, the BBC CG footage is much more exciting. It helps us to visit long gone historical launch pads, and see how the fuel is mixed from within the rocket! When edited with real footage, it is even more effective.
It's no news to anybody that CG provides great special effects! Here are some exciting effects and excellent filmmaking to take you on board of a great adventure: The flight of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space!
As a side note, my gut feelings about CG animated films:
An important factor in creating an illusion, a fictional story, is the viewer's comfort in the world you're creating.
I'd rather fly to Never-land than to the Uncanny valley.
CG is a jaw dropping tool, but most people haven't used it, they don't know how it works, and some become worried as they fail to separate CG images from real ones, this can create a barrier between the film and the audience, a response quite common with the films "Final Fantasy" and "Beowulf".
On the counterpart, We've all used ink and paint, everyone, not just artists, and it's our imagination and belief that makes the leap of faith and welcomes the illusion of hand drawn cartoons. my two cents.
Without further delay, here are the links to the entire series:
Man and the Moon:
Man in space:
Mars and Beyond