The Fifth Element I was a little bit frustrated because I made the film right before all the new effects arrived. So when I did the film it was all blue screen, six hours, dots on the wall, takes forever to do one shot. Now, basically, you put the camera on your shoulder and then you run and then you add a couple of dinosaurs and spaceships. And I was so frustrated because it was not so easy at the time.
Luc Besson was responding this to a question asked in this article that talked about a possible “sequel” set in the world of the Fifth Element.
First of all this is not a rant against Luc Besson, I have nothing against him, I’ve seen most of his movies and enjoyed some of them a lot during the years. I take his words as a clear reflection of what a lot of people in the Movie industry think about the VFX industry not as a personal vendetta of any sort.
He is referring, with a bit of a simplification, to the fact that now a days some directors will shoot the some scenes without using green screen or with very little. Compared to others that don’t care to shoot in a green screen stage if needed.
Yes… indeed we make it seem that easy do we… well I’ll let you in on a little secret… It’s not that easy… Even with the most advanced techniques for doing effects it takes weeks or months of tiresome work to complete. More even so than with a green screen. That is why it is still largely used in today’s effects.
Anyway this is just to talk about the lack of knowledge that exists in the Film Industry about the work that is done by the people in the Visual Effects Industry. And that is one of the reasons why we have been in such a turmoil these past couple of years.
Visual Effects are just another tool in the film-making tool chest, the sooner we realize this the better.