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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Hopes for EG Movie Visual Tone

Author Topic: Hopes for EG Movie Visual Tone
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So what do y'all hope for in terms of the visual tone of the movie? (I don't want people arguing or saying 'that'd suck!' to anyone else, I'm just curious about what everyone is personally imagining. Maybe the directors or producers are lurking on Hatrack. [Big Grin] )

What I'm really, really hoping for is a film that doesn't look slick. The stylistic genius of great movies like Serenity and Aliens were the sets that looked lived-in. The ships were crowded, scuffed-up, falling apart. Very little CGI, just gritty, messy, hands-on life.

By contrast, we've also seen movies like Episode One, where every surface is polished and shiny, where everything looks too glossy for a human to actually touch. I hope they can avoid that.

The keyword here is naturalism. As far as a movie about a kid fighting aliens via videogame can be conveyed, I mean. *grin*

Anyway, here's my list of some movies whose visual tone and dark atmosphere I'd associate with Ender's story. (These movies should not be seen as examples of the actual action, since some like The Fountain are much slower-paced than I'm thinking EG will be. I'm simply talking about the visual style, here.)

For the sci-fi technology and alien stuff, I'm thinking Sunshine, Children Of Men, The Fountain, Blade Runner, Aliens, Terminator 2, Se7en, District 9, Pan's Labyrinth, Saving Private Ryan, Fight Club, Moon, Training Day.

If they're keeping any of the scenes set on earth with Peter and Val (doubtful, for running-time reasons) I'd hope they'd be visually akin to The Tree of Life, or Finding Neverland. Even Where The Wild Things Are. That same sort of nostalgic veneer hiding darker undercurrents.

The point is that these movies have visual styles which, far from calling attention to themselves, heighten the emotional impact of the stories. They're not there just to have cool special effects. The claustrophobia and isolation and paranoia and mind-breaking suffering Ender experiences will just not be believably depicted if he's constantly surrounded by a bright-lit antiseptic set.

I'm hoping they'll do as little CGI as possible - obviously the Battle Room will have a lot, but wherever possible I'm hoping they go with practical effects, like the weightlessness portions of Inception. Those of us who've grown up after Jurassic Park really kicked off the CGI era are really adept at picking up on computer graphics, and for Ender's Game realism is essential.

The principle is that of The Tree of Life, which didn't use movie-star lighting, but instead just found ways to use the natural lighting of the set. It really makes a difference, I think.

[ February 02, 2012, 08:38 PM: Message edited by: Zotto! ]

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Excellent post! I agree with you! You call it "naturalism" I call it "grit" that's what I hope that they bring to this story.



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I think Serenity-style visuals would be incredible.

I also hope they avoid the Starship-Troopers style plasticity, which, while different than Lucas's ineptitude, is its own brand of awful.

My preferred direction is actually a bit more stylized than the films mentioned about, most of which seems to emulate documentary/found footage styles (which thankfully seem to be falling out of fashion again). My ideal director would be P. J. Hogan, similar to his work with Peter Pan - fluid, but not slick, artistically framed and beautiful without being off-puttingly pretentious (and if that's not an annoyingly subjective expectation I don't know what is). Steven Soderbourgh's work on Haywire was very like my ideal for an action-type movie, though Ender's Game is certainly not nearly the same.

Duncan Jones (though I've avoided Moon) did great work on Source Code, though again, I don't think the film's similar enough to Ender's Game to quite mean as much as a template.

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