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The evolution of special effects

 

Today it's hard to imagine how the special effects in films could be more realistic, with big set-pieces in Gravity, Star Trek and Godzilla all looking eerily life-like.

But throughout the history of cinema, audiences have always marvelled at how much a bit of visual trickery can resemble real-life.

If it sounds cynical, then that's because it is. But if crowds were wowed by George Méliès A Trip to the Moon, or convinced by any of the original Star Wars, then I find it hard to buy the idea that we're experiencing any sort of golden age of special effects.

This isn't to say today's effects aren't impressive. In Gravity, they're "out of this world", amirite? But the technology is always going to get better, and will continue to raise the bar higher and higher.

Give it a few decades, and Gravity will start to look more like a slightly sexier spin-off of A Trip to the Moon.

Although this isn't necessarily a bad thing. As this video shows, despite coming a long way since 1878, special effects have always had the power to charm and enthrall, even when they're a bit dodgy.

@maxbenwellreal

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