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VES poll of most influential efx movies


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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 11:48 AM

Visual Effects Society poll of most influential efx movies of all time:
http://www.studiodai.../news/8073.html

1. Star Wars (1977)
2. Blade Runner (1982)
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
3. The Matrix (1999)
5. Jurassic Park (1993)
6. Tron (1982)
7. King Kong (1933)
8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
9. Alien (1979)
10. The Abyss (1989)
11. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
12. Metropolis (1927)
13. A Trip to the Moon (1902)
14. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
15. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
16. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
17. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
18. Titanic (1997)
19. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
20. Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
20. E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982)
22. Toy Story (1995)
23. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
24. The Ten Commandments (1956)
25. The War of the Worlds (1953)
25. Forrest Gump (1994)
25. Citizen Kane (1941)
25 The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
25. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
30. The Terminator (1984)
31. Aliens (1986)
32. Mary Poppins (1964)
33. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
34. Forbidden Planet (1956)
35. Babe (1995)
36. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
36. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
38. King Kong (2005)
39. Planet of the Apes (1968)
40. Fantastic Voyage (1966)
41. Jaws (1975)
41. Ghostbusters (1984)
43. Sin City (2005)
44. Superman: The Movie (1978)
45. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
46. The Lost World (1925)
46. Return of the Jedi (1983)
48. What Dreams May Come (1998)
49. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
50. Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1958)
50. The Fifth Element (1997)

----

Saw this posted on the Kubrick group, where some are upset that "2001" is only #3 and shares the spot with "The Matrix". I think it's unclear whether the members polled were thinking "most influential in history" versus "most personally influential" because some of the titles suggest the second since there are weighted towards 1980's-era movies.

But either way, how does a 2006 movie like "Pirates of the Carribean 2" rate #23 as being the most influential movie??? It's only one-friggin-year old!

Truth is that I bet a certain number of members (closer to my age) had the same influences: original Star Trek, Space: 1999, Thunderbirds, and Godzilla movies...
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#2 Tim Partridge

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 11:56 AM

No Korda THIEF OF BAGHDAD.

I have no idea what THE MATRIX or half those other films are doing in there.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 02:39 PM

No Korda THIEF OF BAGHDAD.

I have no idea what THE MATRIX or half those other films are doing in there.


Well, the "bullet time / time slice" effect was a pretty influential in its day, though I'm not sure about long-term importance, being such a unique, non-real effect. But historically, it is important... just not "third most-important movie of all time for effects" important.

You can certainly understand why "Star Wars" is at the top of the list, simply for the sheer number of people it influenced, though the efx work was influenced by "2001" and even "Silent Running", not to mention "Space: 1999" (Lucas had told Joe Viskocel? that he wanted the model explosions in space to at least be as good as those in "Space: 1999".)
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#4 Kenn Christenson

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 04:33 PM

You can certainly understand why "Star Wars" is at the top of the list, simply for the sheer number of people it influenced, though the efx work was influenced by "2001" and even "Silent Running", not to mention "Space: 1999" (Lucas had told Joe Viskocel? that he wanted the model explosions in space to at least be as good as those in "Space: 1999".)


I heard they had to switch Millenium Falcon designs because the original looked too much like the Eagles of 1999. I remember thinking (after first seeing Star Wars) how similar the Rebel flight suits were to the space suits of 1999. I guess we're all influenced a little bit by everything we see.

I seem to recall "The Birds" being a very influential FX film - for those doing the work on the original Star Wars.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:04 PM

The Lydecker Bros. were also influential in the history of efx work, though no particular film is listed. Someone made a web page about them here:
http://www.vttbots.com/page20.html

The miniature efx in "1941" owe a lot to the Lydecker Bros.

As someone on one of the other sites mentioned, there is a lack of disaster movie films on the list, in particular Albert Whitlock's great matte painting work in "Earthquake". Peter Ellenshaw is at least represented.
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#6 Tim Partridge

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 06:26 PM

Well, the "bullet time / time slice" effect was a pretty influential in its day, though I'm not sure about long-term importance, being such a unique, non-real effect. But historically, it is important... just not "third most-important movie of all time for effects" important.


BULLET TIME yes, THE MATRIX no. As we both know, BULLET TIME was around and influential long before THE MATRIX, on GAP ads, Gondry videos and even a sequence from the movie LOST IN SPACE (1998). Infact, I remmeber when THE MATRIX came out over here and the technology was even established in TV commercials for various service industry tat. Just because it BECAME asscoiated with Keanu Reeves in a long black coat doesn't earn it's place as an influential effects movie (or maybe it does, just not on the technical front).

Neither Ned Mann nor Poppa Day are properly represented on that list, and the industry owes them more directly than any other practitioners.
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#7 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 06:57 PM

Wow, A Trip To The Moon is only #13, and a movie that did not innovate a single new effect is #1, go figure lol - David I agree with you, this list is extremely biased and myopic in its view of the history of effects)
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#8 Will Earl

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 07:01 PM

There are some entries I'd question in the list: ET, Jaws, Snow White and Toy Story not really being VFX films but SFX and animated films (however they are major influences in the way VFX are made). I'm guessing the VES asked a rather broad question and left it up to their members to determine the meaning. I took the 'most influential' to account for the film as a whole, not just based on the individual shots, techniques or elements used in the film.
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#9 Rod Otaviano

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 10:00 PM

I had a chance to watch "Metropolis" on the big screen (new restored 35mm print) about two weeks ago and it was a fascinating experience that I'll never forget. The visual effects are really impressive. I loved in particular the shots where you see the actors interacting with miniatures. I think it's called "Schufftan process".

I'm glad to see "Metropolis" on this list.

Edited by Rodrigo Otaviano, 17 May 2007 - 10:02 PM.

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#10 Stuart McCammon

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 11:17 PM

Not sure why, but I can't get this list out of my mind - why no Total Recall? Talk about a movie that had every single different kind of visual effect in it - I am amazed - nothing against some of the movies on the list but I think Total Recall is more significant than many that made it -
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#11 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 02:49 PM

No Korda THIEF OF BAGHDAD.

I have no idea what THE MATRIX or half those other films are doing in there.


'The Thief of Baghdad' was the first movie to actually use blue screen travelling mattes in color.

That count's as a major contribution to the SFX inventory.

Tom Howard worked out the process.
He also did the blue screen in the Steve reeves remake 'Il Ladro di Bagdad'
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#12 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 01:20 AM

Visual Effects Society poll of most influential efx movies of all time:
http://www.studiodai.../news/8073.html

1. Star Wars (1977)
2. Blade Runner (1982)
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
3. The Matrix (1999)
5. Jurassic Park (1993)
6. Tron (1982)
7. King Kong (1933)
8. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
9. Alien (1979)
10. The Abyss (1989)
11. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
12. Metropolis (1927)
13. A Trip to the Moon (1902)
14. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
15. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
16. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
17. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
18. Titanic (1997)
19. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
20. Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
20. E.T. the Extraterrestrial (1982)
22. Toy Story (1995)
23. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
24. The Ten Commandments (1956)
25. The War of the Worlds (1953)
25. Forrest Gump (1994)
25. Citizen Kane (1941)
25 The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
25. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
30. The Terminator (1984)
31. Aliens (1986)
32. Mary Poppins (1964)
33. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
34. Forbidden Planet (1956)
35. Babe (1995)
36. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
36. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
38. King Kong (2005)
39. Planet of the Apes (1968)
40. Fantastic Voyage (1966)
41. Jaws (1975)
41. Ghostbusters (1984)
43. Sin City (2005)
44. Superman: The Movie (1978)
45. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
46. The Lost World (1925)
46. Return of the Jedi (1983)
48. What Dreams May Come (1998)
49. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
50. Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1958)
50. The Fifth Element (1997)

----

Saw this posted on the Kubrick group, where some are upset that "2001" is only #3 and shares the spot with "The Matrix". I think it's unclear whether the members polled were thinking "most influential in history" versus "most personally influential" because some of the titles suggest the second since there are weighted towards 1980's-era movies.

But either way, how does a 2006 movie like "Pirates of the Carribean 2" rate #23 as being the most influential movie??? It's only one-friggin-year old!

Truth is that I bet a certain number of members (closer to my age) had the same influences: original Star Trek, Space: 1999, Thunderbirds, and Godzilla movies...


I would add a few, here they are and why:

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)-Ray Harryhausen's scene of the skeleton warriors fighting with Jason and his men is perhaps the finest example of stop motion photography integrated into life action ever put on film.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) It was the genisis of the desaster movie genra. Irwin Allen then moved on the refine the the genra with Airport and it culminated in The Posiden Adventure and The Towering Inferno.

The Time Machine (1960) Excellent use of time travel effects to convey the story.

Star Trek The motion Picture (1979) This film single handedly ressurected the Star Trek franchise leading to 10 sequiels...scratch that 11 seguiels, I just found out Star Trek XI is now in pre-production, schedualled for release in Dec. of 2008, parcially at least one feature length spoof-Galaxy Quest, 5 television series, countless fan films, untold paradies and lexicon of langage that has entered into the fabric of modern society. I don't know what else could be more influencial than that.

The Valley of Gwangi (1969) Though kinda a King Kong ripoff in some small ways, it brought a renewed interest in Dinasaurs, had excellent stop motion integtation into life action and is quite well remembered.

Anchors Aweigh (1945) Gene Kelly dances with Jerry Mouse. No one had ever seen anything like this before and no doubt influenced Disney to make Song of the South (1946) the next year as Mickey was originally concieved as Kelly's dance partner but when Disney and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer could not come to an agreement Jerry graciously stepped in an made cinema history.

Ghost (1990) Has influence and inspired countless paradies and films

Poltergeist (1982) The polar opposite of Ghost it is perhaps one of the top 5 finest horror films ever made.

The Exorcist (1973) The use of floor effects in this film were ground breaking and in my opinion some of the finest and most effective physical SFX ever done.

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) This little movie was the first sci/fi movie I ever saw that made me believe it could be real. I was just a kid at the time but I remember how powerfully it accected me. Now knowing what we know about Mars of course it was totally wrong but it made me believe so this one's for me because it influenced me to try and make my plots as plausable as possible and not have gapping hole of logic in them.

Frankenstein (1931) Some of the best SFX makeup ever conceived that is still the benchmark today

The Wolf Man (1941) Use of lap dissolve transformation of Larry Talbot into the creature was increadable and was copied again and again in refined forms up to the age of computers.

If I can think of any others off the top of my head, I'll list em as well. B)
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#13 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 01:54 AM

OH!

The Blob (1958) very innovative monster. unlike anything seen before

The Thing from Another World (1951) influence realism in horror film

The Thing (1982) Special effects originated in this film crop up all the time
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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 02:21 AM

"Jason and the Argonauts" is #20 on the list.

I'd probably add Buster Keaton's "Sherlock Jr.", which had the character stepping into a movie theater screen image, an effect (though actually in-camera) copied in other movies. But even before that, you had "The Playhouse", a Keaton short where thanks to split screens in-camera, Keaton danced on stage with several other copies of himself.

I'd also add "Silent Running" and "Things to Come".
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#15 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 03:30 AM

Ooppps, sorry, did see it. Speaking of Sherlock Jr , I'll substitute Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) for Jason and the Argonauts for the first CGI film character, the "Stained Glass Man" along with Willow (1988) for the first morphing sequence and Mighty Joe Young (1998) for first to create photorealistic hair, fur and feathers software needed to make the giant vertual gorilla and let us not forget the first totally computer generated film sequence in history, the Genesis Effect from Star Trek II, the Wrath of Khan (1982), also you could add the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan as the most realist war sequence ever produced with has influenced every war movie sence. You could also add Star Wars, Attack of the Clones (2002) as the first totally intigrated digital film. On a side note, for those who say Lucas and Speilberg do not belong on the list of greatest directors, just look at the titles on these lists. Just out of curiousity, why is Citizen Kane on there, what FX did it perfect or pioneer?

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 20 May 2007 - 03:34 AM.

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#16 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 10:43 AM

"Citizen Kane" is special for the number of optically-printed effects by Linwood Dunn in the movie, often used to aid in the deep-focus effects beyond what Toland could do in-camera. A number are pretty seamless for the day, like the transition through the skylight with rain from the miniature crane move into the soundstage nightclub set. or the tilt-down from the miniature statue to the live-action lobby, or Kane at the end of the hallway watching Susan walk out on him. So it's an example of visual effects used to tell a story and create a look in a non-fantasy film.

Welles had some interesting ideas for the optical printing -- when Linwood Dunn told him that an optical printer zoom-in on the snow globe would be too grainy, Welles suggested that he superimpose snow swirling around to mask the grain at that point.
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#17 Tim Partridge

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 06:03 PM

'The Thief of Baghdad' was the first movie to actually use blue screen travelling mattes in color.

That count's as a major contribution to the SFX inventory.

Tom Howard worked out the process.
He also did the blue screen in the Steve reeves remake 'Il Ladro di Bagdad'


So someone else owns the Brosnan bible too then? :)
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#18 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 06:15 PM

I suppose influential is a relevant term.
I think if you asked visual effects artists working in film today, and even film technicians, you'd find that a large percentage of them are in this business because of the original star wars film. for that reason alone i think it deserves to be top of the list.
now if that list was titled most innovative vfx then that would be a different story, but as it stands i think star wars deserves to be where it is. as for the matrix....uch.
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#19 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 08:52 PM

Although, I did not like the Matrix, mainly because the concept had so much potential for making a statement and that potential was squandered in leu of a shallow plot to accomidate the emphasis placed on the action sequences, due to the shear number and amount of VFX, it was influential. Without the Matrix, I doubt if Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Sin City, Ultraviolet or 300 whould have been made. The Matrix proved that virtual sets, charatures and machines could be made photo-realistic enough to allow highly stylized versions of reality to be produced and that audiences still had the ability to suspend belief in those worlds. It's success gave producers and studios the confidence to fund projects shot almost completely with virtual elements. If Cameron's Avitar lives up to it's potential (and with Cameron at the helm, it probably will), you may see the pinnicle of what the Matrix started (well Tron really if you go back far enough but Tron was not successful enough and the technology had not progressed enough to make photorealistic production a reality) .

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 20 May 2007 - 08:56 PM.

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#20 Will Earl

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 01:54 AM

There are a lot of films that have been left off this list that have been major milestones or firsts in VFX, I would count The Last Starfighter as a major milestone and fairly influential in the grand scheme of modern VFX film making, if at the very least it convinced a few people in the industry that maybe computers could be used to create 3D computer graphics.

I'm still unsure about the the influence of The Matrix, the second and third films did far more towards innovation and improving the technique of VFX than the first film - but the first film is far more influential in terms of film-making.
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