Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

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ray243
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Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by ray243 »

I've came across this video recently, and the guy did a very good break-down of the visual effects shots of the Heisei era Godzilla movies, and made some really good arguments as to why they are not as good as they can be.



Does anyone feel the same? I felt that some of the shots, especially the composition shots can be extremely lacklustre at times, and serves to pull the audience out of the experience of Godzilla actually threatening the city. The shot of Hong Kong going about life as normal while a melting Godzilla is attacking their city is one of the most prominent example of such failure of vfx shot to achieve its intended effect.

It's not just about using practical effects that makes a shot better. It's about how the vfx director make use of such practical shots.

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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by godjacob »

Much as I enjoy the Heisei era and think a lot of complaints are a bit blown out of the water, yeah. The Gamera films in the same period were basically what the Heisei films from an effects perspective could've and should've been.
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by LegendZilla »

I am in the unpopular opinion that the Heisei films do not deserve nearly as much criticism as they receive (at least here in the west). To the majority of fans over here, fans perceive them in a similar light to the Star Wars prequel films.

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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

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LegendZilla wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 5:12 pm I am in the unpopular opinion that the Heisei films do not deserve nearly as much criticism as they receive (at least here in the west). To the majority of fans over here, fans perceive them in a similar light to the Star Wars prequel films.
Well, they’re widely praised in most places in the west, sans TK.
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by shadowgigan »

Although I've expressed my love for Kawakita's work, I must admit that G2 and G3 unquestionably exceed the Heisei Godzilla series in terms of special effects.

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ray243 wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 1:35 pm I've came across this video recently, and the guy did a very good break-down of the visual effects shots of the Heisei era Godzilla movies, and made some really good arguments as to why they are not as good as they can be.



Does anyone feel the same? I felt that some of the shots, especially the composition shots can be extremely lacklustre at times, and serves to pull the audience out of the experience of Godzilla actually threatening the city. The shot of Hong Kong going about life as normal while a melting Godzilla is attacking their city is one of the most prominent example of such failure of vfx shot to achieve its intended effect.

It's not just about using practical effects that makes a shot better. It's about how the vfx director make use of such practical shots.
Was Kawakita really resonsible for the camera angles, et cetera chosen though?
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

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shadowgigan wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 11:36 am Was Kawakita really resonsible for the camera angles, et cetera chosen though?
While I can't speak to the specifics of those shoots, in general the angles on those sequences would be decided jointly by the SFX director and the SFX cinematographer, based on the larger approach to effects sequences decided by the former. In other words, whether or not Kawakita was deciding on the specifics of each composition, he'd have reviewed and approved all storyboards, and his overall approach to these sequences would define the approach to the camera work.

Contrasting the Kawakita Godzilla films with the Higuchi Gamera films, the biggest, easiest difference to point out here is that Kawakita tended to have very large sets built, and then stage the action and plan the shooting based on the opportunities and limitations provided by those sets. Higuchi, on the other hand, was planning specific dynamic images, and then having only the necessary elements built to stage them. So we get a lot more low angles and foreground buildings/objects in the Gamera films, as opposed to more wide shots and birds-eye-views in the Godzilla films. Kawakita's approach required more money, which was the resource Toho offered him. Higuchi's approach required more time, which was the resource Kadokawa gave him.
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by shadowgigan »

Ok, definitely interesting to know. You learn something every day! For some reason I thought the primary director i guess would have more input. But I suppose he would ultimately ok everything Kawakita chose anyways.
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

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shadowgigan wrote: Mon May 10, 2021 3:25 pm Ok, definitely interesting to know. You learn something every day! For some reason I thought the primary director i guess would have more input. But I suppose he would ultimately ok everything Kawakita chose anyways.
In an American film, the live action director would have far more input. But Toho's system, which really seems to have developed around Tsuburaya and his methods, has always been for the effects unit to have a fair amount of autonomy. Obviously the two have to cooperate a great deal, particularly for scenes where humans and kaiju interact directly, and there are big decisions that have to made jointly (for instance, in the original Gojira, the effects scenes were lit in a style to match the moody atmosphere which the cinematographer was using for the dramatic scenes).
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by LegendZilla »

Is it true that Kawakita had a drinking problem?

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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by Jermobooka »

Watching the Heisei Gamera trilogy all over again just makes me incredibly disappointed with how Kawakita and TOHO handled the Heisei series.

The Heisei Series should have been as high quality in every way as the Heisei Gamera trilogy.
It had a way bigger budget and a more popular character, for christs sake!

They had so many great concepts for films, too. That Berserk Mechagodzilla concept should’ve been what we got.

Now I just want to do my own rewrite of the Heisei series :lol:
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by Major sssspielberg! »

LegendZilla wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 6:20 pm Is it true that Kawakita had a drinking problem?
I don't know if it's true to the extent the fandom has run with the idea, as far as "Koichi Kawakita was drunk and depressed LOL Just look at Destoryer XD"
Kawakita cared a lot for the art of tokusatsu, and worked pretty hard for it even in his last days. I think it would be better for us to remember him as an advocate for the art we love, rather than for a drinking problem he had that is likely blown out of proportion within US fan circles.
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by LegendZilla »

Major sssspielberg! wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:20 am
LegendZilla wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 6:20 pm Is it true that Kawakita had a drinking problem?
Kawakita cared a lot for the art of tokusatsu, and worked pretty hard for it even in his last days. I think it would be better for us to remember him as an advocate for the art we love, rather than for a drinking problem he had that is likely blown out of proportion within US fan circles.
My thoughts exactly.

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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by Cryptid_Liker »

Other than Return/85 and Biollante, it's all total poop.

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Other than Return/85 and Biollante, it's all total poop.

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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

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Cryptid_Liker wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:41 pm Other than Return/85 and Biollante, it's all total poop.

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Other than Return/85 and Biollante, it's all total poop.
Other than Return/85 and Biollante, it’s all total poop.
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

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Cryptid_Liker wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:41 pm Other than Return/85 and Biollante, it's all total poop.

Added in 31 seconds:
Other than Return/85 and Biollante, it's all total poop.
...King Ghidorah is only excluded because of M-11, isn't it?
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by Cryptid_Liker »

JAGzilla wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:20 pm
Cryptid_Liker wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:41 pm Other than Return/85 and Biollante, it's all total poop.

Added in 31 seconds:
Other than Return/85 and Biollante, it's all total poop.
...King Ghidorah is only excluded because of M-11, isn't it?
Honestly, I like the M-11 running scene. It's far from convincing but it has charm. Can't say the same about much else.

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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by Major sssspielberg! »

I think the only poop effects in the Heisei series belong to Vs. Destroyah.
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by godjacob »

Major sssspielberg! wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:57 pm I think the only poop effects in the Heisei series belong to Vs. Destroyah.
Can you provide an example?
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by JAGzilla »

Cryptid_Liker wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:25 pm
JAGzilla wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:20 pm
Cryptid_Liker wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:41 pm Other than Return/85 and Biollante, it's all total poop.

Added in 31 seconds:
Other than Return/85 and Biollante, it's all total poop.
...King Ghidorah is only excluded because of M-11, isn't it?
Honestly, I like the M-11 running scene. It's far from convincing but it has charm. Can't say the same about much else.
I'll give you the dogfight scene and some bad shots in the WWII sequence, but I remember most of the movie looking perfectly fine. Mecha-King Ghidorah is one of the best looking kaiju in the franchise, even.
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Re: Criticism of the Heisei era SFX

Post by Major sssspielberg! »

godjacob wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:13 pm Can you provide an example?
It's been a while since I've watched it, but the ones that always stood out to me were JR. spinning as Destroyah strafes Godzilla with his beam, and JR's chest billowing because of the fan simulating the ocean wind.
I also remember some incredibly bad shots when the aggregates fought the masers, couldn't tell you specifics off hand, asides from some of them being literal Bandai vinyls (again, I haven't seen Destroyah in a long time.)
There's some good shots in there too, just a lot of sloppy stuff slipped past the editors or something.
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