A friend of mine recently sent me these videos showcasing the original concept art and mechanical effects that was produced for The Thing 2011 – making it even harder for me to fathom why on Earth the producers decided to go all CGI on us. These are some amazing, physical pieces of art showcasing just the sheer amount of talent and craftmanship the FX studios can offer these days. It’s mindblowing and gives you an idea of just how good this movie could’ve been.
Now, I’ve actually googled it and the only reason or explanation that I could find why the producers made their decision is that they thought the animatronic effects moved too slowly. Or the test audience (and don’t get me started on that subject!). I can see that, but that’s where CGI actually can prove to be a great, useful tool: cleaning up imagery or enhance speed etc. of certain scenes. Instead they turned it into just another awful-looking Playstation game. The problem: CGI is not and never will be a 3D object. And the technology hasn’t come anywhere near a stage where they can honestly say it fools the human eye. I’ve seen my fair share and still go “video game” as soon as it rears its ugly head. Background FX? No problem! I’ve seen some great usage of it in say George Romero‘s Land of the Dead. Or made to enhance physical effects in Sean of the Dead.
But let’s compare! Here’s the FX as they are shown in the movie. You decide what looks best.