The modified Nikon SLR initially caught my eye when I first saw this clip, but then I realized this fits into exactly what I've been posting about the last two days about Computer Generated Issues: click the following to check out Part I and Part II.

I previously mentioned the work of Stan Winston, but if Winston is Gandalf the Grey in this situation, one could argue that Dennis Muren is Elrond Lord of Rivendell, also able to harness and control the magical powers of practical effects. The following mine cart sequence from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a great example of something that would look better being produced in 1984 versus if it were computer generated in 2015. Back then, there were only a few ways to accomplish effects like this and by the 1980's, they got really good at doing it. Plus the skill sets that artists like Muren have aren't necessarily required in the current generation of VFX supervisors.

Seriously... A bunch of tin foil. A modified SLR camera. A little bit of motion control. With all of the technology of today, this type of work would just be easier, cheaper, and look better with a DSLR. It'll be a shame if model making and motion control techniques like the ones demonstrated in the video really do become a lost art, only for the industry to "re-discover" it decades from now and have to relearn this all over again... It's sort of like CGI is the atom bomb that blew us back to the stone age and we'll eventually be forced to learn from our mistakes and play catch up.

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