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Working with green screens makes Sir Ian McKellen cry

8:00 PM on 11.19.2012

Alec Kubas-Meyer

Reviews & Features Editor

Seriously.

If you were looking for yet another reason to hate green screens (other than the fact that they are terrible), here's a damn good one: they literally made Sir Ian McKellen cry. While filming on the set of The Hobbit, McKellen was asked to shoot a scene with thirteen other characters in it by himself. With only photographs on top of stands that flashed when it was their turn to talk, McKellen had to interact with these photographs in character as though they were dwarves.

"I cried, actually. I cried," he said. "Then I said out loud, 'This is not why I became an actor.' Unfortunately, the microphone was on and the whole studio heard."

It's sad that the days of Peter Jackson's practical effects have gone away (see #6), and he has turned to green screens and CGI to make everything happen. It's actually likely a result of the 3D effects, which would break the illusions that he created in the Lord of the Rings films. (It's yet another reason to hate CGI.) My distaste for CGI is well documented, but the whole scenario here is just sad. I feel bad for McKellen, who just wants to give the best performance he can. I feel bad for the film, which could definitely suffer for it. I feel bad for cinema, because this may very well be the future.

And that sucks.

[Via Digital Spy]

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Alec Kubas-Meyer

Reviews & Features Editor
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