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Hollywood and Computing

 
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I sometimes wonder why Hollywood flicks contain stupid technical dialogs while they are backed by some of the best computing brains in their team, particularly the special effects guys. Recently, I watched Die Hard 4. To be honest, I have been a fan of the Die Hard movies and liked this one as well. However, this movie did the techie stuff a bit too much. The dialogs and phrases related to algorithm and computing were so bizarre, that I can't even recall those.

Nevertheless, even with meaningless dialogs and action scenes that totally defied the laws of Physics, I had a good time watching the movie.
 
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Do you really think that special effects wizards have any input whatsoever into the script?
 
Amit Biswas
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I would certainly agree that the special effects wizards must be working as a separate team. But since they too are involved in the same project, I don't think it should be a problem for them to suggest some corrections in the script.
A movie based on history take inputs from historians; on true criminal stories take inputs from the police.
However, when it comes to technology quite a few movies get it all wrong. I am not talking against sci-fi and flicks that are based on the future. I am not against imagination. But stuffs like relating computer-virus and cold-virus etc can be corrected with a little input from the techies involved in the same movie project.
 
lowercase baba
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A movie based on history take inputs from historians; on true criminal stories take inputs from the police.

True. but that advice comes from PAID CONSULTANTS. if some production assistant, who's father happened to be a cop, started mouthing off about how such-and-such was wrong, not only would they be out of a job, they might possibly be black listed and have a hard time finding work again.

the special effects crew is hired to do special effects. NOT to suggest changes to the dialog or plot points. making unwanted suggestions is the surest way to NOT work on the project.
 
Amit Biswas
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making unwanted suggestions is the surest way to NOT work on the project.



Strange ways of Hollywood, indeed!!! Involvement and enthusiasm beyond ones duties should be rewarded not punished.

If that is the case, then Hollywood needs to get better HR practices.
 
fred rosenberger
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Hollywood, and acting in general, is one of the strangest professions. it's one of the few jobs where you can basically be told "You are ugly, so you don't get the job".

Many of the artists involved in a production have HUGE egos. you may think you are making a simple suggestion, but what the person hears is "You suck, and you're wrong".

Most of my experience comes from live theatre, but i've seen it over and over and over. the lighting guy does the lighting, and doesn't criticize the direction, unless there is a legitimate lighting reason. Even then, his/her job is first to correct the lighting to accomodate the director.
 
Wanderer
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Incidentally, here is a somewhat recent discussion we had on the depiction of computers by Hollywood.
 
Desperado
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OK: About Lenton's post in that thread about the "Independence Day" movie:

"Surely the most ridiculous computer film moment was in Independence Day when they managed to get their Mac to talk to the alien computer."

Not only the communication of an earthly MAC with a completely alien "computer" but the purposeful insertion of a computer virus via such communication. Into the alien computer.

The only reason I didn't walk out of the theater after such a crass insult to my intelligence (and everyone else's in the theater even if they were stupid enough to not know) is that I was with a group of friends some of them with high school age children.

I am glad that I can tell here (as I told them when walking out of the theater) my Cosmic joke-explanation of how that happened, in a forum where the humor will be (hopefully) understood:

This is the reason why Jeff Goldblum's character and his MAC laptop could communicate instantaneously, without any previous tests, with the captured alien spaceship:

We only have to assume that the IETF's TCP/IP protocol (plus any wireless implementation - IEEE?) IS the protocol that the Only God That Exists (the Creator of the Universe) has chosen for the known Universe to communicate.

The protocol would develop so obviously to thinking minds in any part of the Universe that no matter where intelligent beings reside, they will come up with the correct packet size of IP datagrams (not to mention the other Universal parameters for the other comm layers.)

The actualized dream of the TCP/IP network inventing engineers!!
 
Sheriff
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Originally posted by Amit Biswas:
I would certainly agree that the special effects wizards must be working as a separate team. But since they too are involved in the same project, I don't think it should be a problem for them to suggest some corrections in the script.


I seriously doubt that they are even allowed to see a complete script.
 
Tony Alicea
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And to finalize my post, while the equivalent of the "Cro-Magnons" (i.e. the smart ones) of the Universe came up, independently of each other, with the TCP/IP protocol stack, the "Neanderthals" (dumbs) of Creation came up with the inferior ISO 7-layer model! HA HA!
 
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I bet there were some Macevangelists saying "of course it works with a Mac, the aliens have clearly found out that the Mac is the One True Way to do things with computers".
 
marc weber
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
I bet there were some Macevangelists saying "of course it works with a Mac, the aliens have clearly found out that the Mac is the One True Way to do things with computers".


Well, where do you think Mac OS X came from in the first place?
 
author and iconoclast
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Today's Penny Arcade is quite relevant to this discussion.
 
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Always impressing: the computer gurus in these movies hack like a world champ in type writing. The faster you can type the better you are in computer stuff.

Regarding the "beeps" the first movie I remember where a computer occurs (but isn't theme of the movie like e.g. "Colossus") was "Alien" from 1977/78. The sounds acompanying the letters where kind of telex sounds.
Perhaps the audience is now used that letters on a computer screen make some noise of any kind.

Bu.
 
Amit Biswas
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the computer gurus in these movies hack like a world champ in type writing



 
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