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The role of effects in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button".

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´╗┐Wilson Zhang Dr. Megan Otton English 1121 5 April 2012 The Curious Effects on Benjamin Button The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) directed by David Fincher, is about an unusual story of a man living his life in reverse. Benjamin?s father abandons him at birth, but he finds refuge from a lovely young lady during the U.S civil war in New Orleans. As days pass Benjamin grows stronger and younger thus aging backwards leading him to experience war, parenthood and love. The sets are outstandingly realistic and detailed, bringing sense of authenticity. With the help of make-up, CGI, and sound effects, Benjamin?s reversed life from old age to babyhood look convincing, like a documentary. The make up really emphasizes the age of the characters and makes them look natural. During the first two hours of the film Benjamin is old and has the key features of an elderly person. (For instance the wrinkles, saggy skin, pale dried lips, freckles, and loss of hair). ...read more.


The same for Benjamin after the one hour mark he begins to look noticeably younger. He starts losing his wrinkles, pale skin, dried lips, grey hair, and freckles. Noticing these minuscule features really helped the audience recognize that the characters are aging. CGI plays a main component in the film and is astonishingly unnoticeable. In the first 52 minutes of the movie Brad Pitt is actually not acting as Benjamin Button (Seymour). Through 3D images from the maquettes, the actors? faces begin to resemble Brad Pitt?s face as Benjamin from computer editing (Seymour). This allows the director to portray to the audience a smaller and older version of Brad Pitt without him physically being smaller. Unfortunately, the maquettes alone are unable to manipulate human facial movements, like talking, smiling, and blinking (Seymour). By surrounding Brad Pitt with twenty eight cameras and phosphorescent make-up; the directors is able to capture his facial expressions and movements frame by frame (Seymour). The static faces of the maquettes are then given life-like human expressions through image analysis technology from the recordings in the cameras (Seymour). ...read more.


A simple effect some audiences might not pick up that contribute to the film?s scenes is the volume level. Increasing and decreasing the level of the volume really makes the audience change their moods accordingly, without even realizing it. For example, when Benjamin is on the ship and is fighting against an enemy ship; the volume and sound effects dramatically increases. This gives the audience a sense of adrenaline and awareness that something life threatening is happening. Lastly, simple sound effects like closing the door, walking, eating, and putting on a jacket might sound silly but does interact with audience without them knowing. Since we do encounter these objects and activities in our everyday lives, when we hear these effects it makes the audience unknowingly comparing the sounds they hear in real life. This makes the film more realistic and convincing. In analysis with the help of make-up, CGI, and sound effects are pulled off exceptionally well making Benjamin?s life look convincing. Even though the story is bit unusual it gives the audience a feel of authenticity, like a life told story from a documentary. There is something that?s been on my mind though. ...read more.

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