1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
You certainly agree that Terminator 2: Judgment Day is the best film in the Terminator franchise, even one of the best science fiction films to date. In addition to an exciting storyline, Terminator 2: Judgment Day also features the leading visual effects of its time. The visual effects that are applied to the T-1000 character are one of the most interesting things about this film.
T-1000 is told as a Terminator who can change shape because it is made of molten metal. In order to get the visual effects of the T-1000, the studio had to spend 5 million dollars (approximately Rp. 71.9 billion) and mobilized 35 experts to work on CGI whose total duration was only five minutes of the entire duration of the film. No wonder Terminator 2: Judgment Day won the 1992 Oscar “Best Visual Effects“.
2. Blade Runners (1982)
Early in his career as a director, Ridley Scott released a science fiction film titled Blade Runner as his third film. Released in 1982, Scott really dared to work on a futuristic-themed film that depicted Los Angeles in 2019 as the setting for the film. Moreover, this film tells that humans have succeeded in creating synthetic humans.
For those of you who have watched Blade Runner, you might not believe that this film was released in 1982! How, no? This film displays visual effects that are no less cool than the visual effects of films from the 2000s and above. Amazingly, Blade Runner’s visual effects are obtained using non-digital technology.
In order to get Blade Runner’s visual effects that are amazing, Scott and his team used various techniques, including matte modeling and painting, multipass exposures, recording with various lighting, and using a computer-controlled camera.
3. Star Wars (1977)
A few years before Blade Runner was released, there was another sci-fi film that was no less ambitious released in 1977, namely Star Wars. As we all know, technology in the 1970s was still very limited. However, director George Lucas and his team managed to create the splendor of outer space with a variety of varied creatures.
Star Wars was even made on a fairly small budget for a Hollywood science fiction film, which is 11 million dollars (about Rp. 158 billion). The visual effects shown in Star Wars are mostly done using digital motion control photography techniques, which create the illusion of size by using small models and slowly moving cameras.
The studio worked hard on the visual effects of Star Wars as they achieved visual effects that had never been seen in previous films. Visual effects work that was supposed to be completed in a year was rushed to finish in six months. Their struggle was not in vain because Star Wars was a huge success with revenues of 776 million dollars (about Rp. 11.2 trillion) and won the 1978 Oscar “Best Visual Effects”.
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
The 1970s era film managed to amaze you with its visual effects? So, be prepared to be even more surprised by the visual effects produced by the 1968 film, entitled 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film, directed by Stanley Kubrick, tells the story of astronauts traveling to Jupiter using the HAL supercomputer technology after they find an alien monolith.
Even though it was worked in the 1960s, director Kubrick managed to show a futuristic feel that was so convincing. The production team also uses various properties that match the futuristic feel. Interestingly, the visual effects featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey don’t rely on computers.
Kubrick and his team relied on various techniques to produce the visual effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey, including match cut, front projection, and retroreflective matting. Front projection is a popular visual effects technique used before the green/blue screen. No wonder 2001: A Space Odyssey won the 1969 Oscar “Best Visual Effects”.
5. Jurassic Park (1993)
Like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Jurassic Park was worked on when CGI technology was already quite developed. However, for the size of the 1990s era film, the visual effects displayed by Jurassic Park were clearly more advanced in its time. How about not? The dinosaurs shown in this film really look alive and real.
Director Steven Spielberg and his team also don’t rely entirely on CGI for visual effects in Jurassic Park. They also combine it with practical effects and use animatronics to make dinosaurs look more real.
When the film was released, Jurassic Park managed to amaze many audiences until this film earned 1.09 billion dollars (approximately Rp. 15.7 trillion). The film also won the 1994 Oscar for Best Visual Effects.