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Some examples of what I'm talking about:

  • Jackie Chan was famous for doing his own tricks without stunt doubles
  • Lord of Rings boasted about doing many of the special effects without CGI
  • In La La Land the actors often mentioned how they're doing the singing and dancing by themselves

But why is it actually important? Do movie goers actually care about the background behind the film? Is it easier to sell tickets if people are aware that some of the tricks are "real"? Or is it just a way for directors and actors to challenge themselves, rather than a way to increase profits?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Rahul, Gustavo Gabriel, Daeron, J M, A J Aug 6 at 4:51

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    These are kind of different things, no? People like 'practical effects' because they often look more real than CGI, that's a very different thing than Tom Cruise does his own stunts, or actors who sing their own part. – iandotkelly Aug 5 at 20:11
  • Lauren Bacall said that when playing in "Key Largo" she asked John Huston was she was doing in the room before coming out. Because she had to act accordingly when the camera was rolling. Doing own stunts by people like Jackie Chan or Jet Li add to the realness of the movie. That's just the way of thinking about acting. Some other do them to boast. – SZCZERZO KŁY Aug 6 at 8:10
  • When you are mentioning Jackie Chan, you might be thinking about his hollywood movies. Those might be funny and nice, but his real achievement are his pre-Hollywood movies, where he performs amazing stunts such as hanging from a helicopter, jumping on a moving train, falling off a church tower. without any nets, ropes or cuts. While being completely dare-develish, they are also monumental achievements in stunt choreography. It is an art to even design those scenes, let alone perform, direct and survive them. all of which he did. – BestGuess Aug 6 at 11:55
  • It is easy to perform a cool trick, when you shoot 1000 takes and combine the best shots into a flawless scene. it is alot harder to perform 10 takes and take the best take and use it without any cuts (or at least without the need to make cuts). It is simply a higher quality of execution. a higher quality of art. in comparison to a higher form of editing and composition. which might hold a value of its own, but tastes do differ. – BestGuess Aug 6 at 11:57
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There is a current 'trend' going on in recent years when it comes to "modern**" vs 'Traditional**' film making.

To fix up your confusion though, Jackie Chan, many other martial artists, or non M.A. people like Tom Cruise.

Do their own stunts because of many reasons. Tom probably uses it as a way to brag, considering his stature, age and popularity, while others do it because they want to shine on screen. Though without asking them directly, or finding some quotes somewhere, it's hard to know why they have to do their own stunts

These reasons are different than mentioning the lack of use of CGI...

Many movie goers, and critics alike have been complaining and generally annoyed with the very heavy use of CGI in the last half decade to decade. It often ends up producing things like the uncanny valley, lazy film directing (fix it in post!!!), when CGI is done poorly it doesn't hold up over the years.

Like I mentioned in the post of "Does Disney no longer produce hand-drawn cartoon films"

There are great benefits to using CGI or sharing practical with CGI. There are great cost benefits, monsters (or moving parts of them) and things are easier to realise than building gigantic sets or weird animatronics for a single 3 second scene, actual environmental and waste savings.

But as said, there are negatives. I'm not impressed by giant crazy 80000000 star ships battles anymore. Anything in my wildest dreams can be made with computers now, they don't look real, there is no real emotion coming from such things, and the actors have a hell of a time trying to act against green screen monsters and backdrops.

Although, I might consider myself an armchair movie snob and perhaps not the majority, the general public isn't impressed anymore either.

So like many other trends, studios have recognised that the average movie goer wants to see real effects again. People want to see actual actors act. with real creatures, real sets, 'real stunts'. Because of this, it's now used in marketing.

"Look at our movie!!!, We use real actors and real backdrops!, We're not lazy using shitty CGI!! We're giving you what you want!!" Well maybe not quite word for word like that...but you get the idea.

These things are important enough that you can increase the box office returns by non zero sum. And while it took more time and effort...it pays off.

I will admit though, there are really great uses of CGI, in a mixed kind of product, like the Dark Crystal Prequel, or even in normal movies. But I welcome this trend of the 'return to practical'.

**Traditional in this sense meaning, practical effects, real actors, real sets, etc, very little computer aided film making.

**Modern in the sense being, very heavy use of computer aided film making, as little as possible left to anything practical.

  • one thing I noted, Tom Cruise isn't a martial artist. Jackie Chan, Jason Statham, Tony jaa, iko uwais, and Donnie yen etc.. are martial artists, even jean claude van damme, IMO tom cruise isn't – Vishwa Aug 6 at 6:12
  • Ahh i didnt mean, tom was an MA, just literally listing off things, i meant a person like tom cruise....a crazy actor who stomps around and complains when he doesnt get what he wants :), i agree entire, tom is no MA. – morbo Aug 6 at 6:52
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    honestly, Tom is barely an A – Vishwa Aug 6 at 11:25

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