(Visual Effects) are not a peripheral element of cinema but a core feature, essential to its operation as a narrative medium…Visual effects can be used to create spectacle, but more often they work in subtle, non spectacular ways. - Stephen Prince
Cinematic environments are imagined and meticulously built for characters to inhabit particular spaces. Increasingly, entire environments are being created digitally with actors comprising the only real (or semi-real) components. The very idea of mise-en-scéne in the contemporary moving image culture is evolving to encompass a notion of space that has no physical, material or logistical limitations. Virtual settings and animated elements enhance and push the moving image into uncharted territories.
In this context, Visual Effects is the integration of live-action footage and computer-generated imagery. To shoot them in the real world would be very tricky, expensive, or simply impossible to capture on film. Visual effects using Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) have become increasingly common in big-budget films, games, commercials, television, motion graphics, etc. Visual effects have recently become accessible to amateur filmmakers due to the introduction of affordable animation and compositing software. As Stephen Prince’s quote above suggests, visual effects are integral to filmic thinking, stretching narrative possibilities and the potency of the image