Robert Zemeckis: I Love Using the Computer to Make Tom Hanks Look Insane
Robert Zemeckis is an American filmmaker and screenwriter who is widely known for his 1988 release Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and the 1994 Oscar-winning Forrest Gump. One of Zemeckis’ trademarks is his use of cutting-edge computer technology to create unforgettable effects.
In many of his films, Zemeckis has made use of computer-generated imagery (CGI) to alter scenes and create a unique visual style. His most daring experiment was in his films with actor Tom Hanks, in which he used computer effects to make Hanks appear insane or stretched out. In Castaway (2000), Hanks’ character goes through a powerful emotional journey and Zemeckis used CGI to make him look as if his mind were off-kilter.
In The Polar Express (2004), Zemeckis’ use of CGI was even more extreme, as he created a cartoonish version of Hanks. In this movie, Hanks becomes a “stretchy” version of his normal self, pulled and distorted by the forces of the animated world.
The Benefits of CGI for Zemeckis
For Zemeckis, CGI provides an unparalleled level of creativity. He can manipulate images and effects to create scenes that would be impossible to achieve through any other means. By stretching and morphing Hanks into otherworldly shapes, Zemeckis was able to convey the extreme emotions his characters were going through.
Moreover, CGI is a powerful tool for creating scenes that are difficult to achieve in real life. In The Polar Express, Zemeckis has to deal with the difficult task of making Hanks resemble a cartoon character without recourse to animatronics or traditional animation. With the help of CGI, he was able to achieve this, creating a highly memorable visual effect.
In conclusion, Robert Zemeckis has used computer technology to great effect in his films, particularly those featuring Tom Hanks. By manipulating images and effects with CGI, he has been able to create scenes that would otherwise be impossible to achieve. This experimentation has allowed Zemeckis to push the boundaries of film-making and create unique visuals that have remained iconic to this day.