Vintage computers in movies

From: John Foust <>
Date: Tue Dec 19 20:11:39 2000

At 03:18 PM 12/19/00 -0500, Charles E. Fox wrote:
Could you add
>>value by providing "historically accurate" setups for different eras (e.g.
>>an Apple II with period peripherals for an early 80s film)
>When did Hollywood start worrying about "Historical Accuracy"?

Probably right after they stop adding gratuitous sounds and
inaccurate functions to computers: dot-matrix printer sounds,
beeps and boops that would drive you nuts if the damn machine
actually made that sound all the time, slow-motion text display,
fonts larger than your mouse, etc.

I seem to remember a Roger Ebert column on the topic. In short,
he dreamed of the day when movie-makers realized that most
people have seen a real computer and know how they operate,
and they'd be portrayed as such on the screen. Why all the
goofy fakery? *

Just this morning on Sesame Street, Alan (who took over Mr. Hooper's
store a few years back, in case you haven't been watching) was
helping Baby Bear send a message to his poetry friends on a web
site - and the skit confused the notion of an e-mail address and
a web site address.

My kid was wandering around adding "dot com" to things when he was
two, and I hadn't even let him play at the computer for any
appreciable amount of time. Now at 5, he sees something new
and wants to know if it has a web site.

- John

* I'll tell you why they look fake... it's easier to fake something
completely unrealistic than it is to make something look "right".
Godzilla vs. Jurassic Park, for example. Although I think a lot
of movies could handle their PC screen scenes with a little Visual
Basic and a macro recorder, so much of what you see (in terms of
GUI screen shots) is completely recreated on some other computer or OS,
ready for replay, replay, replay at a moment's notice if a human
needs to interact with it.
Received on Tue Dec 19 2000 - 20:11:39 GMT

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