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A Trip to the Moon and the Fifth Element - Comparing Two Science Fiction Movies

Essay by   •  June 15, 2012  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,052 Words (5 Pages)  •  905 Views

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Comparing two science fiction movies

" Choose two science fiction films to compare the contrast. One must be a silent (pre 1927) and one modern film (post 1980)."

The two films I have chosen to analyze and compare are, 'A Trip To The Moon' and 'The Fifth Element'. The reason I have chosen these two films is because, they are both very different from one another. However both show aspects that are usually found within a sci-fi genre. For example both movies have supernatural beings that play a key role in them, also both are about discovering something new. In The fifth elements case discovering the world was in danger and having to collect the five elements to counter the attack. Whereas A Trip To The Moon is simply about journeying to the moon to discover what is there.

Due to the time difference between both films, there has been a clear advancement in technology and science, which has changed the way directors portray science fiction movies in today's society. "One of the greatest misconceptions about modern movies is that visual effects are generated by computers... Human inventiveness is the most important ingredient and it always will be..." (Bizony, P. 2011)

This can be appreciated when we watch such classics as 'A Trip To The Moon'. Georges Méliès used many type of special effect techniques such as; Stop motion photography, use of matte backgrounds, miniatures and split screen double exposure. The Fifth Element on the other hand used a lot of visual effects, as well as special effects to create the movie. The Fifth Element was released in 1997. At this point in time, top of the range equipment was being used for both special and visual effects. Letting the production team alter the original movie a lot more than those made in the early 1900s.

One of the biggest changes between my two chosen movies is the use of sound in each. A Trip To The Moon's only audio throughout is a live orchestra. Although it has a bizarre storyline, it still doesn't lose the audience without the use of verbal audio and text. The Fifth Element however uses all types of sound throughout, such as, verbal audio, soundtrack music, sound effects, the sounds added after filming has taken place to add in sounds which were lost due to other noises, etc.

Once filming was finished on The Fifth Element they then began the editing stage. This is the process taken to: cut out all of the unnecessary scenes filmed (whether that being due to mistakes or scenes which are thought to not be needed), putting the film in chronological order, adding transitions between scenes. Both sound and visual effects are added in during the editing process as well. A Trip To The Moon's editing process was minimal compared to The Fifth Elements. Each scene consisted of a stationary camera shot and intricate set designs, meaning not much needed to be edited. A famous editing technique that Georges Méliès used was the scene on the moon when the astronomers see the people in the stars. What he did in this scene to make it look so effective, was literally stick two bits of film together so the audience could see both scenes simultaneously. It would have been a lot easier said than done, as he would have had to line up each shot so it can correspond with the

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