When I was a kid I remember adults making a big deal over something that made no sense to me: Kermit riding a bicycle in the Muppet Movie. Apparently it was astonishing and all of us kids were astonished by this astonishment.

But we weren’t. As far as I remember not one of us even cared that much. Not because it wasn’t technically impressive but because we didn’t care about that at all. Kermit wasn’t a puppet. Kermit was Kermit. Of course Kermit could ride a bike. Now, we knew Kermit actually was a puppet but what I mean is we didn’t care about any of that stuff. He was real to us.

The adults focused on the wrong thing, the technical accomplishment, and were impressed by it but we were impressed by Kermit. The character. The soul of the character. That’s what we gravitated towards. Not the impressiveness.

Which is how it should be. If you’re watching a movie for the first time and you have the thought ‘How’d they do that?’ you’re thinking of the movie makers (even if only for a moment) and not the characters. Not the story on the screen.

Now that impressiveness is gone, we assume as the audience that anything is possible and it’s up to the filmmakers to take advantage of that. They no longer have to worry about distracting from the story and characters with cool tricks. We expect cool tricks, they no longer break immersion.

Yet still many filmmakers film as if we’re supposed to be shocked by what we’re seeing. Impressed into appreciation of mediocrity in terms of story and character. But that can’t last long.

Why? Because we’ve been able to see Anything for nearly twenty years. That means there are twenty-year olds that have never known a world where an effect was impressive in and of itself. They take it for granted. They will soon be the ones making movies, and television.

What kind of films will we get when we can no longer be bulled by bafflegab? Flummoxed by Film-falmery? I think we’ll see these amazing tools put to good use.

Or, judging by the toy aisle I just walked down the other day, really elaborate poop jokes.

Either way I’m looking forward to it.

Thanks for reading,

Steve