When I'm not blogging I work with graphics for print and the web, so when I see someone in a movie take a blurry image from a security camera and sharpen it to the point that you can read the embroidered name on the shirt of a man half a mile away, I just roll my eyes. When faced with a situation like this, you'll often hear a character say something like, "let's try that new photo enhancement software," but what it really means is either the writer knows very little about computer graphics, or they're hoping the audience doesn't.

Matthew Inman has a similar view on his area of expertise: computer coding. To those of us who know little to nothing about the subject, computer programming seems almost magical, so I for one am not nearly as likely to spot a film's errors when it comes to coding. Inman has posted a pretty cool essay called "What Code Doesn't Do in Real Life (That it Does in the Movies)" over at Drivl.com. He brings up several interesting points like:
  • Code is not three-dimensional like it was in Hackers.
  • Code does not make "blip" noises as it appears on the screen.
  • Code can not be cracked by an eight-year-old kid in seconds.
  • Most code is not inherently cross-platform (Even I flinched when the virus Jeff Goldblum wrote on his Mac was compatible with the alien computer in Independence Day.
Frankly I'm surprised there was no mention of Hugh Jackman's big computer hacking scene from Swordfish in which director Dominic Sena tries to make hacking look visually exciting by having Jackman use a multi-monitor work station that would be more at home in the Bat-cave than in the real world. The category could be called "Watching someone write code is as exciting as watching C-Span."

Drivl also has posts on "The Top 20 Hackers in Film History" and "Servers in the Movies - Our Top Ten."

[Via Boing Boing]
categories Movies, Cinematical