The Matrix: Reloaded: The Matrix visual effects supervisor, John Gaeta, recently spoke about Bullet Time with the fans via e-mail on a community chat. Thanks to The Matrix Online for the scoop. Here's what he had to say:
This an e-mail message from John Gaeta, VFX Supervisor for the Matrix Trilogy. For real. Every now and then I cruise the Matrix chat rooms to hear what you guys are interested in and how people are looking at the previous and future films. I decided to respond to this question because I see so many discussions which wonder what and who came first and all that stuff.
Firstly...There has never been a visual effect created which has been as isolated, sudden and definitive in it's first clear moment as say the invention of the telephone or the light bulb. Within digital film history there was no moment when the acid hit the wires and suddenly a voice could be heard and it was understood to be "Bullet Time". Rather, like other creative outlets such as painting or photography, discoveries and advancements usually come as part of a collective consciousness or movement; like the advent of dada or surrealism. Many people around the globe were reaching a similar place in there own personal explorations within a similar time period. The reason things seem to happen as movements usually has to do with the fact that people in the same fields or artistic communities can choose paths based on the same or similar influences and combine fragmented ideas techniques or technologies in new ways without concern for the lack of the look in question as reference. Thusly, it is a basic truth that in different places through the 90's that new and experimental combinations of emerging computer and photographic elements led to a variety or frozen time techniques.
I have mentioned numerous times that:Bullet Time.
* My sole influence to any understanding of these emerging looks was the Rolling Stones video in 1996 which utilized "view morphing" techniques deployed by a company named BUF in Paris. It may be a Micheal Gondry video, I'm not sure. At any rate I love Mr. Gondry's other works and consider 'City of the Lost Children' one of the coolest effects heavy films ever made. I in so many ways connect to the risk taking aesthetics of some of the smaller European visual effects firms then I ever did the behemoth commercial ventures pouring out of California.
* I and my digital associates were only doing what we thought was the most straightforward method for capturing ultra slow motion. WHICH WAS DESCRIBED IN A WRITTEN DESCRIPTION CONTAINED WITHIN THE MATRIX SCRIPT AND CALLED "BULLET TIME". Bullet time is a concept created by Larry and Andy W. which basically means [I]Mind Over Matrix[/I] and is not the name of a technique which uses still cameras to make virtual camera paths. There were other names for that. Do some digging and you will see that all that I have mentioned is documented in articles. It has been mentioned before hundreds of people during lectures etc. Neither I nor my associates have ever claimed to have "invented" Bullet time. However, our method was NOT frozen and DID incorporate some heavy 3D computer planning and virtual all-CGI backgrounds.
* The next films will blow your minds. We'll show all the faithful that the concept of Bullet time still rules. We have trashed all the previous methods, they are ancient history. And once again the victory will be for the movement in digital film circles which have devoted themselves to visualizing virtual cameras and virtual reality for the first time on the big screen. Many ideas and influences are in the mix BUT ONLY ONE FILM WILL PRESENT THEM WITH MEANING AND PURPOSE WHICH SERVES THE STORY OF A SUPERHUMAN MESSIAH NAMED NEO.
Please enjoy them and understand that it's not about being first, it's about being part of evolution. Every contribution is a factor for the future of images.
All the best to you die hards,
Thanks to The Matrix Online.
Dont't forget to also check out: The Matrix Reloaded