Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Hollywood stunt terrifies city locals

Imagine you’re walking the streets of New York City when all of a sudden, the windows are blown out of a building in the distance and all you see is billowing smoke? Or perhaps you’re sitting at a cafe on the streets of Paris and hear a deafening amount of gunfire break out. These events sparked panic in thousands of people.

Now imagine being in London after these incidents have occurred and witnessing a bus explode on Lambeth Bridge.

Witnesses of this bus explosion were told not to worry because the terrifying and heart-stopping sounds were all just for a Hollywood film.

Last week, brief terror broke out in London as a double-decker bus exploded in a theatrical fashion during the filming of a new Jackie Chan movie “The Foreigner.” Londoners had been warned prior to the explosion scene, but clearly did not successfully reach every citizen.

Many witnesses were outraged by a scene that was quite similar to the July 7, 2015, London terrorist attacks.

Although I would be personally outraged as well, I wouldn’t blame the law-enforcement for lack of information. They did try to spread the word.

I’m not sure how Computer Generated Imaging, CGI, works but is it necessary for film directors to stage a real explosion in a largely populated city? Computers can do that same thing for us now.

Maybe in another time and place it would be acceptable to stage something that looks so real. I understand that cinematically, a real explosion is the best footage you’ll get. But we live in a different time.

People are hypersensitive to terror today, especially in big cities. My generation learned what the word “terrorist” meant when we were six-years-old. When the Columbine shooting took place, we were learning how to write our names. When the World Trade Center fell, we were still learning addition and subtraction. We’ve had troops in Iraq for our entire adolescence and now that we’re in college, it’s not surprising to check the news and see an update about a shooting. Violence and terrorism are prevalent, and movie companies know that.

No creative project should take a backseat to hypersensitivity, but I don’t believe it was the best idea to place an explosion smack-dab in the middle of the large city like London.
Couldn’t they drive to an abandoned area and use a green screen?

I don’t blame onlookers for their anger. I’d be angry too if I was about to prepare for an attack and was told “No, no it’s OK. It was just for a Jackie Chan movie.”

It’s possible I’m a little too skittish as well. I panic at the sight of low-flying aircraft. I automatically assume out of season thunder is a gunshot. I think someone is crying before I think they’re laughing.

In my defense, I think I might be a product of my environment. My generation is almost programmed to jump to the worst conclusions.

News stations don’t help either. If you were to turn on a news station right now, they’d discuss why you should be afraid. There was a bombing, a shooting, an earthquake, or a plane-crash and you should be afraid. Some people enjoy the action, but is it worth scaring everyone to death?

We’ve been scarred because of how prevalent violence and terror have become. It doesn’t seem fair to censor entertainment due to our sensitivity levels, but, unless times change that’s what has to be done.

I hope that one day, my children won’t be fearful and our world will morph into a colorful Beatles music video. Until that day, maybe the use of fancy computer features for an explosion isn’t a bad idea.

Email Courtney Casey at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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