How Uncanny Is My Valley

by Tony Nigro

It’s ironic that I, who currently makes a living as a visual effects editor, so often have an uncanny valley-type response to digital effects.  That is, the more real it’s meant to look, the more I don’t like it.  Give me Wall-E, not digitized, recognizable actors.

An example of where the unreal meets the real in a way that I can live with is Arev Manoukian’s short film, “Nuit Blanche.”

Beside the minor detail of the car crumpling up against the man, nothing is meant to be visually that unreal.  Or is it?  Slow motion qualifies as less than real in my book, and its prevalence tempers any uncanny moments that might otherwise throw me off.  Add that it’s spun as a dream sequence with a classy sense of style, and “Nuit Blanche” is a great few minutes of my time — plus a nice use of visual effects.


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