10 Movies That Introduced New “Firsts” Technologies in Film

Rocky – 1976

Movie Technology

First major film to utilize Steadicam released.  By definition A steadicam is a stabilizing mount for a motion picture camera, which mechanically isolates the operator’s movement from the camera, allowing a very smooth shot even when the operator is moving quickly over an uneven surface. Informally, the word may also be used to refer to the combination of the mount and camera.  Bottom line, it’s a very important feature for fast moving scenes that need a slow eye.  It was also used in Aliens, Return of the Jedi, and The Shining to name a few.

Jurassic Park – 1993

Movie Technology

The first picture using DTS Digital sound.  I personally think this is the just the tip of the iceberg.  First of all you’d never hear the growls and snarls like you did had it not been for this sound.  But can we consider Jurassic Park one of the pioneers in imaginary creatures looking real?  I know that’s not a technical term but come on.  That movie made Dinosaurs look real.  And think about how many movies have fake huge animals these days.  King Kong  and 10,000 A.Dcome to mind.  There are dozens more.

Attack of the Clones – 2002

Movie Technology

First major movie shot entirely on digital film.  People don’t realize how important this is.  It virtually changes an entire industry.  It means that the roles of editors shift immensely, as does the entire production staff.  This is a tremendous shift in the business.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day – 1991

Movie Technology

First CG Main Character.  The T-1000 paved the way for CG characters to become commonplace.  Plus it was highly badass.

Tron – 1982

Movie Technology

Videogamey sci-fier “Tron” was the first live-action film with more than 20 minutes of full 3-D graphics and CG animation.  Pretty impressive considering this movie was made in the early 80’s.  No wonder it’s such a cult classic.

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  1. What about the CGI in The Abyss? that same out in 1989, and had the CGI alien/blob thing. Not quite as detailed as T2, but still … I guess it depends on what is defined as “CGI” …

  2. After your comment about 3-D in ‘Bwana Devil,’ you lost all credibility. First of all, 3-D is a horribly novel feature to films. To shift the audiences focus away from the film and purely toward the visuals is always a bad move, especially when those visuals are unconvincing and tacky. Secondly, you talk about how you think they should bring it back to theaters (I hoped to god you were being sarcastic). Have you not noticed the re-emergence of this awful ploy recently? ‘My Bloody Valentine,’ ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth,’ ‘Bolt,’ ‘Beowulf’ just to name a few.

  3. Wasn’t the Wrath of Khan released the same year, but before Tron? Can’t remember if it fits in the “+20mins of full 3D and CG” part, but it had quite a lot of CG.

  4. How in the world do you forget the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy?! They introduced an entire new way to make CGI characters. So much so, in fact, that they created a company based on it

  5. How about Hallelujah for first movie with post synch sound? Can you imagine if every movie today only used the sound being recorded during the filming of the same shot?

    As for The Matrix and bullet time, how can another movie have used it first if John Gaeta created the technology for the movie? Please explain.

  6. 15 years later and Jurassic Park still has some of the best CG Special Effects I’ve ever seen. Just goes to show you that faster computers only make CG faster, they don’t necessarily make it better. I think it has something to do with the fact that back when CG was a longer process, you had to work harder to get a good result.

  7. Innovative movies… Well, to start, before anyone goes Matrix happy, watch Equilibrium. It was the Matrix before the Matrix.

    But my true entry here is “Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.” It’s a relatively new development, but Lucas came up with Video Village, in which you see the digital dailies on digital screens instantly, and choose your shots and only send keepers to the editors. I know for a fact Fred Durst used a Video Village in “The Longshots” because a student of mine was in the movie.

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