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Made in America director Howard weighs the merits of CGI

Director Ron Howard arrives for the film premiere of Made In America at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Sept. 7, 2013.

Fred Thornhill/Reuters

Ron Howard, the director of TIFF films Rush and Made in America, took part in a post-screening onstage Q&A following the world premiere on Saturday of the latter film, a concert documentary chronicling a 2012 music festival headlined by the hip-hop mop impresario Jay Z. An audience member asked the accomplished filmmaker and Happy Days actor about the increasing prevalence of computer generated imaging in modern filmmaking.

Howard: "Well, you know, I think every movie defines itself. And I suppose that the interesting thing I experienced about Made in America is that it's an absolute requirement that you have to let it reveal itself. And even a scripted movie, you have to begin to ask yourself a lot of questions about it.

"I haven't pursued a brand. I don't put a stamp on the movie. I try to understand what's possible … how could I fulfill the potential of the story and share it with audiences?

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"I think it depends on the movie. As you analyze what you think you need to tell your story, there are textural qualities. And it's your job as the storyteller to absolutely make those decisions. They can't land with anyone else. And I don't necessarily think you should carry around a bias. So, there may be times that CGI is absolutely the solution to your storytelling problem.

"But, yes, analog does have value. And even CGI artists will encourage you to get as much on camera as you possibly can, and let them build upon or enhance …"

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