It’s a little crazy to consider Ben Affleck signing on for his fourth film, considering he’s already made two that are so good and his third sounds incredibly fascinating. This guy used to be a national joke, and now he’s getting the last laugh. We’re all benefiting for it.

Following what seems to be a developing pattern of making high-end thriller dramas for Warner Brothers, Affleck may soon be agreeing to follow up Argo with Line of Sight. The gimmick of the film is that it is told from a first-person perspective (specifically like a shooting game apparently), and covers the story of an elite commando squad (oh shit, they’ll need to call Statham– I think he’s got a copyright on that) that are dealing with a “global threat” while “transporting cargo.” Okay, so this one doesn’t leap off the page from the start but it’s got an interesting pedigree as Joel Silver is behind the project based on a script most recently punched up by Halo:Reach writer Peter O’Brien.

If Affleck signs on the line that is dotted, you’ll be seeing him star as well as direct and produce.

I’ve got to admit some trepidation straight away. The first-person gimmick is worrying, as it sounds like an exhausting way to present a feature film. I’m sure the filmmakers will be trying to come up with some clever ways of making it work, but if this really is a first-person perspective film I don’t know if it’s ever going to be more than oddity. I’ve yet to see a first-person perspective sequence that registered as even remotely realistic, and I’m not sure I ever will. A one-shot film is one thing, another trying to look like human vision is another.

The unique nature of human vision is not something you can replicate on a screen with cameras for a number of reasons. Most importantly is the idea of blinking, which is more than just a act that refreshes our eyes, but is way for our brain to insert pauses in our visual stream as we move. While this phenomenon empowers us to understand motion picture editing and thus cinema itself, to apply it to a film is a dangerous thing. Even if you put artificial blinking into the film, that’s not going to reconcile with our actual blinking well enough to achieve a realistic effect.

There’s also the inherent symbiosis and mental association of POV imagery with physical movement. It’s not something you think about much in small bursts, but after a certain amount of time your brain immediately dissociates with what you’re watching, at least in terms of buying it as the view of another person. It looked fake in Doom years ago, and it looks fake in The Amazing Spider-Man right now.

So essentially what I’m saying is that we’re always going to know that this first-person view is a camera, or a CGI lens being animated with human-like movement. I don’t think we’ll buy it. So with that in mind, I’ll be very interested to see what the approach will be. We’ve got some time to wait though– Argo just started shooting and Affleck isn’t confirmed quite yet. We’ll keep our eyes (persistently) open.

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Source | THR