Michael Schmitz's paper, "Human Computer Interaction in Science Fiction Movies" is a visual, thematic tour through the ways that people talk to computers (and vice-versa) in movies and TV shows, from Metropolis to Futurama. There's some really insightful analysis here -- and there's plenty to be learned just by looking at the side-by-side screenshots.
The probably most important aspect is the availability of special effects technologies - including the budget of a production to use those. Some movies that will be shown are made at a time where digital editing was not yet existent, whereas other recent motion pictures (e.g. Star Wars Episode II) don’t even contain a single scene without computerized backgrounds or animations. Moreover the commercial success of the movie industry increased a lot during the past 10 years, such that higher budgets became more and more feasible.
(via We Make Money, Not Art)
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