Synopses & Reviews
Spanning the rich history of movie magic, from George Méliès's A Trip to the Moon
to George Lucas's Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
, and the Wachowski Brothers' The Matrix
, this completely up-to-date guide to visual trickery is unparalleled in scope, presenting a clearly written, lushly illustrated chronicle of special effects development over ten decades of filmmaking.
Starting with the earliest use of smoke and mirrors in silent films, the book goes behind the scenes to reveal the methods used in creating the cinematic world of make-believe, ranging from optical composing animation, sound effects, model-making, special-effects makeup, and matte painting to the most astounding electronic innovations seen in blockbuster movies now hitting movie screens. Packed with information obtained from hundreds of interviews with both the legendary and current leading names in the field of special effects production, the book includes illustrations showing, by the use of unique segments of photographs, many never before available in print, how many of the effects are achieved. This dazzling volume, as entertaining as the films it covers, is a must for lovers of movie fantasy, students of film and popular culture, and amateur filmmakers.
"Rickitt's sophisticated, handsomely illustrated survey goes beyond the usual suspects...This is one special-effects book that deserves to be called definitive." Seattle Times
"This is a measured account of an integral part of what makes today's movies, as always, bigger than big and huger than huge. Fascinating stuff for gadget freaks, sf geeks, plain old film fans, and picture-book peepers." Booklist
About the Author
Richard Rickitt, a lecturer at the British Film Institute and former director of the Education Department of the London Film Festival, is a writer, filmmaker, and partner in a company specializing in digital animation and special effects for film and television. A frequent visitor to the U.S., he lives in London, England, and is available for the promotion of this book.