As blockbusters employ ever greater numbers of dazzling visual effects and digital illusions, this book explores the material roots and stylistic practices of special effects and their makers.
Gathering leading voices in cinema and new media studies, this comprehensive anthology moves beyond questions of spectacle
to examine special effects from the earliest years of cinema, via experimental film and the Golden Age of Hollywood, to our
contemporary transmedia landscape.
Wide-ranging and accessible, this book illuminates and interrogates the vast array of techniques film has used throughout its history to conjure spectacular images, mediate bodies, map worlds and make meanings.
Foreword by Scott Bukatman, with an Afterword by Lev Manovich.
Dan North is an independent scholar. He is the author of Performing Illusions: Cinema, Special Effects and the Virtual Actor (2008), and editor of Sights Unseen: Unfi nished British Films (2008). Bob Rehak is Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at Swarthmore College, USA. His work has appeared in Cinema Journal, Film Criticism, and The Cybercultures Reader (2007). Michael S. Duffy is Lecturer in Film and Media Studies at Towson University, USA. His essays have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Volumes I and II of Directory of World Cinema: American Hollywood (2011, 2015).
Acknowledgments.- Foreword; Scott Bukatman.- Notes on Contributors.- Introduction; Bob Rehak, Dan North and Michael S. Duffy.- PART 1: TECHNIQUES.- 1. Ectoplasm and Oil: Methocel and the Aesthetics of Special Effects; Ethan de Seife.- 2. Fleshing It Out: Prosthetic Makeup Effects, Motion Capture and the Reception of Performance; Lisa Bode.- 3. (Stop)Motion Control: Special Effects in Contemporary Puppet Animation; Andrea Comiskey.- 4. Magic Mirrors: The Schufftan Process; Katharina Loew.- 5. Photorealism, Nostalgia and Style: Photorealism and Material Properties of Film in Digital Visual Effects; Barbara Flueckiger.- PART 2: BODIES.- 6. Bleeding Synthetic Blood: Flesh and Simulated Space in 300; Drew Ayers.- 7. Blackface, Happy Feet: The Politics of Race in Motion Capture and Animation; Tanine Allison.- 8. Being Georges Melies; Dan North.- 9. The Battlefield for the Soul: Special Effects and the Possessed Body; Stacey Abbott.- 10. Baroque Facades, Jeff Bridges' Face and Tron: Legacy; Angela Ndalianis.- 11. Organic Clockwork: Guillermo del Toro's Practical and Digital Nature; Michael S. Duffy.- PART 3: SCREENS.- 12. Digital 3D, Technological Auteurism and the Rhetoric of Cinematic Revolution; Chuck Tryon.- 13. Shooting Stars: Chesley Bonestell and the Special Effects of Outer Space; Bob Rehak.- 14. Designed for Everyone Who Looks Forward to Tomorrow!: Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the.- 15. 1970s Expanded Blockbuster; Julie Turnock.- 16. The Right Stuff?: Handmade Special Effects in Commercial and Industrial Film; Gregory Zinman.- 17. 'Don't You Mean Extinct?': On the Circulation of Knowledge in Jurassic Park; Oliver Gaycken.- 18. Inception's Timespaces: An Ecology of Technology; Aylish Wood.- 19. Afterword: An Interview with Lev Manovich; Dan North.- Index.