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Last update: 2015-03-26

The Optical 017 - Matte Painter Jesse Silver

2015-03-26

Complete show notes (with links) available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/017

We chat with matte painter Jesse Silver about his work on Tron, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Labyrinth, moving from real paint to digital for Super Mario Bros., and one high-pressure effects house that had phones in the toilet stalls.

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Improve your 2015 with a 10-day free trial of training videos from http://lynda.com/optical.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Follow on Soundcloud Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsors Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Lynda.com — Start learning today. Features Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Brian Covey, Friend of the Podcast Music All tracks by Digital Droo Research Materials Cinefex 12 — April 1983, also available in the Cinefex iPad app Revisiting Cinefex (12): Something Wicked, Stop-Motion and Dream Quest by Graham Edwards More Bits See http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/016 for complete show notes. As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 016 - Something Wicked This Way Comes

2015-03-12

Complete show notes (with links) available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/016

We chat with Brian Covey about the making of Something Wicked This Way Comes, and discover that it might be an overlooked CGI first.

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Improve your 2015 with a 10-day free trial of training videos from http://lynda.com/optical.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Follow on Soundcloud Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsors Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Lynda.com — Start learning today. Features Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Brian Covey, Friend of the Podcast Music All tracks by Digital Droo Research Materials Cinefex 12 — April 1983, also available in the Cinefex iPad app Revisiting Cinefex (12): Something Wicked, Stop-Motion and Dream Quest by Graham Edwards More Bits See http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/016 for complete show notes. As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 015 - E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

2015-02-26

Complete show notes (with links) available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/015

Cinefex Associate Editor Joe Fordham joins us to discuss the making of Steven Spielberg’s E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial, we try to figure out how E.T.’s innards worked, and discuss Spielberg’s unproduced Night Skies.

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Improve your 2015 with a 10-day free trial of training videos from http://lynda.com/optical.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Follow on Soundcloud Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsors Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Lynda.com — Start learning today. Features E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Joe Fordham, Associate Editor, Cinefex Music All tracks by Digital Droo Research Materials Cinefex 10 — January 1983, also available in the Cinefex iPad app Revisiting Cinefex (11): ET and Robert Swarthe by Graham Edwards E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial from Concept to Classic More Bits See http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/015 for complete show notes. As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 014 - Firefox

2015-02-14

Complete show notes (with links) available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/014

We talk the making of Clint Eastwood’s Firefox with Russian speaker Mike Gower, and we marvel at John Dykstra and Apogee’s technical advances for the effects of the super-stealth fighter. до свидания!

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Improve your 2015 with a 10-day free trial of training videos from http://lynda.com/optical.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Follow on Soundcloud Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsors Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Lynda.com — Start learning today. Features Firefox (1982) Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Mike Gower, designer of our ‘aperture’ logo, enjoys designing things, watching movies, flying supersonic jets, and speaking Russian. Music All tracks by Digital Droo Research Materials Cinefex 10 — September 1997, also available in the Cinefex iPad app Revisiting Cinefex (10): Poltergeist and Firefox by Graham Edwards More Bits See http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/014 for complete show notes. As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 013 — Poltergeist

2015-01-29

Complete show notes (with links) available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/013

Mike Gower chats with us about the making of Poltergeist, and we learn how to make ectoplasmic goo and body-sausage water guns.

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Improve your 2015 with a 10-day free trial of training videos from http://lynda.com/optical.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Follow on Soundcloud Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsors Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Lynda.com — Start learning today. Features Poltergeist (1982) Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Mike Gower, designer of our ‘aperture’ logo, enjoys designing things, watching movies, and frolicking near the Jacaranda trees. Music All tracks by Digital Droo Research Materials Cinefex 10 — September 1997, also available in the Cinefex iPad app Revisiting Cinefex (10): Poltergeist and Firefox by Graham Edwards More Bits See http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/013 for complete show notes. As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 012 - Planet of the Apes: The Evolution of the Legend

2015-01-13

Complete show notes (with links) available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/012

We talk with Joe Fordham and Jeff Bond, authors of Planet of the Apes: The Evolution of the Legend, covering all incarnations of the Apes!

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Improve your 2015 with a 10-day free trial of training videos from http://lynda.com/optical.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Follow on Soundcloud Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsors Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Lynda.com — Start learning today. Features Planet of the Apes (1968) Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Joe Fordham, Cinefex associate editor and filmmaker. Jeff Bond, film and soundtrack writer, and former editor of Film Score Monthly, Geek, and CFQ. Music All tracks by Digital Droo Research Materials Cinefex 71 — September 1997, also available in the Cinefex iPad app Planet of the Apes: The Evolution of the Legend by Joe Fordham and Jeff Bond More Bits See http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/012 for complete show notes. As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 011 - Douglas Trumbull, Part 2: Back to the Future… The Ride to Magi and UFOTOG

2014-11-28

Complete show notes (with links) available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/011/

We talk with Douglas Trumbull about his history as a creator and inventor of VFX and immersive film technology, making Back to the Future… The Ride, and his latest project: the 120 fps, 4K, 3D short film UFOTOG that shows off his new film process, Magi.

This episode includes the second half of our interview. Listen to Part 1 in episode 010!

Listen today for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Follow us on Soundcloud Podcast feed for other pod-catchers Sponsor Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Features Back to the Future… The Ride (1991) UFOTOG (2014) Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guest Douglas Trumbull, filmmaker, director, writer, and inventor of many advances in VFX technology. His latest project is the 120fps/4K/3D immersive cinema process called Magi. Music All tracks by Digital Droo Research Materials Cinefex 46 — May 1991, available in the Cinefex iPad app Revisiting Cinefex by Graham Edwards As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 010 — Douglas Trumbull and the Future of Immersive Cinema, Part 1

2014-10-30

Complete show notes (with links) available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode/010/

We talk with Douglas Trumbull about his history as artist, animator, and VFX legend, from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Brainstorm, and hear about what caused him to become a champion of immersive cinema.

This episode includes the first half of our interview, leading up to the point that Trumbull left Hollywood. Stay tuned for Part 2 in episode 011!

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsor Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Features 2001 (1968) Silent Running (1972) Brainstorm (1983) Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Douglas Trumbull, filmmaker, director, writer, and inventor of many advances in VFX technology. His latest project is a 3D/4K/120fps immersive cinema process called [Magi](UFOTOG trailer). Music All tracks by Digital Droo Research Materials Cinefex 8 — April 1982, available in the Cinefex iPad app Revisiting Cinefex (8): Tron and Silent Running by Graham Edwards As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 008A - Tron, Harrison Ellenshaw, John Van Vliet, Cinefex 8

2014-09-26

Complete show notes (with links) available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode_008

We chat with visual effects artists Harrison Ellenshaw and John Van Vliet about their work on the 1982 cult classic Tron, and hear about the hand-drawn animation that people think was CGI, and just how crazy it was to work on the film!

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Subscribe to the PodcastSubscribe in iTunesEnhanced AAC podcast feedMP3 podcast feed SponsorCinefex magazine - The journal of cinematic illusions. Features*Tron* (1982)Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we've covered, and upcoming films to watch. GuestsHarrison Ellenshaw, Visual Effects Supervisor on TronJohn Van Vliet, Effects Animator on Tron MusicAll tracks by Digital Droo Research MaterialsCinefex 8 — April 1982, available in the Cinefex iPad appRevisiting Cinefex (8): Tron and Silent Running by Graham Edwards*The Making of Tron: How Tron Changed Visual Effects and Disney Forever* by William Kallay As everThe Optical theme by Digital DrooThe Optical "aperture" logo by Mike Gower…

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The Optical 007 - King Kong, Willis O’Brien, Stop-Motion Animation, Cinefex 7

2014-08-25

Complete show notes (with links) are available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode_007

We chat with creator and publisher of Cinefex, Don Shay, about the life and work of stop motion pioneer Willis O’Brien, including The Lost World, King Kong, Mighty Joe Young, and more. We also interview animation director Rob Shaw about his films and experience as a stop-motion animator.

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsor Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Features Willis O’Brien The Lost World (1925) King Kong (1933) Mighty Joe Young (1949) Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Don Shay, Creator and publisher of Cinefex magazine, and Willis O’Brien biographer Rob Shaw, Stop-motion animation director Music (Almost) all tracks by Digital Droo (Except) a teensy snippet of the James Bond Theme by Monty Norman and John Barry A small clip of the 1938 re-release trailer for King Kong features the music of Max Steiner. Research Materials Cinefex 7 — October 1981, available in the Cinefex iPad app Cinefex 138 — July 2014, with “O’Brien vs Dawley” update by Stephen Czerkas Revisiting Cinefex (7): Willis O’Brien by Graham Edwards The Making of King Kong, by Orville Goldner and George E. Turner King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson, by Ray Morton More Bits Willis O’Brien The Dinosaur and the Missing Link (1915), on YouTube Edison Conquest Pictures R.F.D. 10,000 BC (1917), on YouTube The Edison film monopoly — The Motion Picture Patents Company The Ghost of Slumber Mountain (1918), on YouTube Herbert M. Dawley’s “Articulated Effigy” patent for stop-motion animation Ralph Hammeras’ glass painting patent for in-camera composites The Lost World (1925), on YouTube, or the Lumivision DVD which also features several of O’Brien’s Edison shorts. Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack Kong pitch painting, “Giant Terror Gorilla” by Willis O’Brien and (via Giant Monsters Among Us) King Kong title sequence at Art of the Title 1938 re-release trailer for King Kong DeLaurentis’ full-size Kong is discussed in this delightful AV Club review of King Kong (1976) Hays Motion Picture Production Code Peter Jackson and WETA’s Lost Spider Pit Sequence Linwood Dunn and the optical printer The Most Dangerous Game (1932) How King Kong was Filmed (or Not), on the Cinefex Blog, about the 1933 King Kong magazine article with effects misinformation Son of Kong (1933) The Last Days of Pompeii (1935) WAR EAGLES: The Unmaking of an Epic - An Alternate History for Classic Film Monsters by David Conover & Philip J. Riley The Valley of Gwangi (1969) George Lofgren, taxidermist Willis O’Brien accepts his Oscar — “Thank you very, very much.” Delightful. The Black Scorpion (1957) Pete Peterson, stop-motion animator The Giant Behemoth (1959) The Lost World (1960) It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963) Jim Danforth, stop-motion animator Nitrate film stock Celebrating Cinefex — The Video Rob Shaw Dragonframe motion control Downshooter for animation Happy Tree Friends. “Cubtron Z” They Might Be Giants, “I’m Impressed” Article on George Pal’s Puppetoons, with a picture showing Willis O’Brien and Ray Harryhausen working on the shorts Puppetoons replacement animation Portlandia Rats Coraline Flushed Away (2006) How to use a Surface Gauge for Stop Motion Animation](http://www.animateclay.com/index.php/articles/8-video-tutorials/18-how-to-use-a-surface-gage-for-stop-motion-animation) Dragonframe Frame Grabber software Rob’s Two Bottles Blog The Five Deadly Venoms (1978) As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 006B - Raiders of the Lost Ark, Mark Mangini, Dragonslayer, Go-Motion, Cinefex 6

2014-07-14

Complete show notes (with links) are available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode_006B

We interview sound designer Mark Mangini about his career, including his early work on Raiders of the Lost Ark, and chat with film/TV editor Brian Newell about Dragonslayer, and the invention of Go-Motion.

This is continuing coverage of Cinefex 6 — see episode 006A for even more Raiders and Dragonslayer goodness!

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsor Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Fundraiser Help fund The Optical’s second season, and buy a T-shirt today for our fundraising campaign! Hurry — the last day to contribute is Sunday, July 20, 2014. Features Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Dragonslayer (1981) Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Mark Mangini, sound designer and re-recording mixer Brian Newell, TV/film editor Music All tracks by Digital Droo Research Materials Cinefex 6 — October 1981, available in the Cinefex iPad app Revisiting Cinefex (6): Early CGI, Dragonslayer and Raiders by Graham Edwards Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures on Blu-ray The Complete Making of Indiana Jones: The Definitive Story Behind All Four Films by J.W. Rinzler and Laurent Bouzereau Dragonslayer on DVD More Bits Mark Mangini: Sound Design Walter Murch and his sound design expertise were discussed in detail in Episode 003 of The Optical Mark Mangini’s music Hanna Barbara - The New Fred & Barney Show (1979) Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) V’Ger musical effect — Blaster Beam demonstration Replacing English with Vulcan Speech in Star Trek: The Motion Picture Gremlins (1984) Jack the Giant Slayer (2013) The Fifth Element (1997) Silent Films — Mangini’s open letter to a reviewer who neglected the role of sound in the CGI-heavy sequences in Godzilla. Ben Burtt Richard L. Anderson Stephen Hunter Flick Frank Welker The Wilhelm Scream The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008) Kafka (1991) Steven Soderbergh talking about re-working Kafka — about halfway though the interview. Sounds like there will be a disc released after he’s done tinkering with it. Stigmata (1999) Warrior (2011) Space Jam (1996) Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) Treg Brown Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) War of the Worlds (1953) Forbidden Planet (1956) Jane Got a Gun coming in 2015 Black Mass coming in 2015 Dolby Atmos Mark Mangini’s Blog LA Sound Group Presents Mark Mangini — group chat Dragonslayer and Go-Motion Go-Motion on Wikipedia Peter MacNicol Revenge of the Jedi teaser trailer The Vermithrax Pejorative Story: Behind the Scenes at the Making of Dragonslayer Dragonslayer Full-size Head Restoration The Rhamphorhynchus pterosaur that the design of the Vermithrax Pejorative was based upon. We talked about the tauntaun stop-motion animation in Episode 002 of The Optical G is for Greenscreen on the Cinefex blog contains a couple of great example images of ILM’s backlit bluescreen — one with Ghostbuster’s Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in front of it, and the other with Jabba’s skiff from Return of the Jedi. Inverse square law for light Tremors (1990) We covered Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion techniques and armatures in Episode 005 of The Optical Overcranking film You’ll believe a man can fly. — Superman (1978) tagline Dragonslayer Behind-the-Scenes Pictures Original Go-Motion tests for Jurassic Park created before the decision was made to make the dinosaurs digitally. As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 006A - Raiders of the Lost Ark, Thaine Morris, Filmumentaries, Joe Fordham, Cinefex 6

2014-06-23

Complete show notes (with links) are available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode_006A

We chat with Cinefex writer Joe Fordham and film/TV editor Brian Newell about Raiders of the Lost Ark, and interview mechanical effects and pyro legend Thaine Morris about his career and his work on Raiders and Dragonslayer. We also chat with Jamie Benning about his creation of the Filmumentaries behind-the-scenes documentary format.

We had so much great stuff that more Cinefex 6 coverage will continue in Episode 006B in two weeks, covering Dragonslayer, and a full interview with sound designer Mark Mangini!

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsor Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. T-shirt fundraiser Want to help fund The Optical’s second season? Buy a T-shirt in our fundraising campaign! Features Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Dragonslayer (1981) Filmumentaries by Jamie Benning, featuring Raiding the Lost Ark Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Joe Fordham, writer for Cinefex Brian Newell, TV/film editor Jamie Benning, inventor of the Filmumentaries format. Thaine Morris, special effects and pyrotechnician extraordinaire Music All tracks by Digital Droo Research Materials Cinefex 6 — October 1981, available in the Cinefex iPad app Revisiting Cinefex (6): Early CGI, Dragonslayer and Raiders by Graham Edwards …and loads more! See the complete show notes for Episode 006A As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 005 - Ray Harryhausen, Clash of the Titans, The State of 3D, Roy Arbogast, Caveman, Cinefex 5

2014-05-26

Complete show notes (with links) are available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode_005

We chat with Jose Vazquez about Clash of the Titans, Ray Harryhausen’s other stop-motion creature films, Roy Arbogast’s work on the shark for Jaws and other physical effects, and experience the prehistoric comedy, Caveman. We also interview special guest Ed Marsh about the stop motion techniques in Chicken Run, and discuss the current state (and the future) of 3D movies.

Listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsor Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Features Ray Harryhausen Clash of the Titans (1981) Jason and the Argonauts (1963) Roy Arbogast Jaws (1975) Caveman (1981) Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Jose Vazquez, Harryhausen fan Ed Marsh, filmmaker and Stereoscopic Supervisor on several recent films Music All tracks by Digital Droo, featuring his new single, 2AM Research Materials Cinefex 5 — July 1981, available in the Cinefex iPad app Revisiting Cinefex (5): Ray Harryhausen, Titans, Roy Arbogast and Caveman by Graham Edwards Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan documentary Ray Harryhausen: An Animated Life by Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton More bits Celebrating Cinefex Willis O’Brien Revisited by Don Shy, on the Cinefex Blog Furia de titanes The 7th Voyage of Sinbad skeleton fight Ray Harryhausen’s Evolution footage The Harryhausen Chronicles behind the scenes documentary Stop Motion on Wikipedia Ray Harryhausen filmography George Pal’s Puppetoons The War of the Worlds (1953) Harryhausen’s Army training films and his Mother Goose stories can be seen in Ray Harryhausen: The Early Years Collection Mighty Joe Young (1949) CGI water breakdowns by Important Looking Pirates Position Based Fluids demo from 2013, which may lead to more realistic CGI fluid simulations Ted smith talks about his work on the Titanic “miniature” Boinx iStopMotion apps for Mac, iPad, and the Remote Camera app for iPhone Clash of the Titans (2010) He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Justice League Young Justice Fantasia (1940) The Thief of Bagdad (1940) free to watch on Hulu Visual Effects documentary about the technical achievements of The Thief of Bagdad. A 9-inch Bubo that you can put on your shoulder Aardman Animations Chicken Run Pillsbury Doughboy commercial from 1982 Flushed Away CGI animation Ghosts of the Abyss Under Pressure: Making The Abyss in slightly less than 37 parts on YouTube James Cameron and Vince Pace’s Fusion Camera System “Ironically, director André de Toth was blind in one eye and unable to experience stereo vision or the 3-D effects. ‘It’s one of the great Hollywood stories,’ Vincent Price recalled. ‘When they wanted a director for a 3-D film, they hired a man who couldn’t see 3-D at all!’” — from House of Wax (1953 film) on Wikipedia Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) in 3D When the Movie is 3D, But the NLEs Are 2D featuring the diagram of 3D workflow from Journey to the Center of the Earth Avatar (2009) in 3D Prime Focus World’s 3D conversion work The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) in 3D Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) in 3D SCTV: Monster Chiller Horror Theater presents Dr. Tongue’s 3D House of Stewardesses The Eye as Camera from Laurie Anderson’s Nerve Bible (transcript) Up in 3D Douglas Trumbull’s UFOTOG demo film for his new 120P/3D/4K “Magi” process Showscan Showscan: A 70mm High Impact Experience — in-depth article on showscan, including some mentions of “a corporate film and commercial for the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors Corporation.” L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat — “The story goes that when the film was first shown, the audience was so overwhelmed by the moving image of a life-sized train coming directly at them that people screamed and ran to the back of the room.” via Wikipedia My experience with HFR in The Hobbit (High Frame Rate, 48 fps) RealD Dolby 3D XPAND RealD Precision White screen technology How to Train Your Dragon in 3D Prometheus in 3D The Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer in 3D Barco and Christie 6P laser projection Ed Marsh’s essay in 3d Storytelling The Real Wizard Behind the Curtain, Part 1 and Part 2 interview with Ed Marsh, from when Oz the Great and Powerful came out. Hunting Bruce, or, On The Trail of the ‘Jaws’ Shark, NPR story by Cory Turner Inside Jaws a Filmumentary by Jamie Benning Dracula (1979) The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981) As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 004 - Outland, Altered States, Open Moco, Sensory Deprivation Tanks, Cinefex 4

2014-04-28

Complete show notes (with links) are available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode_004

We chat with film fan Brian Covey about the development of the front-screen Introvision technique for Outland – or as I like to call it, Sean Connery: Space Cop! – and the early computer effects and makeup for Altered States, interview Brad Justinen and Shane McKown of Motion Sickness about their Open MoCo project, and take our own dip on a sensory deprivation tank – for SCIENCE!

Also listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsors Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. float|seattle — Take yourself on a blind date… with yourself. Features Outland Introvision Altered States Sensory deprivation tanks Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Brian Covey — Lover of film. Brad Justinen and Shane McKown of Motion Sickness and Open MoCo Sean McCormick of float|seattle Music

All tracks by Digital Droo, specifically his Warpgate Music playlist

Research Materials Cinefex 4 — April 1981 Revisiting Cinefex (4): Outland and Altered States by Graham Edwards US Patent 5,061,061 – “Front projection composite photography system combining staged action with two projected images”, including diagrams More bits Mark Roberts Motion Control Harmonic drive for motion control rigs Intervalometer for time lapse photography Hypnagogic imagery Flying-spot scanner HUVr hoverboard hoax, featuring Tony Hawk, Christopher Lloyd, Moby, and a baffling array of celebrities Red Dawn (1984) Stigmata DMT: The Spirit Molecule As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 003 - Walter Murch, Sound Design, Saul Bass Title Design, Phase IV, Cinefex 3

2014-03-11

Complete show notes (with links) are available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode_003

We chat with TV writer and producer Ian Brier about Walter Murch’s early sound design for THX 1138, American Graffiti, The Conversation, and Apocalypse Now, as well as Saul Bass’ science fiction film Phase IV, interview Scott Leberecht and Christina Lee Storm about Life After Pi and the current state of the VFX industry, and talk with MK12 partner Ben Radatz about Saul Bass’ career in title design.

Also listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.
Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsor Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Features Walter Murch’s sound design for THX 1138, American Graffiti, The Conversation, and Apocalypse Now Life After Pi The title design of Saul Bass Phase IV Follow along with our List on Letterboxd, featuring films we’ve covered, and upcoming films to watch. Guests Ian Brier — Television Writer and Producer, and Walter Murch aficionado. Scott Leberecht and Christina Lee Storm — documentary filmmakers Ben Radatz — co-founder of MK12, experimental filmmaker, designer, and writer Music All tracks by Digital Droo
Research Materials Cinefex 3 — December 1980 Revisiting Cinefex (3): Empire, Walter Murch and Phase IV by Graham Edwards In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film by Michael Ondaatje Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design by Jennifer Bass and Pat Kirkham Art of the Title - Saul Bass Art of the Title - MK12, including the Quantum of Solace titles More bits Gravity wins Oscar for Best Visual Effects On the Media: Wilhelm — the history of the Wilhelm scream Quintaphonic sound, and also a mention on the Quadraphonic sound page on Wikipedia Heart of Darkness (the book) by Joseph Conrad, first published in 1899, about a trip up the river in Africa at the turn of the century, and Kurtz is an ivory trader. Hearts of Darkness - A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (the documentary) featuring on-location home movies shot in the Philippines by Eleanor Coppola during the production of Apocalypse Now. Jim Morrisson at UCLA VFX Artists March at Dolby Theater Modus VFX firm goes out of business as of March 6, 2014. VFX Soldier Maurice Binder, Pablo Ferro, Iginio Lardani, and Daniel Kleinman, title designers Lissajous curve — “Not to be confused with spirographs, which are generally enclosed by a circular boundary, whereas Lissajous curves are enclosed by rectangular boundaries.” The Life of John Whitney, Computer Animation Pioneer “Catalog” 1961 — “John Whitney’s demo reel of work created with his analog computer/film camera magic machine he built from a WWII anti-aircraft gun sight.” You can see some lissajous figures around the 5:50 mark that, if slowed down, look much like some of the curves seen in the Vertigo titles. Filming the Invisible, showcasing the nature photography of Ken Middleham. Saul Bass’ Lost Original Ending for Phase IV Discovered in Los Angeles Special Thanks Eric Alba Scot Byrd Ian Albinson at Art of the Title As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 002 - The Empire Strikes Back, Howie Weed, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1941, Cinefex 2

2014-02-03

Complete show notes (with links) are available at http://opticalpodcast.com/episode_002

In our second episode, we chat with passionate fan Rob Rhyne about The Empire Strikes Back, interview modelmaker, creature creator, and digital artist Howie Weed about his career and work on The Empire Strikes Back: Special Edition, and we quickly chat with Duncan Boszko to get a perspective on Greg Jein’s physical miniature models in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1941, and The Hunt for Red October from someone who was born after the advent of CGI.

Also listen for your chance to win a free 1-year print subscription to Cinefex magazine.

Subscribe to the Podcast Subscribe in iTunes Enhanced AAC podcast feed MP3 podcast feed Sponsor Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Features The Empire Strikes Back Greg Jein’s model work in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and 1941 How are miniature models made? Guests Howie Weed — Model maker, creature creator, digital artist, long-time ILM-er, and the guy inside the Wampa suit in The Empire Strikes Back: Special Edition. Rob Rhyne, Empire Strikes Back superfan, Developer, Designer, and CEO of MartianCraft. Duncan Boszko, writer, aspiring filmmaker, and with a play in the 2014 Young Playwright’s Festival at the Young Playwrights Program at ACT. Music

All tracks by Aaron Cherof:

0:35:05 — Crowd Clout 1:43:42 — A Foe Pause 2:02:00 — Mamnae Research Materials Cinefex 2 — August 1980 Cinefex 3 — December 1980 — article “Tauntauns, Walkers and Probots” by Paul Mandell The Making of The Empire Strikes Back (Enhanced Edition) by J.W. Rinzler Once Upon a Galaxy: A Journal of the Making of The Empire Strikes Back by Alan Arnold Building Empire: A Filmumentary by Jamie Benning — a fan documentary, where he edits behind-the-scenes, alternate footage, and trivia track information into the film itself. The Making of 1941 by Glenn Erickson & Mary Ellen Trainor Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Making of Steven Spielberg’s Classic Film by Ray Morton More bits The Empire Strikes Back: Despecialized Edition — a fan edit that keeps as much of the HD releases as possible, but reverts the effects and cut to the original look, even going so far as to re-build the effects from available sources when necessary. Lucasfilm confirms that the original editions on the released DVDs are taken from the 1993 Laserdisc masters. Dick Smith’s Do It Yourself Monster Make-Up by Dick Smith, introduction by Rick Baker Stage Makeup: Fifth Edition (1975) by Richard Corson The original wampa suit footage can be seen starting at about five minutes into Building Empire As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical 001 - Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Alien, Daren Dochterman, Cinefex 1

2014-01-06

In our premiere episode, we talk about Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Alien, chat with Daren Dochterman, VFX Supervisor on Star Trek: The Motion Picture — Director’s Edition, I admit my 2001 shame, and we ask: just what is an “optical,” anyway?

Sponsor Cinefex magazine — The journal of cinematic illusions. Features Star Trek: The Motion Picture Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director’s Edition) What is an “optical”? Alien Guests Daren R. Dochterman, VFX Supervisor on Star Trek: The Motion Picture — Director’s Edition. Sites: betafive.com, blog.darendoc.com, and Star Trek Phase II Ron “AAlgar” Watt and Matt Rowbotham, of the Post Atomic Horror podcast Tom Schmidt, Art Director and VFX Artist, heading Percolate Digital Music

All tracks by Digital Droo:

0:34:50 — Wake Up Sweating - Active Lancer Original Soundtrack 1:09:25 — La La’s Theme - Beginnings 1:26:50 — Looking for a Sign (Active Lancer Theme) - Active Lancer Original Soundtrack 2:02:45 — Minor Things - Beginnings Research Materials Cinefex 1 — March 1980 Cinefex 2 — August 1980 The Making of Star Trek The Motion Picture by Susan Sackett Chekov’s Enterprise by Walter Koenig The Book of Alien by Paul Scanlon and Michael Gross Wikipedia: Optical effect and Optical printer Revisiting Cinefex (1): Star Trek and Alien, and Revisiting Cinefex (2): Empire, Greg Jein and Star Trek by Graham Edwards Making the Alien, Inside Alien, Alien Studio Production Report, and Alien Model Build — The Narcissus by Gavin Rothery More bits The Handheld Mathematics of Geometer Ron Resch, who designed the iris-like V’ger Maw. Ron Cobb’s Alien Icons “Hey Really Giger” on SuperEgo and the installment where the “Hey Really” joke actually happens at the 3:16 mark Trinity & Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie You Are My Lucky Star — Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds in Singin’ in the Rain As ever The Optical theme by Digital Droo The Optical “aperture” logo by Mike Gower …

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The Optical MP3

A journey back through the annals of Cinefex magazine, revisiting the movies and topics they covered 30+ years ago. We'll talk to people involved in the films, people who make movies, and people who love movies, and hopefully have a fun time doing it.

The Optical MP3


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