Every New Year kicks off with movie awards season, and this year the film that everybody’s talking about is the romantic fantasy The Shape of Water. Regular readers of this blog will already know how much I enjoyed covering this film for the winter issue of Cinefex – I blathered on about it in this earlier post – so suffice it to say I was thrilled to see director Guillermo del Toro pick up the award for Best Director at both the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards this month. Also at the Critics Choice, War for the Planet of the Apes won the award for Best Visual Effects. Stellar work there by Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon and the Weta Digital team. Nominations for upcoming awards – not least the BAFTAs and Academy Awards – are stacking up even as I write, and I can’t wait to see who wins what.
Now, I had planned to start this year by telling you a little about my Alpha article, which I was working on during the run-up to Christmas. As often happens, however, Hollywood has thrown us a curve ball by shifting the release date of this stone-age survival story from March all the way down to September. So we’re now planning to move coverage of the film from February into our autumn edition.
Not to worry. Image captions aside, my work on Alpha is done and the article is safely in the bank ready to be dusted off later in the year. Our February issue is already jam-packed with fantastic stories, including the one everybody will want to read – my colleague Joe Fordham’s in-depth look at Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Right now, I’m deep into my assignments for the April issue. I submitted the first of these to editor Jody Duncan last week, and we’ve just locked the copy ready for production. Without saying too much, I can tell you it’s not a typical Cinefex article. I’ve been working on it on and off since August 2017, getting input from over 70 visual effects professionals in order to create something rather special.
With that assignment off my plate, I’m now hard at work covering one of the first mega-movies of the year. As often happens, my copy deadline coincides almost exactly with the film’s final delivery date, which I fear casts me in the role of “complete pain in the neck” with all the poor effects supervisors I keep chasing for information, when all they want to do is finish their damn shots! Sorry, guys, you know it’s in a good cause!