I’ve got two articles in Cinefex 166, our August 2019 issue. First up is When Dragons Go to War, my coverage of the much-antipicated final season of HBO’s fantasy phenomenon Game of Thrones.
Full disclosure – I’m not regular viewer of the show. I watched Season 1 but it never really hooked me, so I let it slide. Preparing for this article, I crammed as if for a final exam. Binge-watching all six episodes of Game of Thrones Season 8, I was blown away by the quality of the production and, considering I’d missed out on one hell of a lot of exposition, the clarity of the storytelling.
I was also overwhelmed by the task ahead. The final season features over 3,000 stunning visual effects shots, designed and executed through a dizzying dance of previs, practical rigs, virtual production and digital wizardry. As Game of Thrones visual effects producer Steve Kullback told me, “The whole season might well have been called ‘Holy Shit!”
My investigative research led me through 15 interviews with Steve, visual effects supervisors Joe Bauer and Stefen Fangmeier, special effects supervisor Sam Conway, prosthetics designer Barrie Gower and teams from The Third Floor, Image Engine, Weta Digital, Scanline VFX, Pixomondo, Soho VFX, SSVFX, El Ranchito and Lola VX. Phew! The result was over 50,000 words of interview transcript and the monumental – and ultimately rewarding – job of writing one of the longest and most complex articles I’ve yet had the pleasure of doing for Cinefex.
Only slightly less complicated, and no less rewarding, was Grand Illusions, my article on Spider-Man: Far From Home. Anchored around an interview with director Jon Watts, this assignment took me far and wide, interviewing the visual effects teams at Sony Pictures Imageworks, Industrial Light & Magic, Framestore, Luma, Image Engine, Scanline VFX, Rising Sun Pictures, Perception and Territory Studio, not forgetting special effects supervisor Andy Williams.
I also found time to produce the promo video for the issue, following the new-look ‘movie theater’ format I brought in a couple of issues back:
The next issue in the pipeline is Cinefex 167, out October 2019. Just one article for me in that one – a high-octane piece on Fast & Furious presents: Hobbs & Shaw. Boy, did I have a ball writing that one. The article itself is done, with just the picture captions left to write.
As for what’s next, all I’ll say for now is that, in Cinefex 168, I’ll be back …
Cinefex 166 is on newsstands now, and available to order in print from the online store. The iPad edition features tons more photographs and exclusive video content.