Godzilla vs Kong — Coming soon from The Illusion Almanac

Click below for a preview of The Illusion Almanac: Creating Godzilla vs Kong, my brand new publication delving into the making of the hit Warner Brothers film directed by Adam Wingard. https://illusion-almanac.com/2021/04/16/coming-soon-the-illusion-almanac-covers-godzilla-vs-kong/

Dragoncharm Test Film

It's nearly twenty years since I experienced the brief but intense rollercoaster ride that was the failed TV/film adaptation of my first novel, Dragoncharm. Bob Keen, an effects artist who'd worked on movies including Return of the Jedi and Hellraiser, was slated to direct the project, with his Pinewood-based company Image Animation creating a complete cast of dragon characters in both animatronic and computer-generated … Continue reading Dragoncharm Test Film

Harbinger Down – Film Review

For a sci-fi horror movie set on a frost-covered trawler in the middle of the icy Bering Sea, Harbinger Down positively oozes warmth. A warm respect for its genre. A warm regard for its audience. And a blazing passion for its mission - to prove that old-school practical filmmaking techniques are alive and kicking in this brave new digital world. An unashamedly nostalgic riff … Continue reading Harbinger Down – Film Review

“Alien Outpost” – Cinefex Blog

This month on the Cinefex blog, I interviewed filmmaker Jabbar Raisani about his feature directorial debut, the low-budget sci-fi thriller Alien Outpost. Filmed in South Africa on a budget of under $5 million, the movie is a mock military documentary chronicling the fortunes of a squad of near-future soldiers as they mop up the planet … Continue reading “Alien Outpost” – Cinefex Blog

Rush – heading behind the scenes

Regular visitors to this blog will know I've been writing about the world's best visual effects journal Cinefex for quite some time now. Well, I'm delighted to announce that now I'm writing for it. The article I'm working on will look at the visual effects of Ron Howard's new film Rush, which is scheduled for … Continue reading Rush – heading behind the scenes

Cinefex through the 1980s

On May 14th 2011 I wrote my first retrospective review of Cinefex, the journal of cinematic illusions. I did it on a whim, thinking it might be fun to wade through my teetering pile of back issues and reappraise some of those old-school visual effects in the light of modern techniques. Thus began my odyssey to … Continue reading Cinefex through the 1980s

Harbinger Down

Huge congratulations to Alec Gillis, Tom Woodruff and the rest of the ADI team for raising the $350,000 they needed to make their feature-length sci-fi horror movie Harbinger Down. For a while it was touch and go whether or not they'd hit their Kickstarter target, but a steady groundswell of support from a big fanbase … Continue reading Harbinger Down

Are special effects still special?

Dennis Muren, a living legend in the highly specialised field of visual effects, was recently quoted by movies.com as saying, 'In some ways, I think special effects aren't special any more.' It's fighting talk, especially when it's followed up with: 'If you're going to make a motion picture, don't just throw computer graphics in to … Continue reading Are special effects still special?

Revisiting Cinefex (26): Poltergeist II, Young Sherlock Holmes

Carol Anne's in trouble on the front cover of Cinefex #26, assailed by a whole new host of ghostly apparitions in Brian Gibson's 1986 sequel Poltergeist II: The Other Side. The apparitions come courtesy of Richard Edlund's Boss Film Studios and are thus of superior quality (though most folk wouldn't say the same about the … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (26): Poltergeist II, Young Sherlock Holmes

Revisiting Cinefex (25): Enemy Mine, Der Trickfilm, Fright Night

There's a rule of thumb in the graphic design business: if you want the magazine to sell, put a pretty face on the cover. This is my 25th trip into my personal Cinefex archive, and well over half the covers I've looked at more or less follow that rule (remember, in the world of visual effects, … Continue reading Revisiting Cinefex (25): Enemy Mine, Der Trickfilm, Fright Night