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... The Journal Of Cinematic Illusions
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Technical Bimonthly Magazine from Riverside ,United States
Ceased publication

- First and last issue: 1980-2021
Special effects
From 1980, it explains the way special effects are made.
Only covers 2-3 films in every issue with many details and behind the scenes photos.
Publisher: Don Shay Editor: Jody Duncan
A quarterly publication. 112 colour A5 pages.
- Published by Cinefex
- Website: www.cinefex.com

Last updated:
6 October 2021
(see recent updates)
Special thanks for this page goes to:
Scott Matheson
Garry Malvern

Info from the Database

Highslide JS Listing is complete and all covers have been found.

See The listing

CONTENTS: 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 GALLERIES: 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 All

Issue 172
February 2021

Issue 171
June 2020

Issue 170
April 2020

Issue 169
February 2020

Issue 168
December 2019

Issue 167
October 2019

Issue 166
August 2019

Issue 165
July 2019

Issue 164
April 2019

Captain Marvel

Issue 163
February 2019

Issue 162
December 2018

Issue 161
October 2018

Issue 160
August 2018

Issue 159
June 2018
Highslide JS
2nd cover

Issue 158
April 2018

Issue 157
February 2018

Issue 156
November 2017

Issue 155
October 2017

Issue 154
August 2017

Issue 153
June/July 2017

Issue 152
April/May 2017

Issue 151
February/March 2017

Issue 150
December 2016

Doctor Strange

Issue 149
October/November 2016

Issue 148
August/September 2016

Issue 147
June/July 2016

Issue 146
April/May 2016
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: When Gods Collide
Director Zack Snyder sets the stage for combat with production designer Patrick Tatopoulos, visual effects supervisor John DesJardin and special effects supervisor Joel Whist, with other practical effects supplied by Ironhead Studio, Film Illusions and Vehicle Effects, along with visual effects pugilists at Scanline VFX, MPC, Weta Digital, Double Negative, Shade VFX, Teamworks Digital, The Resistance VFX and Gentle Giant Studios.
Deadpool: Smart-Mouthed Glory
In his feature directing debut, Tim Miller helms Deadpool, starring Ryan Reynolds as Marvel's outrageous anti-hero, who gains accelerated healing powers following an unauthorized military experiment. Deadpool's unique blend of violent action and dark humor is brought to the screen with the help of artists at Luma Pictures, Image Engine, Digital Domain, Rodeo FX, Ollin VFX, Atomic Fiction and Digiscope, under the supervision of visual effects supervisor Jonathan Rothbart, with practical duties performed on set by special effects supervisor Alex Burdett and makeup effects supervisor Bill Corso.
Hail, Caesar! :History in the Making
Directors Joel and Ethan Coen transport audiences to the Technicolor world of the 1950s with the quirky Hail, Caesar!, in which Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix tries everything in his power to keep a movie studio's wayward stars in line. With an all-star cast including George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! sees visual effects supervisor Dan Schrecker and artists at Psyop, together with special effects supervisor Steve Cremin, using effects techniques both old and new to re-create the cinematic magic of a bygone era.
The 5th Wave: Cassie's World
Sony Pictures Entertainment and director J Blakeson bring author Rick Yancey's popular novel series to the screen. Starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber, the film follows Cassie Sullivan, a young woman struggling to survive the latest in the waves of alien invasion as she searches for her lost brother. The production required interesting special makeup effects by Mark James Ross, as well as a variety of high-end visual effects by Shade VFX, Scanline VFX, Spin VFX, Clearcut FX, Method Studios, The Embassy and Mammal Studios.
Gods of Egypt: Q&A: Eric Durst
Visionary director Alex Proyas conjures a magical world inspired by the mythology of Ancient Egypt. In this special Q&A, visual effects supervisor Eric Durst talks gods, monsters and the truly monumental 2,550-shot workload shared between Iloura, Rising Sun Pictures, Cinesite, Tippett Studio, Rodeo FX, Fin VFX, Raynault VFX, UPP, Makeshift VFX, Comen VFX and Crafty Apes, working from extensive previs by Proof, Inc.

Issue 145
February/March 2016

Issue 144
December 2015
The Martian An Abundant Solitude Article by Jody Duncan,
Director Ridley Scott helms 20th Century Fox's screen adaptation of The Martian, the bestselling novel by Andy Weir. In the story, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead by his crew and left stranded alone on the surface of Mars. Exhibiting extraordinary courage and ingenuity, Watney manages to stay alive on the hostile planet and, eventually, to resume contact with NASA, which — working with agencies around the world — launches an ambitious and high-risk mission to bring Watney home. Visual effects supervisor Richard Stammers oversaw the film's 1,100-shot visual effects assignment, which called upon the concerted efforts of MPC, Framestore, The Senate and others to create alien Red Planet environments, large-scale dust storms, various earthbound locations, and suspenseful, dynamic space shots. Special effects supervisor Neil Corbould orchestrated the film's practical, in-camera effects.
In the Heart of the Sea High Seas Drifter Article by Jody Duncan
Ron Howard directs this film, starring Chris Hemsworth, about the attack of the whaling ship Essex by a monstrously large and aggressive sperm whale that results in the loss of the ship and most of her crew. The true and tragic tale was the inspiration for Herman Melville's 19th century classic, Moby-Dick. The film's big whale and seafaring action were realized, in part, through visual effects supervised by Jody Johnson and delivered by Double Negative, while Rodeo FX extended art department sets representing 19th century Nantucket, Massachusetts. Special effects supervisor Mark Holt engineered gimbals to simulate a full-scale Essex set at sea, and also created in-camera storm effects, augmented to a raging squall by Scanline.
Crimson Peak A Monstrous Love Article by Joe Fordham
Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro brings his stylish take to a Gothic horror story, set in a crumbling mansion in Victorian northern England, where a young newlywed (Mia Wasikowska) discovers that her charming, sophisticated husband (Tom Hiddleston) and his cold-hearted sister (Jessica Chastain) are harboring supernatural secrets. Special effects supervisor Laird McMurray provided practical on-set effects, along with makeup effects supervisor David Marti and DDT Efectos Especiales. Visual effects supervisor Dennis Berardi and visual effects producer Jo Hughes supplied apparitions and otherworldly phenomena at Toronto visual effects studio, Mr. X.
Everest The Death Zone Article by Joe Fordham
Universal Pictures presents a gripping account of a mountain-climbing expedition that, in 1996, attempted to scale the world's tallest peak and instead met with tragedy and terror. Director Baltasar Kormákur retraced the ill-fated journey on locations in the Himalayas and the Dolomites, and studios in Rome and London. Makeup and hair designer Jan Sewell and special effects supervisor Richard Van Den Bergh assisted the production with visual effects supervisor Daði Einarsson, visual effects producer Roma O'Connor and artists at Reykjavík Visual Effects, Framestore, Important Looking Pirates, One of Us, Union Visual Effects, Milk VFX and Stereo D.

Issue 143
Fall 2015
Article by Joe Fordham
Disney and Marvel Studios introduce the latest character to the Marvel Comics Universe with biochemist Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), a former crimefighter who recruits cat burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) to battle a rival weapons manufacturer in the development of a serum that can shrink a protagonist to ant size, imbuing microscopic combatants with super powers. Visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison and visual effects producer Diana Giorgiutti explored Lang's action-packed adventures in the microcosm along with artists at Double Negative, Method Studios, Luma Pictures, Industrial Light & Magic, Cinesite, Lola VFX and The Third Floor.

Terminator Genisys
Wrinkles in Time
Article by Jody Duncan
Alan Taylor directs the fifth entry in the Terminator franchise launched by James Cameron in 1984. In the new film, an alternate timeline reunites characters Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), her son John Conner (Jason Clarke) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney). At the heart of the action/adventure are dueling Terminators, including the aging T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) from the first two Terminator films. Visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs oversaw approximately 1,200 visual effects shots generated at Double Negative, MPC, Lola VFX, One of Us, and Method Studios. Special effects supervisor Mark Hawker provided on-set effects, while Legacy Effects continued its long history with the franchise, building practical endoskeletons.

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation
Keeping it Real
Article by Jody Duncan
Tom Cruise returns as IMF agent Ethan Hunt in this fifth entry in the phenomenally successful run of Mission Impossible films, based on the '60s-era television series. In the film, written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the IMF team is targeted for destruction by an equally ingenious and well-trained 'Syndicate,' requiring its most audacious feats of espionage and daring to date — matched by stunts and effects orchestrated by stunt coordinator Wade Eastwood and special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy. Double Negative generated visual effects, under the guidance and direction of visual effects supervisor David Vickery.

The Walk
Article by Joe Fordham
Sony Pictures and Columbia Tristar present filmmaker Robert Zemeckis' gripping dramatization of the true story of Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a French high-wire artist who in 1974 attempted to walk a steel cable strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Visual effects supervisor Kevin Baillie and special effects supervisor Ryal Cosgrove provided enhancements to wire-walking environments, which Zemeckis and his production team conjured in IMAX 3D, assisted by visual effects artists at Atomic Fiction, Rodeo FX and UPP, and vertiginous stereographic conversions handled at Legend 3D.


Issue 142
July/August/September 2015

Jurassic World

Issue 141
April/May/June 2015

Issue 140
January/February/March 2015
Interstellar: That Our Feet May Leave
Article by Jody Duncan
Christopher Nolan directs Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain in an adventure story about interstellar space travel. Co-written by Nolan and brother Jonathan, the film is a journey of discovery, realized in part through stunning visual effects images created by Double Negative. As he had with the Dark Knight Trilogy and other films, however, Nolan sought to capture as much action as possible in-camera, with on-set special effects orchestrated by Scott Fisher, and other practical effects by New Deal Studios.
Exodus: Gods and Kings: Gods and Kings
Article by Jody Duncan
Christian Bale, Sigourney Weaver and Aaron Paul star in director Ridley Scott's retelling of the biblical account of Moses leading the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. Spain and Mexico stood in for Egypt throughout filming. Double Negative provided visual effects to imbue the film with a grandeur and epic scale befitting its source material, with additional effects support from MPC, The Senate, Method Studios and The Third Floor.
The Zero Theorem: Nowhere Man
Article by Joe Fordham
A neurotic computer genius (Christoph Waltz), employed by a vast futuristic company named Mancrom, attempts to find a mathematical formula that may lead to the meaning of life, but instead falls in love with a beautiful avatar (Mélanie Thierry) and slowly loses his mind. Filmmaker Terry Gilliam brings his idiosyncratic visual flair to create a nightmarish technological world and phantasmagoric landscapes working with production designer David Warren, special effects supervisor Nick Allder, and visual effects supervisors Felix Lepadatu, Jonah Loop and Fredrik Nord at LenscareFX, Haymaker, The Chimney Pot Group and Bold Turtle Productions.
Q&A: Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis
Article by Joe Fordham
An in-depth look into the history and more recent adventures of special makeup effects designers and creature creators Tom Woodruff Jr. and Alec Gillis, co-founders of Amalgamated Dynamics, Incorporated. Woodruff and Gillis discuss their backgrounds in the burgeoning 1980s creature effects industry, early assignments at Stan Winston Studio, and their creative partnership that has spanned 25 years, encompassing Death Becomes Her, Starship Troopers, Tremors, multiple Alien films, and more recently Fire City: The Interpreter of Signs and Harbinger Down — a pair of independent monster movies, wrought with passion and 'crowdfunded' resources, that mark Woodruff's and Gillis' feature directing debuts.


Issue 139
October/November/December 2014

Dawn of the Planet

Issue 138
July/August/September 2014

Issue 137
April/May/June 2014
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Pete's Dragon
Article by Joe Fordham
Filmmaker Peter Jackson continues his epic trilogy, following plucky hobbit Bilbo Baggins to his fateful encounter with Smaug the Terrible, an ancient dragon that resides in the dwarf kingdom of Erebor. Special effects supervisor Steve Ingram, Weta Workshop creature designer Richard Taylor, senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri and crews at Weta Digital return to the Middle-earth of J.R.R. Tolkien, creating skin-shifter Beorn, giant arachnid denizens of Mirkwood, elven woodland realms, the Lake-town of Esgaroth and the subterranean terrors of the Lonely Mountain.
Game of Thrones
Songs of Ice and Fire
Article by Jody Duncan
Based on the bestselling books by George R.R. Martin, the award-winning HBO series has won legions of fans with its multi-faceted tale of power won and lost in the fictional land of Westeros. The show's epic environments and mythical creatures required visual effects of a scope and level of excellence rarely seen in episodic television. Interviews with visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer and artists from Pixomondo, BlueBolt, Screen Scene, Spin VFX, Gradient VFX, Entity VFX, Look Effects and Peanut FX take you behind the scenes of the Game of Thrones phenomenon.
RoboCop Retooled
Article by Jody Duncan
Twenty-seven years after director Paul Verhoeven introduced the futuristic cyborg crime-fighter, Robocop, director José Padilha tackles a retelling of the story. Whereas the original featured only old-school optical and practical effects, the updated Robocop relies on an artful combination of masterful practical suits and makeup effects by Legacy Effects, and visually stunning digital effects shots executed by Framestore, Method Studios, Soho VFX, Mr. X, Modus FX yU+Co and Cinesite.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Beautiful Dreamer
Article by Joe Fordham
Humorist James Thurbe's slender tale of daydreaming underachiever Walter Mitty, previously filmed in 1947 as a zany romp starring Danny Kaye, is updated as a wry and charming modern-day romantic fantasy starring and directed by Ben Stiller. Visual effects supervisor Guillaume Rocheron and special effects supervisor Mark Hawker bring Mitty's whimsies to life with a wealth of vendors, including Framestore, MPC, LOOK Effects, Hydraulx, Soho VFX, Hatch, Lola Visual Effects, Mr. X, Method Studios, Rhythm & Hues, Phosphene, Company 3 and Blind Squirrel. Mike Marino's Prosthetic Renaissance provided special makeup effects.

Issue 136
January/February/March 2014

Issue 135
October/November/December 2013

Issue 134
July/August/September 2013

Issue 133
April/May/June 2013
Oz: The Great and Powerful: Tempests and Teapots
Article by Jody Duncan
In this prequel to The Wizard of Oz, a conman's illusionist powers are put to the test when he is magically transported to the enchanted Emerald City, and runs afoul of three witches. Director Sam Raimi shot the film entirely on sound stages with help from special effects supervisor John Frazier, while visual effects supervisor Scott Stokdyk brought magical realms to life with the aid of Sony Pictures Imageworks, Luma Pictures, Evil Eye and Digiscope.
Jack the Giant Slayer: Giant Steps
Article by Joe Fordham
Director Bryan Singer rejuvenates an ancient English folktale in this film about a medieval farmboy who unwittingly causes a gargantuan beanstalk to grow up into the clouds, unleashing a fearsome race of giants who inhabit a vast floating island in the sky. Visual effects supervisor Hoyt Yeatman worked with Digital Domain to realize the giants with state-of-the-art performance capture, and with MPC, Rodeo FX, Soho VFX and Hatch to create fantasy environments and other effects.
Skyfall: Old Dog, New Tricks
Article by Joe Fordham
James Bond returns for his 23rd screen adventure in this high-octane caper involving a sinister cyber-terrorist with a grudge against the international spy community. Director Sam Mendes energized the film with a bold blend of full-scale practical effects engineered by special effects supervisor Chris Corbould, along with miniature and digital effects provided by visual effects supervisor Steven Begg and a host of vendors that included MPC, Cinesite, Double Negative, Framestore, Peerless Camera Company and others.
Les Misérables: At the Barricade
Article by Jody Duncan
A beloved stage musical is given new life on the big screen in this film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic novel Les Misérables. Director Tom Hooper imbued the film with a gritty realism rarely exhibited in the musical genre, calling upon artists at Double Negative, The Mill and Utopia VFX to expand the scope of the production by digitally extending stage sets to authentically replicate 18th-century Parisian street scenes and other period settings.

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