Traditional to Digital

The History of Visual Effects and Movie Technology from the birth of cinema to now.
January 08, 2008
Hello, Once Again. For my new article, Let's focus on the history of Visual Effects in...

TRADITIONAL TO DIGITAL: The History of Special and Visual Effects Technology

Here's the breakdown in these Visual And Special Effects Milestones:

Monkeyshines No. 1 (1889 or 1890)

Thomas Edison's bulldog, William K.L. Dickson, made this...the first movie ever to be made in photographic film in the USA. All we see is the fuzzy movements of lab assistant Sacco Albanese.

The very first public demonstration of movies occured on May 20, 1891 in the form of....

The Dickson Greeting. We saw him bowing, smiling and taking off his hat just like everybody does in the 1890's.

Fred Ott's Sneeze (1894) aka Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze

This is one of Tommy Edison's first movies on celluloid. It shows Freddy Otty going ah...ah..ah..ahh..ahh..ahh..AHCHOO!!!!!

Tommy Edison was responsible for builting the so much first movie studio in 1893. And I know what it is called. It is called...THE BLACK MARIA.

Well, There it is. If You comment on my article, you will know what it look like in 1893. Well, this is where Tommy was making 200 to 300 movies.

In the mid 1890's, somebody made a nickelodeon movie on Annabelle Whitford Moore's Dance Routines. Wanna see one of her dance routines? Go ahead! See it!

Guys were enthralled watching Annabelle dancing on the Kinetoscope.

But wait! Here comes the sound! It's in the form of Dickson's Experimental Sound film.

You know, in 1895, The recording sound was very much screechy and full of static!!!! It was unsucessful but was restored in 1999 by Walter Murch (one of Francis Ford Coppola's best friends.).

Uh Oh! Here it comes! Here comes the very first special or visual effects everybody have ever known...The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots (1895), aka The Execution of Mary Stuart.

Well, that girl who got executed, The queen of Scots named Mary, was actually a dummy being beheaded!

In 1900, Director R. W. Booth and producer Robert W. Paul (Paul's Animatograph Works) made this short 22-second film, A Railway Collision.

Whoa! What an awful mess! Anyway, It is one of the earliest, very first attempts to realistically re-create a large-scale railroad disaster by using miniature scale models; It probally depicted two trains speeding toward each other on the same track, and colliding on the embankment!!!

Here's A Famous Silent Movie you can all enjoy...

La Voyage Dans la Lune (1902, Fr.), aka A Trip to the Moon

You know, Some kind of french guy named George Melies have earlier developed the art of special/visual effects in his movies, perfected them, and used them in his later movies, such as in A Trip to the Moon.

La Voyage Dans La Lune (which it was called in its native France.) was a 14-minute masterpiece (nearly one reel in length (about 825 feet), with live-action, animation, and the use of matte paintings and miniature models. Not he invented it, he just made it up, the whole film medium, as he directed. Additional effects include: double exposure, the substitution shot, actors performing with themselves over split screens, miniatures, stop-motion, and use of the dissolve. He also pioneered the art of movie editing. Wanna see the Man in the Moon with the rocket-bullet thingy in his eye?!!! Go ahead!!! See it!!!

Moving on across the Atlantic Ocean. There it is, Edwin S. Porter's landmark movie, The Great Train Robbery.

It is a primitive one-reeler action picture about 10 minutes long with 14-scenes, he incorporated parallel editing, innovative camera movements, location shooting, jump-cuts or cross-cuts - and this early special effect - a composite made of two separate images. The in-camera matte effect was of two separately filmed segments: the interior of a train station and the window (where a shot of a passing train was matted). It was filmed in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, which would remain virtually unchanged for half a century.

Wanna see the very first cartoon ever, Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906)? Go ahead!!! See It!!!

Historically and technically, this was the first animated film short cartoon. It was made by newspaper cartoonist J. Stuart Blackton, one of the co-founders of the Vitagraph Company. It was the earliest surviving example of an animated film or cartoon. It was the first cartoon to use the single frame method, and was projected at 20 frames per second.

A cartoonist's line drawings of two faces were 'animated' (or came to life) on a blackboard. The two faces smiled and winked, and the cigar-smoking man blew smoke in the woman's face; also, some kind of circus clown led a small doggy to jump through a hoop.

This is D.W. Griffith's first movie and also his first major screen role. Richard Murphy created a mechanical eagle for this early Edwin Porter film-in the scene, a stuffed eagle with movable wings kidnapped a baby and battled the heroic father. I know what is it called. It is called...Rescued From an Eagle's Nest (1907)

Here's a stop motion short called The "Teddy" Bears (1907), a 13-minute short directed by Edwin S. Porter and a variation on a story called Goldilocks and The Three Bears.

It was one of the earliest all stop-motion or stop-frame animation films and took approximately 56 hours to animate just one minute of film.

The narrative portion of the film told about how three anthropomorphic bears pursued Goldilocks across snowy terrain until a hunter (a satire on Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt - the nation's President at the time) killed the two larger bears, but captured the third baby bear (based upon a true story about how TR refused to shoot a bear cub).

There was also an opening animated sequence of six stuffed 'dancing' teddy bears of varying sizes coming to life.

Here Comes...


Emile Cohl's animated short film was considered the first fully animated film, although it consisted solely of simple line drawings that blended, transformed or morphed from one image into another; in one early live-action sequence, the animator's hand entered the scene to draw a clown-like stick figure.

It was created by placing each drawing on an illuminated glass plate and then tracing the next drawing - with variations - on top of it until the animator had about 700 drawings. The black lines on white paper were printed in negative reverse, making it appear as if the action was on a blackboard.

This box-office success was a black/white 180-minute silent epic directed by Giovanni Pastrone. It is called...

CABIRIA (1914)

It was a landmark movie - an early example of monumental totally epic film-making with thousands of extras, large sets and spectacular stunts. It laid the pattern and groundwork for future big-budget feature-length films (by the likes of D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille). The film inspired D.W. Griffith to make his own epic, Intolerance (1916).

Its story of Rome in the 3rd Century BC, included sequences of the eruption of Mt. Etna, and Hannibal's crossing of the Alps with elephants (with an early example of tracking shots). The landmark film was shot on location in North Africa, Sicily and the Italian Alps, and reportedly contained the first use of trucking shots (which became known as 'Cabiria' movements).

Here's a famous cartoon that everybody know and loved. It features an Apatosaurus (which was then called Brontosaurus), part of the dinosauria, perhaps my most beloved and most all time favorite animals, although they're extinct now.

It is....

Gertie the Dinosaur!!!

Gertie was originally part of a vaudeville stage show (called a "chalk talk") in early 1914 in which newspaper cartoonist/animator Winsor McCay introduced the brontosaurus dinosaur, who then walked out onto the screen.

McCay directed his creation from stage right - directing Gertie to raise her foot, to the audience's astonishment. By late 1914, McCay created a theatrical release version of the cartoon that included a "live action" segment that book-ended the cartoon, in which he 'walked into' the animation by disappearing behind the screen, and then appeared in cartoon form on the screen to ride on the back of the dinosaur into the distance.

The film's advertisement called it the "Greatest Animal Act in the World". It was the earliest example of combined 'live action' and animation -- and the first "interactive" animated cartoon.

And now...D.W. Griffith's 1916 answer to everybody who don't like Birth of a Nation...Intolerance (1916)

D. W. Griffith's pacifistic epic contained some of the earliest in camera or make-up/special effects - such as the sword beheading of one Babylonian soldier, and the realistic chest-stabbing of another opponent.

The Toll of the Sea (1922) was a five-reel film (approx. 54 minutes) that debuted as the first general release (widely-distributed or commercial) Hollywood feature film to be projected in color and to use the improved two-tone Technicolor process. The leading lady in the film was Anna May Wong -- the first big-name Chinese-American actress - who played the role of Lotus Flower.

The Power of Love (1922)

Although it no longer exist now, This was the first 3-D feature film shown to a paying film audience (not Bwana Devil (1952)). It was projected dual-strip in the red/green anaglyph format, making it both the earliest known film that utilized dual strip projection and the earliest known film in which anaglyph glasses were used. The film utilized and may have been the only commercial film produced in the dual-camera, dual-projector system developed by Harry K. Fairhall and Robert F. Elder.

The original 1923 version of Cecil B. Demille's The Ten Commandments, used primitive special effects techniques - the parting of the Red Sea was accomplished by filming water as it poured down two sides of a U-shaped tank, and then running the film backwards - to make the water appear to divide.

The illusion of keeping the walls of water separated was accomplished by slicing a slab of jello in two and filming it in closeup - and then combining (or double-exposing) it with live-action footage of the Israelites walking into the distance and the Egyptian chariots in pursuit.

Here's an animatronic guy made for Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924, Ger.).

You know, Director Fritz Lang's two-part fantasy epic film was based on German legends was noted for its special effects creation of a giant, 50-foot fire-breathing dragon named Fafnir. The slow-moving mechanical creature required seventeen technicians to operate.

This is one of the great silent movies of the 1920's. It is called, The Thief of Bagdad.

This classic Arabian nights tale by director Raoul Walsh used state of the art, revolutionary visual effects (for its smoke-belching dragon and underwater spider, to the flying horse, the famed flying carpet, and magic armies arising from the dust) and displayed legendary production design.

Sergei Eisenstein's Russian film, Battleship Potemkin (1925, USSR), was famous for its pioneering, revolutionary and innovative use of montage - a rhythmic juxtaposition of unrelated, cross-cut images that created associations in the audience's mind of a violent massacre - although mostly unseen. The famed Odessa Steps sequence contained 155 separate shots, using editing and cutting to convey heightened emotion and dramatic meaning, with close ups (some extreme), long shots, camera pans in every direction and subtle time shifts.

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925), an expensive sword-and-sandal epic (costing between $4-6 million, making it one of the most expensive silent films ever made) was notable for its use of a hanging miniature - to fill in the upper tier portion of the coliseum (with fake spectators) for the famed chariot race sequence. It was filmed with some two-color Technicolor sequences (e.g., the triumphant processional sequence).

This is one of the biggest, greatest, coolest, and most awesome, most spectacular, most ambitious, most groundbreaking, most ultimate and most influential dinosaur movies of all time and of our lives...The Lost World (1925)!!!

This is a notable, ground-breaking film in establishing its genre - 'live' and life-like giant monsters-dinosaurs, later replicated in Gojira (1954, Jp.), Jurassic Park (1993) and Godzilla (1998). The 'creature feature' story was based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 adventure/romance fantasy.

This guy named Willis O'Brien AKA Obie, later famed for King Kong (1933), was responsible for this pioneering film's first major use (primitive) of stop-motion animation in a feature film - especially the sight of a brontosaurus (Apatosaurus these days) running wild in the streets of London, UK, and knocking down people with its tail. Obie used small-scale puppet models that were filmed frame-by-frame on miniature sets and landscapes. Live action and stop-motion animation would be combined by putting the two negatives together using split-screens.

This film also used the technique of a traveling matte (the process of adding a moving element to a frame so that it could be separated as an element and combined with a different background) - for example, in one sequence (top image), actress Bessie Love was matted into the frame as she cowered below the Tyrannosaurus, or T-Rexy.

Uh Oh. Here comes the Sound again!!!!!!!

It's Don Juan (1926)!!!!

Using its newly developed Vitaphone (sound-on-disk) process, the guys at Warner Bros. added a score and sound effects to this John Barrymore silent already in production, beginning a revolution in sound. It was the first mainstream film that replaced the traditional use of a live orchestra or organ for the soundtrack (a recorded musical score of the New York Philharmonic), and successfully coordinated audio sound on a recorded disc synchronized to play in conjunction with a projected motion picture. The sounds in the film consisted of some sound effects and music, but no dialogue yet. Wait a year until Jazz Singer comes out.

This is Doug Fairbanks' most ultimate pirate movie, predating the recent but not yet retro Pirates of the Carribean movies from Disney. It's historically significant - the adventure swashbuckler was the first full-length blockbuster color film. It boasted the use of an experimental early Technicolor (two-color) process, although it was also filmed in black and white.

Uh oh! Here comes The sound!!!


We're finally glad it's now available on DVD last year. But it ain't the first sound film, nor the first 'talkie' film or the first movie's the first feature-length Hollywood "talkie" film in which spoken dialogue (synchronized) was used as part of the dramatic action. Everybody were wildly enthusiastic when America's favorite jazz singer and superstar Al Jolson broke into song, ad-libbed extemporaneously with his mother at the piano while singing "Blue Skies"....

and proclaimed the famous line to introduce a musical number...

"Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!"
--Al Jolson, The Jazz Singer, 1927

Across the Atlantic Ocean, Fritz Lang significantly advanced the art of using elaborate model miniatures to create vast cityscapes for one of the biggest, greatest, coolest, most awesome, most spectacular, most ambitious, most groundbreaking, most ultimate and most influential science fiction film of all time and of our lives...


In the film's opening, animated airplanes fly above the futuristic city filled with more animated automobiles. Other perspective techniques created the illusion of distance and size.

The film also employed matte paintings, complex compositing, back or rear projection (the scene of Fredersen (Alfred Abel) speaking to his foreman on a TV screen), and the Schufftan process -- an optical special effect that used mirrors to create the illusion of actors in huge sets (that were actually miniatures), such as the scene set in the sports stadium. This early process was soon replaced by the simpler, more efficient matte method. Predating and Inspiring C3PO in Star Wars (1977) was the Robot Version of the girl, Maria.

Meanwhile, Napoleon (1927, Fr.), the milestone film from Abel Gance was the first in stereo sound. Two years after its release, it was first shown on triple screens using three projectors in Paris in January of 1929 - a foreshadowing of Cinerama or 'widescreen' films. The finale is a spectacular triptych played on three screens that, together, measure about 90 feet wide. Three different images were projected in synchronization by three separate cameras, a technique known as Polyvision.

It was a remarkable masterpiece, innovatively overlaying double exposures and dissolves, and composing multiple images in the same frame. It was also famous for its use of split screens, ultra-wide scenes, a moving camera (Gance mounted cameras on horses, elevators--even guillotines--to achieve unusual effects), and color tinting to illustrate setting or mood: blue tones for night and red-orange for the battle of Toulon.

Noah's Ark (1928), a melodramatic silent film epic (part-talkie) featured a climactic flood sequence - that mixed minatures, double-exposures, and the full-scale destruction of actual sets; earlier, in a scene reminiscent of Cecil B. DeMille's Biblical epic The Ten Commandments (1923), Noah (Paul McAllister) went on a mountain trek where in one dramatic scene he experienced a burning bush and the creation of giant tablets on a mountainside with flaming letters - warning of a Flood ("to destroy all flesh") and commissioning him to build an Ark.

In the massive flood sequence, a fierce storm and lightning bolts destroyed the temple and torrents of water caused a massive flood that ravaged everything; during filming of the disaster sequence, three extras were killed by drowning, and many others were severely injured.

The first innovative use of background sound, and the first film made with a two-channel or two-track monophonic mix was Applause (1929).

This was a visually stylistic film from director Rouben Mamoulian, with exceptional and graceful camera work --the first use of a moving sound camera instead of using long static shots. Also contain in this movie were interesting, unusual, and revolutionary camera angles (from above and below). Striking cinematography, with dramatic light and shadows, isn't it?

Man with a Movie Camera (1929, USSR), Soviet director Dziga Vertov's quintessential experimental, avante-garde film was an excellent example of a "city symphony" documentary. Regarded as "pure" visual cinema, its views of Moscow, Kiev, Odessa and of Soviet workers and machines contained radical editing techniques, special visual effects, wild juxtapositions of images, freeze frames and double exposures.

Fox Film Corporation led the way in developing early prototypes of widescreen films at the start of the talkies, with the introduction of 70mm Grandeur, for The Big Trail (1930), with John Wayne in his first leading role.

But, It was a flop in 1930, probally because theaters couldn't afford the equipment necessary to show a film in 70mm Grandeur. Its failure led to Fox Film Corporation's filing for bankruptcy...until... in 1935, 20th Century Pictures join forces with the already-bankrupt Fox Film Corporation to become...

20th Century Fox!!!!

In 1931, Director Fritz Lang experimented with sound (and the striking pioneering use of leitmotif, to associate a sound with a film character) in this early crime film (and Lang's first sound film), M (1931, Ger.)!!!

It starred Peter Lorre (in his first lead role) as Hans Beckert - a child serial murderer. In the plot, a blind balloon salesman (Georg John) heard the killer's haunting, tell-tale whistling of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 before an off-screen killing.

Rouben Mamoulian's inventive romantic comedy/musical starring Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier, Love Me Tonight (1932), was credited as having the first use of the zoom lens (a zoom, without a dolly shot, toward a fat woman in a window) and asynchronous sound, as well as an abundance of tracking shots, slow motion and fast motion (and even split-screen).

An RKO film called Deluge (1933), was the first end-of-the-world, big-budget disaster/science-fiction film in the sound era, featuring revolutionary visual effects to depict an earthquake and simulate turbulent tidal waves hitting New York City, due to an eclipse of the sun. A vast model of the city was built on a huge platform 100 feet square, with buildings up to 12 feet tall made of thin plaster molds. Various portions of the platform were rigged on moveable rollers to simulate the movement of an earthquake. The vast tidal wave, the film's highlight, was simulated by dumping large amounts of water from tanks onto the 'miniature' city.

Most mysteriously, The only surviving print (found in the 1990s) had been dubbed into Italian, so therefore, the US video release has English subtitles. That's strange, isn't it?

The Invisible Man (1933) showcased early attempts at visual/special effects by double-exposing and overlaying elements together, using both live physical effects and traveling-matte photography.

In the film's final scene, the invisible man Jack Griffin (Claude Rains) died - and as he expired, his face was slowly revealed and became visible by stages - first the skull, then flesh, and then his full face. It was a startling effect for audiences. Other special effects included dancing clothes, a bicycle without a rider, footprints appearing in the snow.

And here comes, the biggest, greatest, coolest, most awesome, most spectacular, most ambitious, most groundbreaking, most ultimate and most influential dinosaur movie of all time and of our lives before Jurassic Park (1993)....

KING KONG (1933)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's Right. King Kong. King Kong showcased Willis O'Brien's masterful, detailed stop-action animation and special effects of monster ape Kong and the prehistoric dinosaurs. He synthesized matte paintings, miniatures (usually an 18-inch tall Kong), rear projection, and stop-motion animation. FX scenes included the fight-to-the-death scene of Kong with a Tyrannosaurus Rex and with a pterodactyl, and the finale - Kong's own death atop New York's Empire State Building. Because Kong's fur was pushed down every time animators handled him for the stop-motion photography, his skin appeared to ripple as a result.

(Earlier in 1925, Willis O'Brien pioneered complex stop motion animation of animals for the silent creature film The Lost World (1925), and used composites to insert the puppet-dinosaurs into scenes with live actors.)

I like the 1933 and 2005 versions so very much. I love those 2 versions of King Kong, do ya?

Things to Come (1936) was a classic and prophetic science-fiction film that time-traveled to 2036 A.D. in the film's final section - a time of space exploration when a "Big Gun" was built and poised to rocket two explorers around the moon. Although the special effects were primitive, they were dazzling for the time.

Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies short animated film, The Old Mill, was the first cartoon to be produced with the multi-plane camera, which gave an increased sense of movement and depth.

It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1938. You can find it on the Walt Disney Treasures Silly Symphonies DVD.

Yep. That's Right. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). It's Disney's remarkable, groundbreaking, 83-minute masterpiece - the first full-length, hand-drawn animation. It totally, really won an honorary Academy Award for Walt Disney "as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field."

In 1939, Matte artist Chesley Bonestell created the extraordinary matte paintings used in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) (not the 1996 disney movie) to recreate Notre Dame Cathedral and medieval Paris.

1939 marked the first year of the Best Achievement in Special Effects Academy Award, won by The Rains Came (1939), a blockbuster adventure-disaster tale defeating six other nominees, including Gone with the Wind (1939), Only Angels Have Wings (1939) and The Wizard of Oz (1939).

With great special effects, featuring rainstorms (monsoons), and a violent earthquake in Ranchipur that burst a huge dam and sent a wall of water through the center of the city, causing a major flood and the collapse of a temple. The footage was engineered by special effects technician Fred Sersen, along with photographic work by E.H. Hansen.

Here is the most beloved fantasy movies of all time...

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Although it's an impressive sight - the 'twister' threatening Dorothy's (Judy Garland) Kansas farmhouse - it was literally a huge silk stocking twisted (funnel-shaped) and coiling by a blowing fan - when seen at a middle distance. However, shots of the tornado at a far distance used actual tornado footage. When shown in closeup, it was a gigantic burlap bag that emitted a cloud of dust.

Yep, Wizard of Oz is the most beloved fantasy film of all time and of our lives. There is also The Dark Side of Oz, where you can synchronize the first 42 minutes of Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd's 1973 album, The Dark Side of the Moon. If you want to see Dark Side of Oz, go the commercials section at Retro Junk in the 1990's section.

Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940), Disney's cinematic effort was the first serious, artistic-minded animated film, correlating animation with classical music, including the grim Rites of Spring featuring the life-and-death struggle of evolution, the magical The Sorceror's Apprentice starring Disney mascot Mickey Mouse, and Night on Bald Mountain featuring the demonic Chernobog. It was the first film to be released in a multichannel format called Fantasound - decades ahead of its time - requiring a special system devised for playback, although it was rarely shown that way perhaps, due to the expense.

The Sorceror's Apprentice segment and the Rite of Spring segment, which features my beloved pets, and my most all time favorite animals, the dinosaurs, are my favorite segments from Fantasia (1940). So, What's your favorite segment(s) from Disney's Fantasia?

The most spectacular special-effects scene in Foreign Correspondent (1940) was aboard a trans-oceanic clipper airplane bound for America that was diving and about to crash. The dramatic crash itself was seen from the POV of the cockpit (over the shoulders of the two pilots) as the plane dramatically smashed into the surface of the water. Thousands of gallons of water rushed into the cabin through the windows of the plane. Passengers struggled for air and tried to escape as the aircraft filled with water, and some survivors made it out to the wing.

The Academy Award for Special Effects (photographic and sound) was awarded to Thief of Bagdad (1940, UK). Associate producer William Cameron Menzies designed some of the rich special effects for this imaginative Arabian Nights fantasy film produced by Alexander Korda, a loose remake of the original Douglas Fairbanks silent classic of 1924; they included a flying magic carpet, a six-armed mechanical assassin, a toy horse that could fly, poor Bagdad thief Abu's (15 year-old Sabu) battle with a giant spider in its huge web, and the sight of 50 foot tall genie or Djinni (Rex Ingram) in a tiny bottle.

Well, This is the greatest film ever made according to the American Film Institute. It's teriffic. It is called...Citizen Kane (1941)

This highly-rated classic masterpiece from director-star-producer Orson Welles brought together many cinematic and narrative techniques and experimental innovations (in photography, editing, and sound); the innovative, bold film is still an acknowledged milestone in the development of cinematic technique, although it 'shared' some of its techniques from many earlier films; its components brought together the following aspects:
• use of a subjective camera
• unconventional lighting, including chiaroscuro, backlighting and high-contrast lighting, prefiguring the darkness and low-key lighting of future film noirs
• inventive use of shadows and strange camera angles, following in the tradition of German Expressionists
• deep-focus shots with incredible depth-of field and focus from extreme foreground to extreme background (also found in cinematographer Gregg Toland's earlier work in Dead End (1937), John Ford's The Long Voyage Home (1940), and Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940)) that emphasized mise-en-scene
• low-angled shots revealing ceilings in sets (a technique possibly borrowed from John Ford's Stagecoach (1939) which Welles screened numerous times)
• sparse use of revealing facial close-ups
• elaborate camera movements
• over-lapping, talk-over dialogue (exhibited earlier in Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday (1940)) and layered sound
• the sound technique termed "lightning-mix" in which a complex montage sequence is linked by related sounds
• a cast of characters that ages throughout the film
• flashbacks, flashforwards, and non-linear story-telling (used in earlier films, including another rags-to-riches tale starring Spencer Tracy titled The Power and the Glory (1933) with a screenplay by Preston Sturges, and RKO's A Man to Remember (1938) from director Garson Kanin and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo)
• the frequent use of transitionary dissolves or curtain wipes, as in the scene in which the camera ascended in the opera house into the rafters to show the workmen's disapproval of Mrs. Kane's operatic performance; also the famous 'breakfast' montage scene illustrating the disintegration of Kane's marriage in a brief time
• long, uninterrupted shots or lengthy takes of sequences

Munchhausen (1943, Ger.), a colorful (Agfacolor), visually creative and extravagant film by director Josef von Báky, adapted from the story by R.E. Raspe and based on the fabulous baron nobleman of the title who was known for telling tall tales, featured marvelous special effects, including a life-like oil painting, a hot-air balloon trip to the Moon, dancing coats and trousers, a lady of the moon - nothing more than a head growing on a plant, and the Baron (Hans Albers) atop a speeding cannonball through the clouds into the Turkish sultan's palace.

The film was commissioned by the Nazi Third Reich's Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Germany's UFA Studios. Director Terry Gilliam's remake The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) featured the same fantastic adventures and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Blue Skies, a Technicolored Paramount production about a love triangle featured Fred Astaire's (as radio broadcaster Jed Potter) famous virtuoso and witty rendition of Puttin' on the Ritz, with his only prop being his cane (that he used in synchronized conjunction with his rat-a-tat tapping). In one segment of the performance, he danced in counterpoint with a chorus line of ten miniature Astaires. This was achieved by filming three separate takes of Astaire (in the lead foreground and two background performances), and reproducing them.

A technical marvel with Jack Cardiff's exquisite cinematography, A Matter of Life and Death/Stairway to Heaven (1946, UK), included an early use of the freeze-frame (of the table tennis ball frozen in mid-air), the lengthy, monumental and endless staircase linking heaven and earth, the panoramic view of the heavenly court room, and the inventive transitions from Technicolor to black and white.

Introducing...In Person...Ray Harryhausen!!!!!

That's right. Mighty Joe Young (1949) (not the 1998 remake by Disney), featured state of the art special effects and won the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Special Effects. It seamlessly and smoothly composited stop-motion animation with live action and rear-projection.

The legendary stop-motion master genius Willis O'Brien of The Lost World (1925) and King Kong (1933) fame supervised the special effects. (The lion in the cage was inserted by rear-projection.) One of the effects technicians was a young Ray Harryhausen, who was working on his first full-length feature film and assisting Willis O'Brien.

Ladies and Gentleman....Ray Harryhausen!!!

That's right. Ray Harryhausen, that is. Many wonderful fantasy films contained the incredible special effects and stop-motion animation - and lifelike creatures of Ray Harryhausen, a protege of Willis O'Brien. He pioneered the development of a split-screen technique called Dynamation -- (rear projection on overlapping miniature screens) -- that brought real-life to combined scenes of animation and live-action.

Often partnered with Charles H. Schneer, his classic films with stop-motion animation and other special effects included: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) (his first solo film), It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957), all the Sinbad films (including The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958) - Harryhausen's first split-screen film shot entirely in color, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973), and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)), The Three Worlds of Gulliver (1959), Mysterious Island (1961), Jason and the Argonauts (1963) - with the spectacular stop-motion sword-wielding skeletons scene, The First Men in the Moon (1964), and most recently, Clash of the Titans (1981).

Destination Moon (1950) was A pioneering science-fiction adventure film, and winner of the Best Achievement in Special Effects Academy Award, with an ingenious use of models (i.e., a realistic moonscape), by producer George Pal.

This was Pal's second full-length live-action feature - about the first spaceship flight to the Moon. (In addition, Woody Woodpecker made an appearance to explain how rockets function.) Later Pal films included: The War of the Worlds (1953) and The Time Machine (1960), featuring time-lapse photography.

Featuring state-of-the-art visual effects and seamless model miniatures, The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), was also the first science-fiction film to feature "flying saucers" and the first true robot, Gort.

Now, say it like this....

Gort. Klaatu baraada nikto.

The winner of the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Special Effects of 1951 was When Worlds Collide (1951). This sci-fi disaster film was producer George Pal's follow-up film to Destination Moon (1950) - with a mediocre story that had spectacular special effects, including a great fireball — a sun-sized body called Bellus — hurtling toward earth, and a rocket-propelled spaceship built on a ramp.

Bwana Devil (1952) was a An exploitative jungle adventure film - noted as the first 3-D feature-length, commercially-released color (and sound) film ever made. The film featured man-eating Tsavo lions leaping toward the camera and flying spears thrown out of the screen. The gimmicky 3-D effect required that the viewer wear special polarization glasses, unlike anaglyphic 3-D that required red/blue glasses to be worn. 3-D technology was employed to try to combat the encroaching competition of television on the film industry.

And this is where Widescreen returns. Paramount's wrap-around, big-screen Cinerama debuted in 1952, a break-through technique that required three cameras, three projectors, interlocking, semi-curved (at 146 degrees) screens, and four-track stereo sound.

The first film using the three-strip cinerama process was This is Cinerama (1952), a travelogue of the world's vacation spots, with a thrilling roller-coaster ride. Although there were a few successful box-office Cinerama hits in the 1950s, the process had fallen into disuse because its novelty wore off and the equipment and construction of special theatres was too cost-prohibitive and cumbersome.

But... When Cinerama and 3D was ultimately abandoned almost as soon as they were initiated, 20th Century Fox's CinemaScope became cheaper and more convenient because it used a simple anamorphic lens to create a widescreen effect. The aspect ratio (width to height) of CinemaScope was 2.35:1. The special lenses for the new process were based on a French system developed by optical designer Henri Chretian.

The first film released commercially in CinemaScope was 20th Century Fox's and director Henry Koster's Biblical sword-and-sandal epic The Robe (1953). It debuted in New York at the Roxy Theater in September of 1953.

Other milestones in widescreen formats included: Paramount's VistaVision (used in Hitchcock's well-known thrillers To Catch a Thief (1955), his own re-make The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Vertigo (1958), and North by Northwest (1959), and in DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1956)); SuperScope (RKO's answer to Fox's CinemaScope), and WarnerScope (Warners' answer to Fox's CinemaScope); MGM's Camera 65 (later called Super Panavision-70 and Ultra Panavision-70); Panavision; TechniScope; and Todd-AO 70 mm (producer Mike Todd's pioneering, independently-owned system); Super Technirama 70 mm. was a Todd-AO-compatible 70mm format.

The War of the Worlds (1953) was the 1953 winner of the Best Achievement in Special Effects Academy Award, by producer George Pal, for its vivid depiction of the invasion of the Earth by Martians. This was the first visual effects-laden "popcorn" film, featuring vibrant color special effects, and the destruction of various cities and landmarks, including the famous Los Angeles Courthouse Building. [This film would inspire such films as Independence Day (1996) and Steven Spielberg's remake War of the Worlds (2005).]

The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), a classic Universal horror film effectively used a foam-latex costume suit to represent the amphibious creature called the Gill-Man - one of the most famous movie monsters ever created.

In Dial M For Murder (1954), The attempted strangulation scene was filmed alternatively with a 3-D effect, when wealthy Margot Wendice (Grace Kelly) reached into the audience from the screen searching for a weapon (a pair of scissors) to defend herself and kill hired assassin Captain Lesgate (Anthony Dawson) by stabbing him in the back.

See the 3D effect without glasses here:

Even Though the special effects weren't exactly revolutionary, they were influential, nonetheless, in the biggest, greatest, coolest, most awesome, most spectacular, most ambitious, most ultimate and most influential Japanese Monster Movie ever to come out of the largest continent in the World, Asia. It is called, Gojira (1954, Jp.) (aka Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956)).

It's a story about a giant monster awakened, irradiated and mutated by atomic H-Bomb tests in the ocean; the effects were created by animatronic models, miniatures of the city of Tokyo, and by a man in a 6 and 1/2 foot lizard suit (framed with wires and bamboo sticks covered in latex).

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) The fanciful Richard Fleischer-directed Disney film based upon the Jules Verne book of the same name, with James Mason as Captain Nemo, won the Academy Award for Special Effects in 1954.

It was notable for its depiction of the Nautilus and the giant squid fight. One of the other nominated films in the category was Them! (1954), a typical mid-50s B-monster film with giant ants invading Los Angeles.

Conquest of Space (1955)
was FX artist George Pal's and director Byron Haskin's semi-documentary, visionary sci-fi story about a dangerous spaceship journey to the planet of Mars, following Pal's success with Destination Moon (1950), When Worlds Collide (1951), and The War of the Worlds (1953). The opening voice-over narration of this Paramount Technicolored film proclaimed: "This is a story of tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow...', and the film's tagline stated: "See How It Will Happen...In Your Lifetime".

The film's science was based directly on rocket scientist Wernher von Braun's writings and designs in Collier's Magazine. Although a box-office flop with some hokey special effects, some of the more impressive ones including a modified V-2 rocket transporting astronauts into space, a circular spinning space station ("The Wheel"), interstellar vehicles, astronauts with full-pressured suits doing space walks, and the Martian landscape.

[Stanley Kubrick was strongly influenced by this film, and based much of the design and plot elements of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) on this film. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) used props from this film as well.]

This Island Earth (1955), a cerebral 1950's science-fiction film by director Joseph M. Newman required various special effects, including a flying saucer and its landing on the doomed planet Metaluna - both created with models and special camera techniques; it also necessitated alien makeup for the big-headed Metalunans, and futuristic set designs.

Here comes one of the great Sci Fi Flicks of all time...MGM's Forbidden Planet (1956).

Yep. That's Right. Forbidden Planet, One of the landmark science-fiction films of the 50s was this classic space adventure film from director Fred Wilcox - an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest. It was the first science-fiction film in color and CinemaScope. Its Oscar-nominated Special Effects included miniatures (e.g., the spaceship), innovative set and art decoration (with soundstage scenic paintings), and matte paintings to create the alien environment of Altair IV.

It also included the famed friendly servant prop (probably the most expensive, intricately-wired film prop ever constructed at the time (at $125,000)) -- Robby the Robot, also used as a prop in MGM's The Invisible Boy (1957) a year later. The film also featured an all-electronic music score.

One of the best remembered segments was the 'animated' night attack (using hand-drawn cel animation) of the ID monster on the flying saucer spaceship - in actuality, it was displaying Dr. Morbius' (Walter Pidgeon as Prospero) face-to-face encounter with his own projected sub-conscious, incestuous feelings for his lovely young daughter Altaira (Anne Francis).

The Ten Commandments (1956) won the Best Achievement in Special Effects Academy Award in 1956. It was Cecil B. DeMille's remake of his own 1923 silent film, with one of the most miraculous visual effects scenes in film history (and the most expensive special effects to date) -- the parting of the Red Sea. The scene, prefaced by Moses' (Charlton Heston) statement: "The Lord of Hosts will do battle for us. Behold his mighty hand," involved the use of miniatures, pyrotechnics, traveling matte paintings, rear-projection, and a 32-foot high dam or water tank churning out the waterfall. Other special effects scenes included the various plagues, the Burning Bush, etc.; in the massive Exodus sequence, compositing was used to multiply the number of extras in the crowd.

Watch out for my birdies!!!!

That's Right. The Birds (1963) that is. The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock's most expensive film to date, featured a stylized sound track - composed from a constant interplay of natural sounds and computer-generated bird noises. The stark film about an unexplained and seemingly-organized bird attack also played without background music.

Ub Iwerks was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Special Effects, but lost to Cleopatra (1963); real birds and animatronic birds were used throughout the film; advanced rotoscoping and male/female traveling mattes were used in the 20-second scene of hundreds of birds flying over an aerial view of the town - a combination of real live-action footage with hand-drawn matte paintings; in the scene of the bird-attack at the school, special effects combined the shot of the schoolhouse in the background with kids running on a treadmill in the foreground.

One of the film's most famous scenes was the one of dozens of birds slowly gathering on playground equipment - a complex special-effects shot that optically combined over two dozen separate elements.

For Jason and the Argonauts (1963), the Ray Harryhausen-created scene deserved special mention -- the spectacular stop-motion dueling-skeletons scene between Jason (Todd Armstrong) and sword-wielding attackers, in which life-like puppets-models were manipulated and shot one frame at a time.
The film was also noted for its other amazing creatures, including the gigantic moving (and creaking) bronze statue Talos, the 7-headed Hydra, and two half-human, half-bird Harpies.

Mary Poppins (1964) was the first winner of the newly-named Academy Award for FX - Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects. (After 1963, the category was split into two: Best Special Visual Effects and Best Sound Effects.)

The musical fantasy blended live-action with animation, such as the sequence in which Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke frolicked with cartoon penguins, sheep and carousel ponies; the special effects technique used in the scene to combine live-action with animated characters and backgrounds was called sodium-screen (or sodium vapor) compositing - a new dual film traveling matte system similar to the blue-screen process, but using different tools.

Fantastic Voyage (1966) a science-fiction classic film - the winner of the year's Academy Award for Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects, told of an expedition by miniaturized human beings into the bloodstream of a human body, within a high-tech military submarine (full-sized in actuality) that was shrunk to microbial dimensions.

The interior of the scientist's body was created by using large, highly-detailed sets of various body parts (i.e., the brain, the heart). Through various techniques, the explorers were seen swimming through the body (the actors were suspended on wires).

Here's Stanley Kubrick's best movie ever...It is...

2001: A Space Odyssey

Yep. That's Right. 2001. (Not the year of the 9/11/01 Terrorist Attacks). The Star Gate and Star Child sequence and other special effects helped this revolutionary and pioneering film win the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects in 1968.

2001 featured the most realistic footage of space ever created - and it's still not dated by the passage of time. OMG! Miniature models of spacecraft, computer-guided pre-motion control cameras, rear-projection (for the film's many video displays and computer monitors), full-sized props or models (such as the 30-ton rotating "ferris wheel" set of the spaceship), and other early techniques (such as a primitive type of "Go-Motion" animation) were used.

In the film's opening "Dawn of Man" sequence of prehistoric apes learning to use tools on the African savannah, retroreflective matting (front projection) was used to display second-unit background scenic shots projected from the front onto a reflective surface combined with soundstage photography of actors in the foreground - a technique now replaced by computer-processed blue-screen techniques.

Near the film's end in the Star Gate sequence, astronaut David Bowman (Keir Dullea) traveled through the stargate corridor in a dazzling sequence (using a slit-scan photographic technique) - a sound and light hallucinatory journey or whirling lights and colors in which he was hurled through and into another dimension - where he was reborn as a Star Child; other effects were achieved by applying different colored filters to aerial landscape footage and a close-up of an eye, and filming interacting chemicals.

Animation and live-action mixed in a fanciful musical adventure with Beatles music and cartoon Beatle characters called the Yellow Submarine (1968).

In 1970, We are introduced to a new kind of film format. And it's bigger than ours. It is...It is...It is...


Yeah. That's right. IMAX, that is. The IMAX system premiered with the showing of the first IMAX film - the 17-minute Tiger Child - at EXPO '70 Osaka, Japan.

Uh, oh. Looks like the world of movies and special effects are changing...for here comes...COMPUTERS!!!!

As you know, The Andromeda Strain, by the author of Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton, contained possibly the first use of 3D rendering (the rotating structure of the underground laboratory). It was another early feature film to use advanced computerized visual effects for its time, with work by Douglas Trumbull ( 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)), James Shourt, and Albert Whitlock (The Birds (1963)).

Stanley Kubrick's controversial 1971 film, A Clockwork Orange (1971) was the first to use Dolby technology for recording sound - the first film to be mastered with Dolby noise reduction.

Meanwhile, Fritz the Cat (1972) was the first X-rated animated feature in Hollywood history, from writer/director Ralph Bakshi, and based on the comic books by Robert Crumb.

Computer Animation strikes!!!!

Westworld (1972), by Jurassic Park Author Michael Crichton, was the first significant entertainment film that employed the use of computer animation (2-D computer generated images), called CGI. Full-screen raster (or bit-mapped) graphics were used in this film by computer graphics artists (at Evans and Sutherland) to produce the scenes representing the gunslinger robot's infrared point-of-view or perspective. The first use of 3-D CGI in a feature film was Westworld's sequel, Futureworld (1976).

All of these films won the Special Achievement Award for Special Visual Effects, during the 70s era of disaster films like The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Earthquake (1974) and The Hindenburg (1975).

This is a pretty controversial horror film.

The Exorcist (1973), a sensational, shocking horror story about devil possession and the subsequent exorcism of the demonic spirits from a young, innocent girl (of a divorced family) (Linda Blair) contained some highly memorable scenes, using various special effects techniques. There were some truly nauseating, horrendous special effects including the 360 degree head-rotation, self-mutilation/masturbation with a crucifix, and the projectile spewing of green puke - a mixture of split-pea soup and oatmeal through a nozzle attached to the stunt double's mouth, etc.

The scene in which the words: "HELP ME" appeared on the girl's stomach were produced on a foam rubber stomach by applying a strong chemical. The shrinking of the swelling by heat guns was filmed - and then projected in reverse - to make it appear like the words were rising up through the skin.

That is one controversial horror movie ever!!!

In contrast, Stanley Kubrick's film, Barry Lyndon (1975), incorporated unique camerawork (using prototype Zeiss lenses) with numerous scenes filmed only with natural candlelight.

Uh oh. 3D CGI strikes!!!!

Futureworld (1976) featured the first use of 3D Computer Generated Imagery - for a representation of Peter Fonda's animated face and hand, created by the early computer visual effects company Triple I. The film also used 2-D digital compositing to materialize characters over a background.

Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) was notable for the sequence of the landing of the impressive alien mother ship - a 400 lb. fiber-glass model that was four feet high and five feet wide. The UFO model was wired and lighted by fiber optics, incandescent bulbs, and neon tubes.

This film lost the 1977 Best Achievement in Visual Effects Academy Award to Star Wars (1977).

And oh! Wait a minute! It's the biggest, greatest, coolest, most awesome, most spectacular, most ambitious, most groundbreaking, most ultimate, and most influential SciFi movie of all time and of our lives...

STAR WARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's Right. Star Wars (1977), that is! Last year, Star Wars have celebrated its 30th anniversary. Anyway, There was a new name for the Academy Award for FX this year - Best Achievement in Visual Effects, won by one of our most all time favorite films. The climactic spaceship battle scene at the conclusion of the first episode of the epic trilogy was filmed with an innovative motion-controlled camera - its first use. This meant that a computer was used to control a long, complex series of camera movements. This was the first major work of George Lucas' visual effects company - Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), which would become the biggest, most prestigious FX company in film history before Weta Workshop and Weta Digital.

The Empire's moon-sized weapon/battle station, the Death Star was assaulted by Luke Skywalker and other Starfighters. Before the assult was a brief sequence of the trench-run briefing - this was the first extensive use of 3-D-CGI.

From inside a linear trench, the space dogfighters launched proton torpedos during attack runs on a thermal exhaust port and obliterated the Death Star with chain-reaction explosions, just as the station was prepared to target the main Rebel base on Yavin IV. George Lucas would later add further visual effects to the film in a 1997 "Special Edition" release that featured far more advanced CGI characters and effects, including an enhanced Death Star explosion (pictured also), as well as clumsy additions of the original Jabba the Hutt scene (with a CGI Jabba) and the infamous "Greedo fires first" edit.

Note: The next two installments of the Star Wars Trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and The Return of the Jedi (1983) also won the Special Achievement in Visual Effects Academy Awards.

Superman (1978) was noted for the first use of CGI film titles, in the zooming title sequence, and also the first use of the Zoptic camera for the non-static flying sequences. These factors helped the film win the Academy Award for Special Achievement in Visual Effects.

Alien (1979) received the Oscar for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, defeating The Black Hole (1979), Moonraker (1979), 1941 (1979), and Star Trek - The Motion Picture (1979). It used raster wireframe rendering for the spaceship Nostromo's navigational monitors in the rough landing sequence on the foreign planet.

The film was best-known for the genuinely shocking and memorable chest-bursting special effects scene in which crew member Kane (John Hurt) had blood and the Alien graphically explode out of the front of his white T-shirt - the hissing, razor sharp-toothed monster-lizard looked around and then scurried off to hide. The trick shot involved a fiberglass chest piece (placed over the actor), tubes to squirt fake blood, a single hand puppet, and wires to help the alien race across the table.

CGI film titles were used for the opening titles in the Disney film, The Black Hole (1979) and for some trailers.

Jim Henson's The Muppett Movie (1979) featured some of the trickiest and most advanced puppetry to date, such as Kermit riding a bicycle without any visible means of control, and Kermit playing a banjo in a swamp while singing The Rainbow Connection, etc. (In the latter scene, Jim Henson spent an entire day in a 50-gallon steel drum submerged in a pond).

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) features an amazing depiction of the massive, clouded V'Ger, Mr. Spock's (Leonard Nimoy) "space walk," and the astonishing "meld" scene, in which Commander Willard Decker (Stephen Lang) and the android Ilia (Persis Khambatta) melded in a glowing spectacle, culminating in an explosion of light, from which the USS Enterprise majestically emerged.

An American Werewolf in London (1981) contained a visceral transformation scene (that won an Academy Award for Best Makeup for Rick Baker) of backpacking American college student/tourist in the Yorkshires David Kessler (David Naughton) turning into a werewolf/lycanthrope - his body, face, and limbs crunched and his skin bubbled as it grew hair and elongated. Some of the same special effects techniques were also used in The Howling (1980).

Hooray For Phil Tippett and ILM for inventing Go-Motion for Dragonslayer (1981)!!!!! This sword-'n'-sorcery film, a co-production of Walt Disney and Paramount, introduced the innovative technique of Go-Motion, a process created by Industrial Light & Magic (and Lucas animator Phil Tippett). The use of Go-Motion brought this film an Academy Award nomination for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, which it loses to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

It was a variation on the earlier technique of "stop-motion" animation (popularized by Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen), by having the animated model (the Dragon) make several moves within a frame, thereby giving it a more fluid, blurry, and natural movement. By contrast, the traditional stop-motion technique was more jerky, static and wooden in appearance, as in Harryhausen's Clash of the Titans (1981) released in the same year as Dragonslayer.

What did that CGI's Up to?

The visual effects in Jurassic Park's Michael Crichton's high-tech science-fiction thriller, Looker (1981) featured the first CGI human character, model Cindy (Susan Dey) - her digitization was visualized by a computer-generated simulation; the film was also noted for the first use of shaded 3-D CGI.

Part of the reason why Raiders of the Lost Ark won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects was due to its awesome climax with amazing visual effects, revealing the power of the Ark of the Covenant as it was opened by the face-melting Nazis.

A few more of the film's most remarkable special effects shots included:
• the giant boulder rolling after Indy Jones (Harrison Ford) in the gripping opening
• the amazing final image of the government warehouse where the Ark was stored -- a lengthy matte shot, and a tribute to a similar final scene in Citizen Kane (1941)

Blade Runner (1982) was One of the most awe-inspiring visuals in film history, paying homage to Lang's Metropolis (1927), the powerful vision of the Los Angeles cityscape, circa 2015, at night, with giant, fire-belching towers, floating advertisements, giant television screens, and police "spinners" (flying cars) - all based on the art design of legendary artist Syd Mead, who would collaborate with Jean 'Moebius' Giraud on TRON (1982).

It was nominated for Best Achievement in Visual Effects (as was the ghost-story Poltergeist (1982)), but both lose that award to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).

The Dark Crystal (1982) was Jim Henson's darkest, most foreboding film, and the first film to completely use realistic puppets without a single real human or animal character. The film was composed entirely of puppets, matte paintings, and some miniature sets. The character and world designs were made by famed fantasy artist Brian Froud.

Steven Spielberg's greatest film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) was famous for the flying bicycle scene in which the alien and Eliott were illuminated in silhouette against a giant-size full moon.

Also visual effects were employed for E.T.'s spaceship, and the believable alien itself, although altered or enhanced in the 2002 remake for the 20th anniversary edition.

For Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982) on the other hand, Gerard Scarfe's animation was made for both the multimedia concert and the Alan Parker film - it was one of the first truly adult animated work in terms of maturity - sexually and politically. (The film also featured one of the earliest commercial uses of time-lapse photography, and featured disturbing imagery of schoolchildren turning into conforming, faceless zombies on an assembly line and stepping into a meat-grinder.)

The film included the scene of Spock's (Leonard Nimoy) self-sacrifice to save the Enterprise from the Genesis Device explosion, with his burial in space at the lifeless planet Regula, when struck by a Genesis 'torpedo' to cause the birth of a planet. This "Genesis sequence" effect, a brief computer-generated sequence, marked the first use of a fractal-generated landscape in a film (created by the Lucasfilm division).

Another special effect was the scene of the brain-munching earwigs, in which Khan (Ricardo Montalban) put parasitic, insanity-causing Ceti eels into the ears of Chekov (Walter Koenig) and Terrell (Paul Winfield).
Its release barely beat Tron (1982) to take the unofficial honor of being the first film to use computer-generated images (CGI) to any extent. (Note: this scene would be re-used for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).)

Uh Oh! CGI strikes again!!!!

Tron (1982) Steven Lisberger's fantasy inside-a-computer-video-game adventure/science-fiction film was one of the first films to be derived from the video-game craze. It was the first film to use computer-generated imagery (CGI) to any large degree - in this case, to create a 3-D world. This film was heralded as the first live action film with over 20 minutes of full 3D graphics and computer animation.

Its most innovative sequence extensively employed 3-D CGI in the famed 'light cycle' sequence, using the artwork and vision of legendary artists Syd Mead and Jean 'Moebius' Giraud, and visual effects done with a combined effort by Triple I, MAGI/Synthavision, Robert Abel & Associates, and Digital Effects.

Another FX technique used was backlight animation, in which light was shown through a specialized filter through each frame to create extraordinarily vibrant colored light effects, in this case, through the inventive Oscar-nominated costumes worn by the actors. (Lisberger's animated film Animalympics (1980) had extensively used the effect in semi-preparation for what would become TRON.) The greatest testament to this film's unique visual effects, soundtrack, costuming, art direction and set decoration is that none of it has ever been duplicated, and remains unique to this day.

Overlooked and Dismissed in 1982, Tron is one of the best CGI films out there. Sorry that It didn't recieve an Academy Awards Visual Effects nomination because the voters felt the film "cheated" by using computer animation; in reality, the process was an extremely arduous and totally epic one for animators. The film also featured a soundtrack by Wendy (nee Walter) Carlos that melded synthesized music with the London Philharmonic's orchestral music.

Koyaanisqatsi (1983) was An experimental, art-house film, a feature-length documentary with innovative use of time-lapse, slow-motion (and hyper-speed), and double-exposed (and super-imposed) photography.

The original Return of the Jedi (1983) featured over 700 visual effects shots, the most in movie history at that time it was released. George Lucas continued to alter his original trilogy with lots of 'enhancements' and changes, and most outraged fans with the 2004 DVD re-release by using CGI to erase Sebastian Shaw's ghost spirit image from Return of the Jedi in the final celebration scene (on the left) and replace him with Hayden Christensen (who played Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the 2002 and 2005 prequels) -- Shaw passed away in 1994.

The entire animated "Video Game" sequence in Superman III (1983) a 'Space Invaders' style missile defense system vs. Superman battle, was created, one frame at a time, by video game company Atari, Inc. in cooperation with Warner Brothers. It took 3 1/2 months and cost $125,000 dollars to create. They had planned to base a video game on the sequence, but it ain't gotta happened 'cause it sucks!

Woody Allen's film, Zelig (1983) demonstrated the technical accomplishment of laboriously matching and interweaving authentic and older period film (newsreels and documentary footage) from the 1920s and 30s with newer, flickering B/W film shot by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Gordon Willis, to make the film appear authentically 'historic'. Chameleon-like Leonard Zelig (Woody Allen) appeared alongside President Coolidge and presidential candidate Herbert Hoover, boxer Jack Dempsey, baseball player Babe Ruth, tycoon publisher William Randolph Hearst, movie star Charles Chaplin, the Pope, the Fuhrer himself, or the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.

[These same effects would be replicated 10 years later in Forrest Gump (1994).]

Uh oh! Here Comes Pixar!!!! The Adventures of Andre and Wally B (1984) was the first CGI animation with motion blur effects, in an all CGI-animated short, from Lucasfilm Computer Graphics Project (later Pixar).

The Last Starfighter (1984) was a groundbreaking film - it was the first film to feature the extensive use of CGI -- most importantly, the use of computer-generated (CGI) models for all spaceship shots, rather than traditional miniature models (as in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) or Star Wars (1977)). This was called digital scene simulation or 'integrated CGI' - the special effects were actually representing real-world objects. A multi-million dollar CRAY super-computer over a period of more than two years was used to create and animate the photorealistic computer graphic images - 27 minutes worth of CG effects.

Digital-graphic pioneers John Whitney, Jr., and Gary Demos, who contributed to the CG work in the film (and for Tron (1982)), received the Scientific and Technical Academy Award in 1984 “for the practical simulation of motion-picture photography by means of computer-generated images."

Lensman (1984, Jp.) (aka SF Shinseiki Lensman) was the first anime film to use CGI - along with its traditional animation.

The impressive end sequence used CGI to create thousands of monoliths in 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984).

The Black Cauldron (1985), Disney's ill-fated, ill-recieved, PG-rated film was the first animated feature film to contain a 3-D element, and the first Disney animated feature to use computer technology. The film induced Disney animator Tim Burton to turn to live action films, but he would later return with the use of innovative stop-motion animation for The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).

Cocoon (1985), the Ron Howard-directed film won the Best Achievement in Visual Effects Academy Awardfor 1985, defeating Return to Oz (1985) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), for Industrial Light and Magic's (ILM) depiction of the friendly, energy-light emitting alien lifeforms and their alien spaceship - its climactic arrival came during a fog-shrouded electrical storm to pick up an ascending boatload of retirement home residents who were promised eternal life on the faraway planet.

Dire Straits - Money for Nothing (1985) was really, totally The first computer-generated music video.

Yikes! Here comes CGI again!

Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), A Steven Spielberg-produced film (with effects by Pixar when it was still part of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic) with the first fully 3-D digital (or CGI), or computer generated, photorealistic animated character, known as "the stained-glass man" - a knight composed of shards of glass that came to life and engaged in swordplay (in a 30 second on-screen sequence that took 6 months to accomplish).

This film was also the first to composite computer-generated animation with a live-action background. Somehow, along with Return to Oz (1985), it loses the Best Visual Effects Oscar to Cocoon (1985).

Aliens (1986), James Cameron's sequel to Ridley Scott's original film Alien (1979) was notable for the way it combined numerous in-camera special-effects elements and techniques into the same shot. Live action, models (full-sized and scale miniatures of the alien Queen), matte paintings, composites, front and rear projection, and various other elements were brought together through a beam-splitter.

This was a superb big-budget action film, a seven-time Oscar nominee, and two-time winner (Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound Effects Editing).

Flight of the Navigator (1986) was the first feature film to use reflection mapping -- for the shiny, flying CGI alien spaceship flying over and reflecting airports, fields, buildings, and oceans. [This technique was also used in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), and also for the reflective Naboo spacecraft in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999).]

Meanwhile, The Great Mouse Detective (1986) contains the first major use of computer animation in an animated film -- in the scene of the gears of London's famed bell tower Big Ben.

Howard The Duck (1986), one of the biggest flops of all time, became the first film to use digital wire removal, a technique pioneered by Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). Wires were used to simulate either flying actors or miniatures. Howard the Duck was portrayed by stunt men in a duck suit, which contributes to the film's lack of acceptance. [The technique was also used in Back to the Future Part II (1989), and Hook (1991).]

Labyrinth (1986)'s memorable CGI opening sequence featured a glass ball and an owl - the first realistic CGI animal. The film also featured M.C. Escher-style production design, including the final "stairway sequence".

Pixar strikes again!!!

Luxo Jr. (1986), a two minute short from Pixar about Luxo and his son - a pair of digital desk lamps - was directed by John Lasseter (of Toy Story fame) and William Reeves. It was notable as the first fully computer-generated, computer-animated (or CGI) film, and the first to use shadows in CGI. It was also the first computer animation short to be nominated for an Academy Award. The desk lamp later became the corporate symbol for Pixar.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) was the first groundbreaking use of of 3D scanning by Cyberware on a film. This type of 3D scanning was first used on the heads of actors in this film when ILM digitized them for a short time-warp travel scene. The CG heads of Shatner and Nimoy were too complex for conventional modeling techniques at the time - instead they were scanned by the first Cyberware 3D Scanner.

[Cyberware pioneered the market for three-dimensional detailed scans of people and objects. The laser- and video-based technology can scan complex objects in only seconds to produce a detailed three-dimensional data-set of the facial features and a detailed texture map of the surface color.]

Based on the popular weekday afternoon cartoon series during the 80s (which is revisited in a 2007 movie by Michael Bay), The Transformers: The Movie (1986), was another early melding of traditional and computer animation, using TRON-style backlighting.

The film was notable for both being Orson Welles' last film (voice) role as Unicron, a planet-sized computer, and for its downbeat, apocalyptic plot in which all of the series regulars were killed off. Oh my god! They've killed the robots!! You Bastards!!!

For Robocop (1987), Stop-motion special effects were used for the incompetent, robotic ED (Enforcement Droid) -209 prototype which performed poorly during a product demonstration ("It's just a glitch"). This old-fashioned technique was soon to be overtaken by computer-generated imagery, starting with Jurassic Park (1993).

Pixar's 5-minute short film, Tin Toy (1988),the inspiration for Toy Story (1995), was the first computer animation to win an Academy Award Oscar - for Animated Short Film. Billy, the baby character in the short film, marked the first time that a CG character had realistic human qualities.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), being a milestone film, won the Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, defeating the other nominees Willow (1988) and Die Hard (1988). It was a coordinated effort (produced by Disney, live-action directed by Robert Zemeckis, and animated by Richard Williams) - a remarkable blend of animated imagery (hand drawn and painted), and hand matched to the live action human characters, and filmed as a tribute to the entire pantheon of cartoon characters from Disney, Warner Bros., and MGM, and other studios in the 1940s.

The remarkable animation included sophisticated shading, lighting and shadows to dramatically make the characters appear very 3-D and lifelike as they interacted with real-world objects and people.

Whoa! It's Morphing Time!!!!

Very crude and primitive morphing could be found in an earlier film, The Golden Child (1986), but the live-action film Willow (1988) was the first to extensively use the groundbreaking effect of digital morphing (the seamless change from one character or image to another). The film's most detailed morph was in the scene of a halfling farmer and inept magician named Willow (Warwick Davis) finally turning Fin Raziel (Patricia Hayes) back into her original human form as an old sorceress woman - she went through various animal changes in the film, from a rodent to a crow, then to a goat, ostrich, and lastly into a roaring tiger before becoming a human shape.

The same 'morphing' effect was used much more extensively in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and in the conclusion of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) - see below. Digital morphing was also later used in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).

CGI strikes once again!!!

Although it was overlooked and dismissed in 1989, Special FX brought James Cameron's The Abyss (1989) recognition by the Academy - Best Achievement in Visual Effects for Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), defeating The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) and Back to the Future Part II (1989). Oh the humanity! Now CGI is changing the whole wide world!!!

Underwater visual effects, especially of the watery, snake-like alien creature, a 'pseudopod,' were the first example of digitally-animated, CGI water. This was the first computer generated three-dimensional (3-D) character. In the alien water-probe sequence, the pseudopod with a watery tentacle replicated Lindsey Brigman's (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) face and appeared to communicate by movements that resembled facial expressions.

In Japan, Akira (1988) was an excellent example of feature-length, science-fiction Japanese anime - "Japanimation" - from director Katsuhiro Otomo, and based on the science-fiction comic book.

For Back to the Future: Part II (1989), Computer-controlled camera work allowed three characters (all performed by Michael J. Fox) to match up and interact seamlessly in the same scene (the "instant pizza" scene), through impressive split-screen photography.

Another special F/X sequence was the airborne hoverboard chase scene -- the hoverboards were fictional futuristic skateboards without wheels -- merely special F/X creations. Actors (standing on glued-on or attached hoverboards) were held up by a rig on the back of a truck and driven around, making them appear to be floating and sailing in mid-air. In some scenes requiring closeups, the action was filmed in front of a bluescreen, to later be filled in with matching background footage.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) contains The first all-digital composite, to demonstrate rapid aging, during Walter Donovan's (Julian Glover) death sequence. ILM scanned several filmed makeup transformations of his demise and "morphed" the elements together digitally - it sent the output back to film rather than arranging film elements with an optical printer.

Go bye bye, Mr. Donovan!!!!

Predating Dolby Digital, DTS and SDDS, Dick Tracy (1990) became The first major feature film release with a digital soundtrack.

The first digitally-manipulated matte painting can be found in Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990).

The Rescuers Down Under (1990) was Disney's very first, theatrically-released sequel.

And although it didn't do well at the box office, It's very important for us for it was their first completely digital film that included impressive flight-aerial action sequences that used rotoscoping and multi-plane cameras -- especially in the scene of Cody (voice of (Adam Ryen) setting free and riding the magnificent golden eagle Marahute.

RoboCop 2 (1990) contain the very first use of real-time computer graphics or "digital puppetry" to create a character (a representation of the villain Cain (Tom Noonan)) in a feature film. (Digital puppetry is the manipulation and performance of digitally animated 2D or 3D figures and objects in a virtual environment that are rendered in real-time by computers.)

Total Recall (1990), on the other hand, uses motion capture for the skeletal CGI characters in the subway shootout scene, while Backdraft (1991) contains the very first photorealistic CGI fire!

Disney's Best Picture Oscar-Nominated Beauty and The Beast (1991) was Noted for the integration of hand-drawn cels and computer-generated animation, especially in the ballroom scene in which Belle and the Beast danced - within a completely 3-D rendered background. The animated camera moves in 3-D space. This new digital technology was tested in Disney's earlier films The Black Cauldron (1985), The Great Mouse Detective (1986), and Oliver and Company (1988).

It was the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Digital morphing was used in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) in the scene of the shape-changing alien prisoner Marta (Iman), who eventually morphed into Capt. James T. Kirk (William Shatner), culminating in a fist-fight between the two. I've heard that Star Trek VI was test screened in Dolby Digital, which will have its national rollout a year later with Batman Returns (1992).

You're getting closer to take over the movie and special effects world, CGI, for here comes...

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)!!!!

It won the year 1991's Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, defeating Backdraft (1991) and Hook (1991).

Terminator 2 was the first mainstream blockbuster movie with multiple morphing effects and simulated natural human motion for a CG character. The lethal, liquid-metal T-1000 cyborg terminator, the first computer graphic-generated main character to be used in a film, 'morphed' into any person or object. The liquid-metal robot's humanoid texture was layered onto a CG model.

The morphing effect was first used in director Ron Howard's Willow (1988), but not to such an extent. Also, in post-production work, the truck crashing through the wall was flipped from left to right to create a better angle.

For the Babe (1992), Since star John Goodman was right-handed and he was portraying left-handed, legendary baseball player George Herman "Babe" Ruth, film-makers composited Goodman with a left-handed pitcher in action to get the fast-ball scene accurately shot. Also, the baseball park was filled by shooting just one section of extras and then wallpapering the stands with copies of them.

Death Becomes Her (1992) was was the Academy Award winner for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, defeating Alien 3 (1992) and Batman Returns (1992). It featured extensive CGI effects, from Madeline Ashton's (Meryl Streep) twisted-around head (and stretched neck) and the see-through hole in Helen Sharp's (Goldie Hawn) abdomen, to the depiction of a rainy 1978 New York City and a miniature mansion.

The film also featured photo-realistic skin - the first skin replication to link her body and head together with a digital neck.

The Lawnmower Man (1992), being a breakthrough film with ground-breaking special effects introduced Virtual Reality to films. In one CGI sequence, the two lovers became liquid metal, melding with one another and transforming into metallic insects flying across the computer-generated terrain.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) was the first feature film to use a green screen instead of a blue screen for its visual effects, allowing for filming against a rich blue night sky. The film also featured minor morphing effects with the knocker transforming into Marley's head.

In various dangerous climbing sequences during Cliffhanger (1993), actor Sylvester Stallone (as Gabe Walker) was held up by wires - that were later digitally erased. In the film's opening scene, climber Sarah (Michelle Joyner) was supported by just a 1/8" wire (later removed), leaving her hanging 8,000 feet above the ground, before she appeared to fall to her death in the abyss below.

For In the Line of Fire (1993), Because it was much cheaper to use footage of an actual 1992 Clinton campaign rally than to pay extras to rally, computers digitally retouched the images and replaced Bill Clinton with the faceless president that Clint Eastwood was protecting. Computers also took an image of Eastwood from his earlier film Dirty Harry (1971), made it look even younger (gave him a digital haircut, shaved off his sideburns, narrowed his tie, and gave his jacket a digital lapel), and then implanted it into newsreel footage from JFK's 1963 Dallas airport arrival, taken with a 16-millimeter camera of JFK and Jackie Kennedy at Glover Field on the day the president was assassinated.

Now, CGI, attack!!!! Here's the biggest, greatest, coolest, most awesome, most spectacular, most groundbreaking, most ultimate and most influential dinosaur movie of all time and our lives, JURASSIC PARK (1993)!!!!!!!

That's Right, Jurassic Park (1993) by Steven Spielberg the Academy Award winner for Best Achievement in Visual Effects (defeating The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Cliffhanger (1993)), mixed animatronic and computer-generated (CGI), photo-realistic dinosaurs with textured skin and muscles, and cutaway shots. The CGI creatures were artificially-generated at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and very realistically-rendered and seamlessly integrated within live-action sequences.

The scenes of the living, eating, and breathing dinosaurs (including the scene of the stampeding herd of Gallimimus) used mechanical animatronic robots and miniature models in stop-motion, frame-by-frame processing. The scene of the night-time attack of the T. Rex on an individual using the toilet used live action and digitization.

Tim Burton's masterpiece, The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), sed sophisticated computer-controlled cameras to execute state-of-the-art camera movement for this feature film's stop-motion animation. Puppets (built of a foam latex material covering intricate metal armatures) were manipulated frame-by-frame on real miniature sets. The painstaking film took nearly three years to complete (dozens of animators and crew members averaged only 60 seconds of film per week), because each different pose or position equaled a 24th of a second.

In 2006 and 2007, You can see it in Disney Digital 3D.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Brandon Lee's afterlife movie...The Crow (1994)

Yep, Because actor Brandon Lee was unexpectedly and tragically killed on the set just before filming was completed, seven more scenes with him were needed. A body-double stood in for the missing actor - with Lee's face digitally-painted (or composited) on, and other scenes were manipulated. [The actual filmed death of Brandon Lee was ain't used in the film.]

The First digital fur (on "Kitty") can be found on the Flintstones (1994).

Forrest Gump (1994), Robert Zemeckis' 1994 film, was an Academy Award winner for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, defeating rivals The Mask (1994) and True Lies (1994), with its incredible computer-digitized effects:
• Forrest Gump's (Tom Hanks) digitally-composited interplay with historic events (Governor Wallace's standoff in Little Rock and his assassination attempt), including his meeting with three past Presidents (Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon) and other celebrities (Elvis Presley, John Lennon)
• the removal of Vietnam vet Lt. Dan Taylor's (Gary Sinise) lower legs
• Gump's playing of a Ping Pong game (with a digitized ball and crowd watching) in China
• crowd scenes (in the football stadium, and in the political rally in DC), using a replication special-effects technique
• and the fluttering feather (with the string it was attached to erased) in the film's conclusion

The remarkable wildebeest stampede scene blended 3-D computer animation with traditional animation techniques in Disney's The Lion King (1994).

The Mask (1994) combined live-action with cartoons composited onto the frame - (the Mask itself, a cartoon-style gun, etc.). This marked the first instance of visual effects artists turning a human being into a photo-real cartoon character - they made the lead character Jim Carrey appear like the hyperactive cartoon characters of Tex Avery during the golden age of animation.

Revolutionary computer effects made Babe (1995) the Oscar winner for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, defeating the other nominee Apollo 13 (1995); the lips of animals moved in sync with speech so it looked like they were really talking.

For Casper (1995), The computer-generated, translucent image of the 'friendly spirit' - was the first fully synthetic speaking character with a distinct personality and emotion. This was the first CG character that took a leading role (almost 40 minutes of film time).

For Jumanji (1995), ILM created the first computer-generated photo-realistic hair and fur for the digital lion and monkeys in this film. This movie also featured a stampede scene with dozens of elephants, rhinos, zebras and pelicans - all computer-generated.

That's right. Toy Story (1995) was the first feature-length film made entirely by computer animation, also fully 3-D, with a collaboration between Pixar and Disney Studios. Followed by an equally-successful sequel Toy Story 2 in 1999.

Waterworld (1995), although one of the biggest and most expensive flops of all time, contains the first realistic CG water.

Dragonheart (1996), a 10th century fantasy fable featured state-of-the-art digital animation about a talking dragon (with realistic facial animation) named Draco (with voice of Sean Connery), an 18 ft. tall, 43 foot long creature expertly produced by Industrial Light and Magic as a 3D digital character.

ID4: Independence Day (1996) was a blockbuster disaster film that is the 1996 winner in the Academy Award race for Best Achievement in Visual Effects in 1996 (defeating Twister (1996) and Dragonheart (1996)). A remake, unofficially, of the original The War of the Worlds (1953), this world doomsday film displayed a monstrous, asteroid-sized UFO that entered Earth's atmosphere, and a spectacular, well-publicized scene of the destruction of the White House.

Warner Bros.' Space Jam (1996) combined traditionally-animated Looney Tunes characters (such as Daffy Duck) within a live-action film. The film was inspired by a series of Nike commercials featuring Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan. [The iconic characters would later star with Brendan Fraser in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003).]

Twister (1996) was a phenomenal special-effects film with incredible atmospheric FX (digital tornadoes, such as the film's 200 foot tower of wind) produced by ILM, including many hand-held camera shots taken through windshields at composited CGI animated tornadoes. Although nominated for the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, along with Dragonheart (1996), both got p'wned by Independence Day (1996).

Robert Zemeckis' film, Contact (1997), based on a book by Carl Sagan, the guy who tell us about the Cosmos (1980), contained, reportedly, the longest single digital effects shot ever created - the opening shot (Powers of Ten). It began with an image of the Earth, and then the camera slowly pulled back to reveal the Moon, the rest of the solar system, various layers of nebula and stellar debris, and the Milky Way. The shot moved deeper into space to reveal hundreds of other galaxies...and then pulled back to reveal that the light from all of these stars was actually the highlight in a young girl's eye.

The first 2D all-CGI backgrounds (virtual sets) with live actors can be found in the movie, Conceiving Ada (1997).

The filmmakers used a new bluescreen filming process in which a number of photographs, taken in Victorian bed and breakfasts in the San Francisco Bay area, were placed into the main protagonist's world as backgrounds - they were inserted into the film in real time, so that the actors could see their interactions with the background on set.

There were an extra-ordinary amount of individual FXs in The Fifth Element (1997), including a futuristic New York City skyline, a regeneration sequence during the creation of Leeloo (Mila Jovovich) in which a sophisticated machine built her skeleton, and strapped muscle tissue onto the bones, and its most celebrated sequence - the cab chase with flying cars. The cars were created both as motion-control models and CGI versions. The immense 2000 foot long pleasure cruiser - the Fhlostin Paradise - was a motion-control model.

[The film also referenced Heavy Metal (1981).]

For Starship Troopers (1997), An army of humans were locked in visceral, gory combat against a frightening array of thousands of giant alien bugs. This was the first film to feature a large-scale CGI battle. Good Job, Phil Tippett!!!

James Cameron's Titanic (1997) was not only the winner of 11 Academy Awards (predating the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King's 11 oscars) for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Visual Effects, defeating Starship Troopers (1997) and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) (which made Jurassic Park go jump the shark!!!), but also the most expensive film ever made - up to its time, at approximately $200 million.

With stunning digital effects in a historical epic/drama - the passengers on the ship's deck, the ship's launch, the Titanic's engine room, the helicopter fly-bys, the transition shot of the two lovers at the front of the ship transformed to an underwater shot -- even Kate Winslet's iris that was digitally inserted and morphed into one of Gloria Stuart's eyes. Both CG and miniature models were used to portray the ocean-liner as it tilted, split in two, and sank in the tragic finale.

Following Toy Story (1995), Antz was the second fully computer-animated feature, preceding the release of Disney's all-CGI insect epic A Bug's Life by seven weeks. This was also the first CGI film to feature over 10,000 individually-animated characters in various crowd scenes (such as the Starship Troopers-like battle. You Know like, As somebody scream when they attack the termites...ATTACK!!!!!!!!).

A critical and commercial disaster, Roland Emmerich's ill-fated, ill-recieved remake of Godzilla (1998) is a movie that most of those in the world who love the Japanese Monster movies, would like to forget. The vast majority of the remake's giant monster/lizard was computer-generated, including the terrifying monster's baby hatchlings, the helicopter shot of the beached tanker found on the Panamanian coast, and the finale's Brooklyn Bridge scene. There were about 400 visual effects shots in the film, including about 235 Godzilla CGI shots.

The creation of groundbreaking "hair, fur and feathers" technology for the CGI gorilla can be found in Disney's 1998 remake of Mighty Joe Young (1998).

According to Guinness, Pleasantville (1998) had the most computer generated effects in a film to date - 1,700 digital visual effect shots, compared to the average Hollywood film which had 50 at the time. Most of the effects involved selectively de-saturating the color film to create striking images of 'colorful' characters in black and white scenes.

This Oscar winner for Best Achievement in Visual Effects in 1998, What Dreams May Come (1998), defeated the disaster film Armageddon (1998) and Mighty Joe Young (1998). It depicted an imaginative and impressionistic visuals and landscapes of the after-life world, especially the "paint world" in which the entire world was an expressionistic landscape literally made of paint.

David Fincher's ultimate movie, Fight Club (1999) is filled with extensive and revolutionary use of photogrammetry, a CGI first-person image-based modeling technique. Wire-frame 3-D models were created from photographs or real, still objects. The photos were then reemployed as texture maps, augmented with additional paint work. This allowed for high-speed photo-realistic camera movements around (or inside and through) objects - and other seemingly impossible feats.

Examples can be seen in the gunshot, also in the pull-back tour of the wastepaper basket and its contents, and in the sequence of the kitchen explosion when the connection between the gas leak on the stove's burner to the spark on the refrigerator compressor was visualized. Also used in The Cell (2000) and Godzilla (1998).

This kinetic, action-oriented, sci-fi virtual reality film, The Matrix (1999), combined many innovative visual and special effects elements. It came from the directorial writing team of the Wachowski brothers, and included incredible Oscar-winning visual-effects (defeating Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) and Stuart Little (1999)).

It made reference to prototypical elements of the 21st century high-tech culture, such as hacking and virtual reality, and included bullet-dodging (digital effects dubbed "flow-mo" and "bullet time" were created with suspending actors on wires, and filming segments with multiple still cameras from multiple angles), cyber-punk chic, time-freezing, shoot-outs, wall-scaling, virtual backgrounds, and airborne kung fu. These tremendous visual effects were combined with Eastern world-denying philosophy, metaphysical Zen statements, Japanese anime, neo-Cartesian plot twists, film noir, and Lewis Carroll references.

The Mummy (1999) had the most totally realistic digital human character ever seen in film, with totally computer-generated layers of muscles, sinew and tissue in the form of Imohtep.

Despite the uproar over Jar Jar Binks, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace still threw down the gauntlet among special effects and animation professionals for what is the most peruasive use of computers and digital effects for any other film made in the late 1990's.

It undoubtedly contained more computer animation and special effects than any previous film - over 90%. It also featured a completely CGI-generated (all digital), fully-articulated main humanoid character named Jar Jar Binks (voice of Ahmed Best), a widely-derided aspect of the feature film. Jar Jar was a "Gungan", an alien indigenous to the planet Naboo.

[The annoying character was reprised in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002).

Stuart Little (1999) totally features the CGI character of Stuart Little (voiced by Michael J. Fox of Back to the Future fame), another CGI character integrated seamlessly into a live action film. Also featured the same animal-talking effects as in Babe (1995). Sequel in 2002.

Disney's Tarzan (1999) contains the coolest special effects we have ever seen in a traditionally-animated feature...It features technologically-advanced animation effects, with extensive use of the "deep canvas" animation effect, creating a remarkable 3-Dimensional depth. Besides the effects, I really like the Phil Collins Songs and the Music of Mark Mancina best of this movie.

[WARNING: The following stuff is not retro and you can't put them anywhere on this site until 2010!!! Thank You!!!]

Chicken Run (2000) used the claymation (clay - animation) process (called plasticene animation in the UK) with special plasticene characters. The film also used some CGI effects (e.g., the explosion of the pie-making machine).

Although A Critical and Commercial Disaster, Disney's Dinosaur (2000) still threw down the gauntlet among special effects and animation professionals for what has been the most peruasive use of CGI Characters and Creatures and Live Action Backdrops for an animated movie made in 2000. The blend of CGI with Live Action Backgrounds and VFX wizardry, combined with great character design and effects still kick ass, though the film wasn't.

Meanwhile, Disney's Fantasia 2000 (1999), a sequel to the classic Fantasia (1940), included computer-generated sequences released in the IMAX, giant-screen format. This was the first feature-length animated feature movie released in the IMAX format (70 mm) for IMAX theaters.

In this adventure/disaster film, The Perfect Storm (2000), the monster wave scene used computer-generated imaging from ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) to approximate the look of a stormy sea with 80 foot waves. In another incredible aerial shot, the camera plunged into the spiraling clouds of Hurricane Grace and into the Atlantic Ocean below.

This science-fiction tale by director Hironobu Sakaguchi (creator of the interactive video game that inspired this film) took four years to make. It advertised itself as "Fantasy Becomes Reality".

And Despite being one of the biggest flops of all time, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) was the first hyper-real, computer-generated (CGI) feature-length film based entirely on original designs - no real locations, people, vehicles, or props were used. The film was hailed for having photo-realistic, life-like images - the amount of detail rendered into hair, clothing, skin texture, eyes, and movement was astounding and impressive. Characters' faces and skin included such detail as liver spots, wrinkles, veins in a clenched hand, individual hair strands, and so forth.

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2001) was the first CGI feature length film (an animated comedy) -- produced by Nickelodeon and made by DNA Productions of Dallas, Texas (which will later made the ill-fated 2006 film, The Ant Bully, which in turn, would inspire me to reuse the insect cast of characters for my Dexter's Odyssey stories), using off-the-shelf hardware and software (NewTek's LightWave 3D® animation software) to create, model, render and texture the film.

It was the first computer-generated feature film from a major studio to be created solely with off-the-shelf software that any consumer could buy.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-3) by Peter Jackson (one of my favorite filmmakers) was the three-time Oscar winner for Best Achievement in Visual Effects for three consecutive years. In each of the years of the award, this film series defeated Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001), Pearl Harbor (2001), Spider-Man (2002), Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003).

In the first segment, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), there was an impressive stand-off fight between Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the fiery Balrog.

In the second part of the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), CGI-imagery was combined with "motion capturing" (of the movements and expressions of actor Andy Serkis, who also served as the voice) to produce the barely-seen, supporting character of Gollum (originally known as Sméagol) - noted for saying: "Myyy PRECIOUSSS!" A motion capture suit recorded the actor's movements that were then applied to the digital character. A more laborious visual effects process digitally "painted out" Serkis's image and replaced it with Gollum's. [The same technique was repeated in I, Robot (2004), with Alan Tudyk as the robot Sonny.]

Also in The Two Towers (2002), AI-driven agents were first used to create the digital army scene by using MASSIVE, a crowd simulation animation software program developed by Weta Digital, the digital arm of one of my favorite VFX companies, Weta Workshop. Man, I want to use that software for my dinosaur movie.

In the Return of the King (2003), The Rohan soldiers fights and has run ins with these giant elephants called...MUMAKIL!!!! You know like, Mumak!!! Mumak!!! Mumak!!! Mumak!!! Mumak!!!

Pearl Harbor (2001) was most noted for the recreation of the infamous 1941 attack, with scenes digitally created, including hundreds of World War II era airplanes, ships and vehicles, along with the fire and smoke from dozens of explosions.

Shrek (2001) is a fully computer-animated, colorful fantasy film (from DreamWorks and Pacific Data Images), and the first Oscar winner in the newly created category of Best Animated Feature, by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences. The realistic-ness of the characters was actually scaled back to have a more "cartoony" look. The film also featured the most advanced CGI liquid and fire effects of the time. Followed by the biggest box-office earning animated film ever, Shrek 2 (2004).

Waking Life (2001), an animated experimental film was shot on a mini-digital video camera and edited normally, complete with double-exposures and composited effects. The video was then rotoscoped on a computer and then the animation was transferred to celluloid. Director Richard Linklater would later use this technique for the traditional narrative A Scanner Darkly (2006), and Richard Rodriguez' Sin City (2005) would use a similiar method of animation.

Winged Migration (2001), a documentary on my birdies, was famed for its almost complete lack of optical visual effects and some of the best camera work ever done in film history, especially the completely astounding sequence in which a moving camera followed a migratory tern for thousands of miles as it soared above the Earth in the clouds, and at one point panned more than 180 degrees arond it.

Filmmakers used several remote controlled and conventional planes, helicopters, hot-air balloons and gliders to film the awe-inspiring flying birds. [Director Jacques Perrin was also responsible for the landmark insect documentary MicroCosmos (1996), which used special cameras and lens to photograph insects up to the scale of humans.]

Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), a film by George Lucas, was the first feature film (major motion picture) completely shot and exhibited in digital HD video (non-celluloid), with a 24 fps high-definition progressive scan camera. Wow! I gotta shoot and exhibit my dinosaur movie in Digital HD video! Just, Wow! Also with an extensive use of digital matte paintings.

The Matrix Reloaded (2003) introduced high-definition 'Universal Capture' (or U-cap) or image-based facial animation into the special effects lexicon -- i.e., the fight scene in Reloaded between Neo and 100 Agent Smiths used this technique. Five high-resolution digital cameras recorded the real Agent Smith's actions to produce data which was fed into a computer, where a complex algorithm calculated the actor's appearance from every single angle the cameras had missed, and used them to generate digital or 'cloned' humans indistinguishable from real humans.

The Matrix Revolutions (2003) featured the first realistic, very close-up representation of detailed facial deformation on a synthetic human, during a face punch.

For Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), CGI effects were used to startling effect to seamlessly turn the cursed Black Pearl pirates from normal humans to skeletons. They sneak up on the British navy by walking across the ocean floor at night in skeleton form, then crawl up the sides of the ship undetected.

The Day After Tomorrow (2004) used 50,000 scanned photos of a 13 block area of NYC to create a 3D, photorealistic model of the city - with that model (a digital backdrop), the downtown metropolis was destroyed by a giant digital wave and then frozen.
The film also featured the longest ever CG flyover shot for the opening ice shelf scene.

Like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) and Sin City (2005), Immortel (Ad Vitam) (2004) seamlessly blended live actors with computer generated surroundings. It was one of the first films to use an entirely "digital backlot" (i.e. all of the actors were shot in front of blue- and green-screens with all the backgrounds added in post-production).

In addition, it also featured live actors interacting with semi photo-realistic CGI "humans".

The Polar Express (2004) further developed motion capture technology found in the pioneering Peter Jackson film The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002). It was marked by the first innovative use of the process of 'Performance Capture' -- a motion capture system by which an actor's live performances were digitally captured by computerized cameras, and became a human blueprint for creating virtual, all-digital characters. Unlike existing motion-capture systems, Performance Capture simultaneously recorded 3-dimensional facial and body movements from multiple actors, using a system of digital cameras that provided 360 degree views. This allowed actor Tom Hanks to play many very different characters (the boy, the father, the conductor, the hobo, and Santa Claus) in the same film. Zemeckis went even further with this technique in his film Beowulf (2007).

Yeah, we gotta embrace the awesome performance capture technology that Bob Zemeckis is using in Polar Express and Beowulf, right?

Although Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) was a box office flop in theatres, It gain a cult following. Also, it was still an important film---This was the first movie with so very much photo-realistic, all-CGI backgrounds and live actors. This meant that human actors were completely filmed in front of a green/blue screen with no background sets at all. Everything except the main characters was computer-generated. [The film also used actor Laurence Olivier, post-humously.]

The uproar over Disney's decision to work without Pixar may have nearly dimmed its impact, but no longer, for Disney's Chicken Little (2005) still threw down the gauntlet among movie and animation professionals for what is the very first movie to be presented in Digital 3D cinema.

For the Disney Digital 3D version, it was re-rendered from the point of view of two virtual cameras for release in digital stereographic 3D cinema. The 3-D version was rendered by Industrial Light and Magic, and presented in theatres equipped with digital projectors using glasses, screens, and software technology developed by Real D. Remember, Chicken Little unsuccessful in 2D venues but hugely successful in its 84 Digital 3D venues. And Remember, Digital Flat Cinema and Digital 3D cinema shall inherit the moviemaking world.

Man! I love this version, although that's not retro for any of you at Retro Junk!!! Anyway, the uproar over its 3 hours and 7 minute running time as well as competition at the box office from Disney's The Chronicles of Narina: The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe (2005) may have dimmed its impact for now, but no longer for Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong (2005) still threw down the gauntlet among us and special effects and animation professionals for a blend of miniature and digital environments and a totally awesome CGI/Performance Capture performance by Andy Serkis as King Kong.

Peter Jackson's remake of the classic and tragic beauty-and-the-beast love story of the 1933 film featured a computer-generated Kong. Andy Serkis (who performed the role of the CGI character Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy) provided both on-set performance reference and motion-capture performance for the title character of King Kong. Its Oscar win defeated The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and War of the Worlds.

Thank You so very much, Peter Jackson for Lord of the Rings and your remake of King Kong!!!! Thank you!!!

Sin City (2005) was based on three of the 90s graphic novels by Frank Miller (who co-directed) - including "Sin City", a stylistic comic book adaptation (mostly noirish black and white and containing vibrant splashes of color). It starred Bruce Willis and Jessica Alba, and was shot completely with high-definition digital. It was totally a Robert Rodriguez-directed, violent B/W crime-film noir.

Aardman Studio's second Plasticine stop-motion animated film with clay figures - after Chicken Run (2000), Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) also featured over 700 examples of digital effects, including CGI effects, such as the captured rabbits floating in circles in the glass chamber of mute canine Gromit's Bun-Vac, and a golden carrot shot like a bullet from a bazooka. In 2005, It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature of 2005.

Elephants Dream (2006) was A computer-generated (or CGI) short film made primarily using open source applications, and the first to be released as open source -- meaning that all 3D models, animatics and software included on the DVD are free for anyone's use.

Ahhh. Happy Feet (2006). For this 2006 CGI film, Extensive motion capture was used to record the dancing of tap dance virtuoso Savion Glover for the soft-shoeing of young penguin Mumble in the CGI-animated tale. The hoofer wore a black bodysuit with 40 reflective sensors near his joints, to record his movements (as data) from the light reflectors - which was then turned into the bird's final performance by five motion editors and ten computer animators. However, all of the humans in the film were live action, not CGI.

For Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), CGI imagery had reached the point of becoming so convincing that the completely computer-generated Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), a monstrously Octopus-faced-and-tentacled villainous under-sea creature, was so realistic that some of you in your reviews mistakenly thought Nighy was wearing prosthetic makeup.

Visual effects artists at ILM used an instant (or on-the-spot) motion-capture-to-CG process, and an inventive technique called sub-surface scattering (to believably mimic the look of semi-translucent skin) to create the effect - they even used CGI for Jones' eyes. It won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects over Poseidon (2006) and Superman Returns (2006).

Well Done, Davy Jones! Well Done, ILM! A Good Job well done!

Superman Returns (2006) used realistic, dramatic CGI, such as in the scene of a slow-motion bullet crushing itself against Superman's (Brandon Routh) eyeball, and the recreation of the role of Superman's biological father Jor-El (Marlon Brando) in the Fortress of Solitude sequence; the later used archival film footage from the first two films along with CGI interpolation, modeling and animation to create a three-dimensional image while he delivered new dialogue that existed previously only as vocal tracks; visual effects artists also created a realistic digital double of the title character with a digital cape.

OMG! This is totally awesome!!! That movie, 300 (2007) still threw down the gauntlet among us for having the most totally awesome visual effects and CGI ever done!!! Wow!!! You've seen it since ComicCon 2006! Like the Greeks, you chant for more and more and more, after each time they saw the moving palace of Xerxes and the millions of Persian soldiers that descended on the 300 Spartans.

This ain't no ordinary swords n' sandals epic, folks!!! Shot almost completely against green screen, 300 took some of Hollywood's most old-fashioned special effects, such as matte painting and makeup, and blended them seamlessly through the help of CG into the ultra-violent land of 300--which the film's VFX supervisors intended to look as though they were coffee stained. It was appropriate, since to the rest of Hollywood, 300 was a wake-up call.

This is the Part Star Wars, Part Matrix and Part Lord of the Rings of our time. You better prepare for glory, for tonight we dine in Hell!!!! And remember...This is Teriffic....This is...MADNESS!!!! THIS...IS...SPARTA!!!!!!!!!

Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf (2007), an adaptation of the Old English epic poem, used advanced motion-capture technology to transform live action into digital animation, resulting in a 100% CGI film. The technique was first used in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) for the character of Gollum (see above), and in Zemeckis' own The Polar Express (2004). The $150 million budgeted-film was released simultaneously in 2-D and non-IMAX 3D (called REAL D) versions, and had the biggest 3-D rollout of any film in history - opening on almost 1,000 digital 3-D screens and in 90 IMAX theaters.

Well, That's it. But wait a minute!!!! One more thing, folks!!!

I'll be working on a movie that would revolutionize movies and special visual effects and will release it on November 16, 2012. It is called...


And Although the Dinosaurs will talk, and although many of the species of animals depicted in my movie do not exist at the same time and place, It's gotta be the biggest, greatest, coolest, most awesome, most spectacular, most ambitious, most groundbreaking, most totally epic, and most ultimate dinosaur movie since Jurassic Park (1993)!

It will be shot and exhibited completely on Digital HD Video and in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 but with plates shot in the VistaVision format to make the dinosaurs more grander and give them more height. (The VistaVision plates will be blown up to fit the 2.35:1 ratio.) It will be have a total budgetary production cost of $330 million. It will have a theatrical running time of 3 hours and 20 minutes (that is 200 minutes). And It will blend CGI and Animatronic Dinosaurs and Innovative and Groundbreaking VFX wizardry (including Weta Digital's MASSIVE software to create AI-Driven Dinosaur agents) with a Blend of Digitally Enhanced Live Action Photography, Miniature model sets (including what Weta Workshop called "bigatures) and digital CG environments and digital matte paintings, to groundbreaking effect.

It will be about 11 dinosaurs (which are Adam, David and Eve the Iguanodons, Tearak the Troodon, Adam's best friend, Kirk the Triceratops, Samson The Stegosaurus, Maia the Maiasaura, Courtney the Corythosaurus, Frank the Lambeosaurus, George the Parasaurolophus and Anthony the Brachiosaurus) traveling through unknown and uncharted Prehistoric Lands, 65 million years before the 9/11/2001 Terrorist Attacks, to find a legendary land far, far away called the Valley of the Sun. Along the way, They encountered a variety of dinosaurs and overcome obstacles and predators such as The chief villains, Three Tyrannosaurus Rex brothers named Akiro, Khan and Lucifer, their friends, Durok and Kala the Utahraptors and their army of 300 Raptors, and among others, a ruthless and massive Spinosaurus named Crocjaw.

It will be released by Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Atomic, Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures, Warner Bros., and my Tim Box Production Company on 5,298 D-Cinema, Digital 3D (Real D) and IMAX 3D theatre screens on November 16, 2012. It will have a gigantically massive publicity, promotional, advertising and marketing campaign. It will have bigger marketing and an even wider theatrical release than any other movie on Dinosaurs. It will have a theatrical run that will last 338 days from November 16, 2012 to October 20, 2013.

After that, It will be released on DVD and Blu Ray Disc or HD DVD from Tim Box Home Entertainment on October 22, 2013. It will arrive in a 12-discjam-packed, super uber, ultra-deluxe, ultimate collector's edition box set for each format. Discs One, Two, and Three will feature a 330 minute unrated Final Cut of Dinosaurs: An Epic Prehistoric Tale (titled Dinosaurs UNRATED: The Final Cut) with 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen direct to digital transfer, two Dolby Digital EX 5.1 and DTS ES 6.1 Enhanced Home Theater Mixes, commentaries and more.

Discs Four and Five will feature the 200-minute theatrical cut with 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen direct to digital transfer, two Dolby Digital EX 5.1 and DTS ES 6.1 enhanced home theater mixes, commentaries and more, while Discs Six, Seven and Eight will feature a 398-minute documentary called 65 Million Years BC: The Making of Dinosaurs: An Epic Prehistoric Tale. (split into three discs just like the unrated cut of Dinosaurs.) and Lastly, Discs Nine, Ten, Eleven and Twelve will feature tons and tons and tons and tons of bonus features.

The packaging will be awesome with 6 digipak trays containing the 12 discs for the box set.

Dinosaurs: An Epic Prehistoric Tale will be mixed in Dolby Digital Surround EX, DTS ES, and SDDS 8-Channel Sound at Skywalker Sound and Park Road Post. Skywalker Sound and Park Road Post and Sound Designers Randy Thom, Christopher Boyes, Ethan Van Der Ryn, David Farmer, Tom Myers and Star Wars Prequels sound editor Matthew Wood, and Will Files, in creating the most believable dinosaur vocalizations ever heard in a movie since Jurassic Park (1993), will employ the same technique that Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom had employed for Jurassic Park 15 years ago--to start with nature by recording a whole lotta living animals and piece them together in interesting ways...totally interesting ways, indeed.

The original music score for my dinosaur movie will be by Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Mark Mancina and James Horner, and it will sound like the music of The Lion King (1994) and those of Disney's Dinosaur (2000), Disney's Tarzan (1999), Disney's Mighty Joe Young (1998), Waterworld (1995), The Power of One (1992) (with its african-style music), The Jurassic Park Movies (1993-2001), and Jerry Goldsmith's music for Congo (1995). The Soundtrack Album will be the complete music score and will be called Dinosaurs: An Epic Prehistoric Tale: The Complete Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

The Characters, Creatures, Miniatures, Visual Effects and Animation will be by Industrial Light and Magic, Weta Workshop, Weta Digital, Stan Winston Studio, Stan Winston Digital, Kerner Optical, Ninth Ray Studios, Tippett Studio, and The Orphanage. And among the VFX and Animation supervisors for my Dinosaur Movie will be John Knoll, Scott Fararr, Rob Coleman, Joe Letteri, Richard Taylor, Christain Rivers, Eric Leighton, Ralph Zondag (both of which directed Disney's Dinosaur (2000)), Stan Winston, Aaron Sims, Michael Lantieri, Phil Tippett, Randy Dutra, Randall Cook, Genndy Tartakovsky (of Dexter's Laboratory and Samurai Jack fame) and Paul Rudish.

Artists such as Mark Hallett, Ricardo Delgado, David Krentz, Todd Marshall, William Stout, Gregory S. Paul, Luis V. Rey, Doug Henderson, and many, many, many others, and the designers at Weta Workshop, Stan Winston Studio, Kerner Optical, Ninth Ray Studios, etc., will provide hundreds and hundreds and thousands and thousands of conceptual artwork and scluptures for my movie.

I wanted to create a movie in which no humans appeared, only modern, scientifically-accurate yet talking dinosaurs animated with hi tech computers and hi tech animatronic robotics. (the Dinosaurs with beaks will have to talk just like the lip syncing talking animals in Babe (1995)) Pre Production will begin on February 2009, although the script will be done first, Production will begin on June 2010 and will end in March 2012. and Post Production will begin on March 2012. So Developing and making Dinosaurs: An Epic Prehistoric Tale will an totally epic, three-year journey or vacation.

It will be a film partially inspired by Land Before Time (1988), Jurassic Park (1993), Disney's Dinosaur, Lord of the Rings, etc. And it will be totally awesome, guys. This is gonna be the biggest, greatest, and most expensive movie ever made. On November 2012, See the next biggest, greatest, coolest, most awesome, most spectacular, most ambitious, most groundbreaking, most totally epic, and most ultimate dinosaur movie since Jurassic Park...Dinosaurs: An Epic Prehistoric Tale (2012)!!!!

In closing...I'll leave you with a picture of me....

This is A made up picture featuring me, that is Timothy Robert "Tim Box" McKenzie, and 3 characters from the 1995 Don Bluth film, The Pebble and the Penguin, Hubie, Marina and Rocko (three of which that I thought to be my made up supporting parents of the McKenzie Family, and babysitters, bodyguards, and consciences of me and my brothers, Billy Stuart McKenzie and Scott Martin McKenzie.) They would have raise me for my parents ever since me, Billy and Scott were born, and one of them (Marina, Hubie's girlfriend), could have been my maid conscience and teacher, especially, from Preschool to High School and could have save me from being Raptor Lunch (I'm talkin' about the Raptors from Jurassic Park) by turning herself into a T-Rex (Tyrannosaurus Rex, perhaps) and battles the raptors, especially when I got lost in the woods when I was little with Marina, the Police and my Dad, Doug McKenzie, comin' after me. Yep. Those 3 Penguins, My family and I are one happy family.

Ain't that hilarious?!! Sorry for the length of the article and sorry for the flow of the article, and I'm totally sorry for the things that are not retro yet. I should have gotten to split my article into a series of articles but I don't time for that! Sorry, Guys!!! So, anyway, As the movie making and VFX industries are changing, so do the whole world. Check out VFX and Animated movies past, present and future, and remember...The Whole Wide World is changing, so do the movies and special effects technologies. Thank You so Very Much!


This Lengthy Article is from and is written by
Timothy Robert "Tim Box" McKenzie
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