We’ve always had a soft spot for dragons. It began way back in 1982, when the cover girl for Cinefex 6 was Vermithrax Pejorative, the scaly star of the classic fantasy Dragonslayer.
It took 14 years and 60 issues for us to fall for another dragon. In 1996, the film was Dragonheart, and the fire-breathing beast in question was the charismatic Draco. Fast-forward to 2014, and we graced the cover of Cinefex 137 with the sinister Smaug from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Now we’re dragons all over again, with a spectacular shot from HBO’s Game of Thrones showing Daenerys Targaryen astride her flying steed, Drogon.
And that’s just the beginning. Cinefex 157 also contains our in-depth article on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, not to mention … well, why don’t I let our editor-in-chief, Jody Duncan, give you a guided tour of our first issue of 2018:
As the ‘Cine’ in Cinefex suggests, in our nearly 40 years we have concentrated on movie visual effects, only very rarely venturing into television. Every so often, however, a television project is so worthy of coverage, it grabs us by the lapels and shoves us out of our ‘movie’ box. Game of Thrones is just such a show, and we’ve covered its seventh season in a nearly double-length article with a lot of behind-the-scenes photos and fascinating commentary. Using wave machines to splash water onto a dressed ship sitting in a parking lot in Northern Ireland … braving the elements on a glacier in Iceland … dropping army of the dead performers into a water tank by way of a hydraulic rig … setting wagons and stunt men ablaze on a field in Spain – all the stories are here.
As if that weren’t enough for a single issue, Cinefex 157 features Joe Fordham’s coverage of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Joe is our resident ‘Star Wars’ guy, and he doesn’t disappoint. The story of Neal Scanlan’s team unpacking a box to find Stuart Freeborn’s original Yoda molds – well, that’s worth the read right there.
We follow Star Wars with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Confession time: I did not much like the original Jumanji. I remember describing it to a friend as a movie in which ‘this bad thing happens and then this bad thing happens and then this bad thing happens.’ So imagine my surprise when I guffawed all the way through Jake Kasdan’s sequel! Interviewing Jake, I immediately realized where the movie got its sense of humor. To find out where it got its visual effects pizzazz, look no further than this issue of Cinefex.
We round out the issue with our Downsizing story. Reading it reminded me of how I struggled to understand the technologies involved in bringing tiny characters to the screen for one of my earliest articles – Willow, Cinefex 35, 1988. As Joe Fordham’s Downsizing story illuminates, the technologies have changed but the same artful execution is required.
The next time we meet, spring will be in the air. Winter Is Going …
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