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A Dark and Stormy Knight
Article by Jody Duncan Shannon
After a decade of dogged development — with countless scripts proposed and abandoned — Batman finally erupted on the screen last summer amidst a frenzy of hype and merchandising that quickly propelled it high into the ranks of all-time boxoffice champions. The man who cracked the project and finally brought it to fruition was director Tim Burton who surrounded himself with a powerhouse of moviemaking talent. Costume designer Bob Ringwood was enlisted to reconfigure Michael Keaton into the Dark Knight while makeup artist Nick Dudman was similarly engaged to transform Jack Nicholson into the Joker. At the same time, production designer Anton Furst labored to conceive and construct a brooding backlot representation of Gotham City — handsomely augmented with miniatures created by visual effects supervisor Derek Meddings and mechanical gadgetry provided by physical effects supervisor John Evans.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Backyard Odyssey
Article by Susan Dayton
In the surprise megahit of the summer — Honey, I Shrunk the Kids — four children are accidentally reduced to a quarter-of-an-inch in height and deposited in a backyard jungle where grass and water drops and commonplace insects become horrendous life-threatening obstacles. Spearheaded by director Joe Johnston and executive producer Thomas G. Smith — both veterans of Industrial Light & Magic — the film featured a plethora of giant-size sets and props developed and supplied by production designer Gregg Fonseca and mechanical effects supervisor Peter Chesney. It also entailed a wide range of postproduction miniature and optical illusions accomplished on a shoe-string budget by stop-motion animators Phil Tippett and David Allen and by a diversity of small effects companies including Perpetual Motion Pictures, Visual Concept Engineering and Illusion Arts. The result was a minute comic fantasy on a grand scale.
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