Cinefex Unchained

by Don Shay

“Just the facts, Ma’am.”

Sergeant Joe Friday’s cut-to-the-chase phrase – regularly delivered by a deadpan Jack Webb on the old Dragnet television series – best characterizes the style in which Cinefex has always covered its subject matter.  In each of our eighty issues, we have scrupulously avoided controversy, speculation and behind-the-scenes ‘dirt’ surrounding film projects, limiting our focus to the facts of how those films’ effects were realized.  We have endeavored to inform, rather than editorialize, to remain diligently objective, rather than subjective.

Cinefex editor-in-chief Jody Duncan penned that passage – to use a quaint, outdated phrase – to introduce her personal recounting of Cinefex history in our 20th anniversary issue.  It was true then, and it’s true now – 14 years later.  Hundreds of articles, thousands of pages, millions of words have gone out under the Cinefex logo since our first issue was published in 1980, but aside from modest advancements in printing technology and enormous advancements in subject matter, Cinefex 135 looks and reads pretty much like Cinefex 1.  Our editorial manifesto remains unchanged.

Which is not to say that we have no thoughts or opinions on the industry we cover and the films we write about.  We have plenty of them ­– just ask that fly on the wall in our editorial meetings.

Magazines used to be a one-way form of communication.  Aside from the rare letter or phone call, praising or criticizing what we had produced, we worked largely in a vacuum.  No more.  Today, with the Internet and social media, content provider and content consumer are intimately linked.  And we’re thinking maybe it’s time to loosen up a bit.

So we’re starting a Cinefex blog.  What we’ll be writing about is pretty open-ended, but we can see sharing our thoughts on some of the films of the day, the people and companies behind them, emerging trends and technologies, and the state of the business, which, with each passing year, seems to grow more and more worrying.  We may even give you an occasional look behind the scenes at Cinefex.  Our goal is to inform you, entertain you, maybe even provoke you.

From time to time, you’ll be hearing from Cinefex staffers whose names have graced our masthead and bylines for years, but in large part, the blog will be written and overseen by a Cinefex newcomer, whose name, nonetheless, will be familiar to many of you.

Graham Edwards is a British sci-fi/fantasy novelist with a passion for visual effects that led him, a couple of years ago, to dust off his old copies of Cinefex, re-read them from start to finish, and devote a sizable portion of his personal blog to examining and reviewing the contents of each and every one of our first 40 issues – a challenging task, winningly executed, that earned him many fans among the Cinefex staff and our readers.

That project eventually came to an end, but we hated to see Graham vanish into the ether, so we invited him to examine the art of Cinefex journalism from a different perspective by covering Ron Howard’s Grand Prix racing film, Rush, for our upcoming issue.  Having made him one offer he couldn’t refuse, we decided to go for another and invite him to be the primary voice of the Cinefex blog.  We had him at ‘hello.’  Graham is a gifted writer, with an fine grasp of visual effects art and technology, and though he’s not about to give up writing fiction – yet, anyway – we’re extremely pleased to have him on board as an adjunct Cinefex staff member.

Graham’s first Cinefex blog will appear tomorrow.  Read it.  Enjoy it.  Share it.  And by all means, tell us what you think about it.  Our future content will be informed by your comments.

6 thoughts on “Cinefex Unchained

  1. Thanks, Simon! Stand by for Graham’s first column. He’ll be posting daily this week, then weekly on Tuesdays, thereafter.

  2. Congratulations, Don! Glad to see you’re still going strong by entering the blogosphere! – Michael Kaplan, former editor/designer Cinefantastique Magazine

  3. Thanks, Michael! We both cut our journalistic teeth on Cinefantastique. It’s been a long journey.

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