Sometimes we just can’t decide what to put on the cover of our new issue. Given the lineup of great films in Cinefex 159, is it any wonder we went for one of our legendary double cover options?
On one cover you’ll find a glorious portrait of Thanos, the undoubted star of Avengers: Infinity War, courtesy of our talented friends at Digital Domain. The other cover rewards with a stunning image of Parzival, the virtual reality avatar of Ready Player One’s Wade Watts, crafted by those clever artisans at Industrial Light & Magic.
Whether you end up with Thanos or Parzival – or complete your collection by grabbing both! – you’ll get the same great articles inside. Here’s Cinefex editor-in-chief Jody Duncan to guide you through the contents of our June 2018 issue, Cinefex 159.
Jody Duncan – From the Editor’s Desk
A friend recently pointed out that while we tend to think of ‘nostalgia’ as a benign term, its suffix suggests that it is a malady of sorts, and those who wallow in it are exhibiting unhealthy states of mind. Pardon my pathology, then, but as I considered our new issue 159, I became curious as to where we – ‘we’ meaning Cinefex, cinema and the art and craft of visual effects – were 100 issues ago. ‘What was going on with issue 59?’ I wondered. So I turned to the handy ‘Cinefex back issues’ page on our website to find out.
On the cover of that issue was a shot from James Cameron’s True Lies, Cinefex story written by founder Don Shay. A blurb on the web page describes the film’s main visual effects vendor, Digital Domain, as a ‘startup company.’ Twenty-four years later, that same startup, along with Weta Digital (only a year old when Cinefex 59 hit the stands) delivered some of the most extraordinary computer character animation ever seen on screen with Thanos, in Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War, which graces the cover of our current issue.
The True Lies page also notes the film’s 100 digital and traditional visual effects shots. A hundred visual effects shots barely gets you five minutes into Infinity War, which boasted a total of nearly 3,000! Another difference? Cameron hung poor Jamie Lee Curtis from a hovering helicopter to get his shots in True Lies. Today, that task would fall to a digital double, and Jamie Lee could stay comfortably in her trailer.
Ah, yes, things are so different now … how I long for the good old days of slow-speed white Ford Bronco freeway chases and $1.15 a gallon gasoline and The X-Files and Sheryl Crow and Dumb and Dumber … wait, huh?
Okay, enough of that. We’re all happy to be in the present, covering the colossal Avengers: Infinity War, along with Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, Pacific Rim Uprising and the artful and intriguing Annihilation, from Ex Machina director Alex Garland. The successful marriage of visual effects and art department concepts in this last is of particular interest.
Enjoy the summer!
Cinefex 159 is on newsstands now, and available to order at our online store. If you’re a subscriber, your copy is already punching its way towards your mailbox. And don’t forget our iPad edition, featuring tons more photographs – many of them exclusive to Cinefex – and stunning video content.