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Special Effects: The History and Technique Hardcover – April 3, 2007


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Hardcover, April 3, 2007
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Billboard Books; 2nd edition (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823084086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823084081
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 9.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Rickett tells the story of that perennial box-office draw, special effects, from "trick photography" through today's astonishing, computer-assisted cinematic legerdemain. Individual chapters examine components of the special effects artist's toolkit. Optical illusions, models, and animation are each dissected and appreciated, and ditto makeup and sound effects. The chapter headed "Physical Effects" gives simple instructions for creating the illusion of a snowstorm; "fake snow is infinitely preferable to the real thing," Rickett says. Okay, so most of the tricks described aren't fit for home application, but then why should they be? This is a measured account of an integral part of what makes today's movies, as always, bigger than big and huger than huge. Fascinating stuff for gadget freaks, sf geeks, plain old film fans, and picture-book peepers. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Richard Rickitt captures the essence of what inspires effects technicians to push the boundaries of creative film-making into the future.' -- Richard Taylor - Design and Effects Supervisor, Weta Workshop, winner of 5 Academy Awards for Lord o 'This splendid volume is a tribute to the great effects pioneers whose innovations continue to inspire new generations of artists.' -- Ray Harryhausen --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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I got the book for my boyfriend.
Ekat
If you have even the smallest interest in special effects, filmmaking, or even general film history, you must own a copy of this brilliant new book - it's amazing!
kenneth vernon
Every page has a beautifully layout with many colour diagrams and stills from films.
"amerithew"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By kenneth vernon on February 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
WOW! If you have even the smallest interest in special effects, filmmaking, or even general film history, you must own a copy of this brilliant new book - it's amazing!
Though at first I figured `Special Effects: The History and Technique' seemed expensive, I thought I'd give it a try since so few books on this subject are ever published. Also, because I am a film studies lecturer, I need to keep up to date with books that are published on the subject. It turned out to be the BEST BUY I have made in a long time.
The book starts with an `overview if the first 100 years of special effects' and perfectly summarises the first century of the commercial cinema. The author writes about the film pioneers, the formation of the studio system, the coming of sound, the challenge of TV, the changes in society and audiences - all the influences that affected the type of films that were made in each decade. He then gives a summary of the most important effects films of each decade and even includes profiles of important effects directors from Alfred Hitchcock to James Cameron.
Chapter Two teaches you everything you need to know about the basics of cinema technology - like how film and emulsions work, how cameras, lenses and projectors work, the physics of light and color etc. The author then explains the basics of traditional optical work and, with the help of fantastic graphic illustrations (there are hundreds of these thru the book), shows how an optical printer works and details the various bluescreen travelling matte systems and their variations like the Dunning Pomeroy Process and Sodium Vapor travelling mattes. There is a stack of examples and images from many films as well as interviews with people who worked on movies such as Terminator and Superman.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By cybermark@tinyworld.co.uk on November 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book covers every aspect of the special effects industry. From the early days of using mirrors, to George Lucas Starwars saga, everything is covered in a highly detailed book. There are also countless images and interviews on offer. Richard Rickett definately did his research, and it paid off in this valuable and informative book. Don't just take my word for it though, buy the book and you won't be disappointed!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Simon Harryhausen on November 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Special Effects is THE BEST book you could wish for on the subject. I have a shelf full of old, an mostly inaccurate books about special effects, but with this new book I could throw the rest away. Also, don't bother with magazines like Cinefex anymore, which are very dry and heavy going. this book is a pleasure to read and has interviews with everyone who is important in the business. There are hundreds of cool photos as well which makes it very good value. Anyone who works in special effects, or is just interested in the movies should read this book. Congratulations to the author Mr Rickitt who has condensed 100 years of movie magic into a single lavish book. Dont take my word for it - BUY IT!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John on May 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Once I picked up the Special Effects book, I seriously could not put it down. This book is truly amazing as it serves not only as an information source, but it is also very entertaining. The first half of the book goes through the decades starting with the 1900's. In each time period Richard discuses the new advancements in film making during that decade, along with writing about some of the best movies form that time. Some of the classics include Singing in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, and many Hitchcock movies. The second half of the book focuses on individual aspects of movie magic. From make-up and costumes, to lighting and pyrotechnics. The book cover many recent movies like Titanic, Star Wars Episode I and The Matrix. I strongly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the entertainment field. The book is easy moderate to read and full of amazing color pictures that you won't find anywhere else. Some of the pictures are accurate diagrams of film processes, such as animation, digital effects and camera techniques. I feel that form reading this book I gained a lot of basis knowledge needed to better understand the industry. Did you know that most of the snow used in movies is simply shredded paper? Or how about the fact that 90% of dialogue is movies is recorded and dubbed after the movie is shot! Find out hundreds of more amazing facts in Richard Rickitt's Special Effects: The History and Technique.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Randy Moore on January 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'm a film studies tutor and reccommend this title to all of my students. Why has the publisher/author allowed it to go out of print? This is the best book ever written on special/visual effects and one of the best introductions to film making and film technology generally. PLEASE REPRINT THIS BOOK and ideally, make a softback edition at a price my kids can better afford. THANKS!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marque Pierre Sondergaard on December 25, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Large and luxuriant, this volume is built for comfort rather than for speed. Intended for the coffee table, it cover the entire history of special effects with generous portions devoted to the recent contributions of digital effects artists. You won't find detailed tutorials for Maya, but you''ll be able to read all the basic theory behind camera work, optical effects, model making, make-up, matte painting, animation and audio effects.
Nearly all the right companies have been contacted, from Cinesite to ILM and on to Sony Pictures Imageworks. On top of the plain-talking and superb examples of digital creativity cited, the book is illustrated with great photos and diagrams. The only slight drawback is the price tag, but quality doesn't always come cheap.
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