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Industrial Light & Magic: The Art of Innovation Hardcover – November 1, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Industrial Light & Magic has created visual effects for hundreds of films, many of which are cultural and cinematic landmarks.  From the fantastic creatures and otherworldly environments of the Star Wars universe to the astounding dinosaurs of 'Jurassic Park', from the raging waters of 'A Perfect Storm' and dramatic power of 'Twister' to the extraordinary characters of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'Iron Man', the imagery created by ILM has fundamentally changed the face of filmmaking, and made it possible to tell stories and create visual experiences that could only have been dreamed of in the past. The goal for those who work at ILM has always been to find the most creative and effective way to realize the vision of a filmmaker - to bring to the screen an accurate representation of what the director has imagined.  At ILM, pushing the envelope of what is possible both creatively and technologically, is a way of life.

About the Author

Pamela Glintenkamp is an award-winning documentary media producer. The subjects her films have explored include Frank Lloyd Wright, Vermeer, the photography and politics of Tina Modotti and the architecture of Frank Gehry. Her work has been presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery, and on public television. Glintenkamp has also been a media consultant to the Stanley Kubrick Archive in London. From 2001 - 2003 she was the producer of the Lucasfilm History project. The outcome of the 135 interviews she conducted for the Project was a complete oral history archive of the first 25 years of Lucasfilm. 

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810998025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810998025
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1.2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #865,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Length: 1:36 Mins
The two earlier books from ILM were Industrial Light & Magic: The Art of Special Effects in 1987 and Industrial Light & Magic: Into the Digital Realm in 1996.

This new 360-page hardcover features 43 films from 1995 to 2011. Movies from before 1995 are featured in only a few pages since they were in the earlier books. To give you an idea of how far it goes back, the first movie featured is Casper (1995).

The more recent movies are Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Transformers, Iron Man, and the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy and even Rango from 2011.

Each movie has a writeup focusing on the special effects used, and comes with accompanying film stills and photos from behind the scenes. The interesting stories and interviews from the film staff makes for a fascinating read. It's like finding out how magic tricks are done.
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Format: Hardcover
ILM obviously has bragging rights when it comes to movie visual effects. Paging through this wonderfully-illustrated, coffee-table tribute to ILM, it's staggering to see how many top-grossing and Oscar-winning movies ILM has been involved with. Pamela Glintenkamp's INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC, THE ART OF INNOVATION offers up a photos-and-text guided tour to those films and the ILM craftsmen responsible for some of the most creative imagery ever seen in motion pictures.

Glintenkap takes a chronological approach to the ILM story. After a brief chapter summarizing and illustrating the facility's 1975-1994 output, Glintenkamp recounts the last 16 years worth of flicks ILM has contributed to starting with CASPER in 1995 and ending with RANGO in 2011. In-between those two films are chapters on TWISTER, MEN IN BLACK, TITANIC, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, the various STAR WARS episodes, PERFECT STORM, MUMMY RETURNS, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN & all the sequels, IRON MAN, WAR OF THE WORLDS, AVATAR, etc. Each film gets a four-ten page write-up with lots of well-reproduced, mostly-color photographs. Visually, the book is a delight.

Interwoven with the visuals are comments from George Lucas and various ILM stalwarts such as Ken Ralston, Dennis Muren, John Knoll, Stefen Fangmeier, Lorne Peterson, Roger Guyett, Eric Brevig, Jason Smith, Habib Zargarpour, Rob Coleman, Willi Geiger and Jim Mitchell as to how they created all that on-screen magic. I found their observations quite interesting.

If you're a movie buff, you'll obviously want to put INDUTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC, THE ART OF INNOVATION on your Christmas want list. It's an appealing and informative overview of a top-notch film effects organization at work. Recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a huge fan of the first 2 ILM books, published in 1986 and 1996 respectively, and after no third book followed in 2006, I assumed that there wouldn't be one. I was very excited to discover via J.W. Rinzler's Twitter feed that there would be a new ILM coffee table book published and looked forward to it with eager anticipation. Much to my dismay, this third book was quite a let down. It is essentially just a listing of many ILM film projects largely since 1996, many given between 2 to 4 pages, with some stills and text, but I wasn't really looking for a travelogue of sorts of ILM's films, I wanted a continuation of what the first 2 books provided: an in-depth overview of the various advances, changes and breakthroughs since 1996 for ILM, focusing on the tools and techniques developed and utilized in that time. Sure, the text covers some of that here and there, but it feels very limited. The imagery in the book is especially a letdown. Almost all the photos are of the finished effects shots, not a lot of photos of behind-the-scenes work. Yes, as someone who has studied computer animation in school, I realize that photos of people sitting in front of a monitor are not exciting, but how about a section showing photos of the innards of the new Letterman Digital Arts center, how about a chapter devoted to the changes in computing power over the last 15 years, how about showing a progression of a shot through its various stages, from green screen plate to finished composite (especially for some films like the Star Wars prequels)? The earlier books broke down to chapters about techniques, and the text in the second book was very informative about the changes to the tools and technologies as ILM moved into the digital age. The book isn't without value, but compared to the first two, and also the terrific Making of Star Wars and Making of Empire Strikes Back books of the last few years, it is a letdown from my perspective.
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