Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
We're looking for reporters for the LFF
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

05 December 2011
Pamela Glintenkamp

Big Bad Book Of Bill Murray: A Critical Appreciation Of The World’s Finest Actor, The
4 Star Empire Rating
They Drew As They Pleased: The Hidden Art Of Disney’s Golden Age
3 Star Empire Rating
2001 File, The
4 Star Empire Rating
Woody Allen: A Retrospective
5 Star Empire Rating
Thunderbirds: The Vault
4 Star Empire Rating

Woody Allen: A Retrospective
5 Star Empire Rating
Ghostbusters: The Ultimate Visual History
5 Star Empire Rating
Charlie Chaplin Archives, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Saturday Night Live: The Book
5 Star Empire Rating
Grand Budapest Hotel, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Industrial Light & Magic: The Art Of Innovation

submit to reddit

The thirs in a trilogy of books about ILM, The Art Of Innovation was perhaps a tougher job to do than the other volumes. While the previous books — The Art Of Special Effects covers ’75-’85, Into The Digital Realm covers ’86-’96 — captured how the state of ILM’s art came on in leaps and bounds while covering films swathed in a nostalgic glow of our childhoods, Pamela Glintenkamp’s book covers the facility’s output over the past 16 years and is more about how a digital toolset has been refined on a mixed bag of modern flicks. You may not feel the same way about Chronicles Of Narnia as you do about E. T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, but this is still gripping, indispensable stuff.
Covering films from Caspar (ILM’s first lead digital character) to Rango (ILM’s first completely animated feature), Glintenkamp’s MO is oral histories of movies where visual effects get above-the-title billing (the Star Wars prequels, Pirates Of The Caribbean, the Transformers trilogy, Avatar) and films where effects are bit-players lurking in the background (ILM were asked to play down their contribution to Saving Private Ryan to maintain its in-camera reputation). You will become intimate with such tech terms as fluid sim, matchmoving and — hooray! — subsurface scattering, but there is a lot of talk about character and craft as well. From the stop-motion jerkiness put into the CG Martians in Mars Attacks! to animators modelling Transformer Jetfire on Rocky’s Burgess Meredith, it gets under the skin of the creative process as well as the rendering process.
Within the film-by-film analysis, there are some industry insights (Dennis Muren talks about how ILM still have to compete for Steven Spielberg gigs), backstage gossip (ILM got caught up in the legal wrangling over Galaxy Quest’s ribbing of Star Trek), some in-jokes (because the space battle in Sith had everything but the kitchen sink in it, the effects team put one in) and some fun anecdotes (when J. J. Abrams asked George Lucas for advice when starting Star Trek, Lucas responded: “Put lightsabers in it”).
The book kickstarts with enthusiastic (if over-written) forewords from Jon Favreau (ILM add “the grist of imagination to the mill of innovation”) and Gore Verbinski (directors feed ILM “the elixir of problem-solving”), and dotted around are essays by key ILMers (Muren, John Knoll) plus lovely, inspirational stories from staffers about how they got their jobs. Yet perhaps best of all are the 400 finished film shots, often huge reproductions of some
of blockbuster cinema’s most iconic images. Great for any coffee table, wire-frame or otherwise.

Reviewed by Ian Freer

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

Jessica Chastain On The Martian
On becoming an astronaut and rescuing Matt Damon AGAIN

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

Hallowed Ground: Folk Horror In British Film
Ten tales from our island's dark past

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)