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How to Destroy a City, and Other Special Effects: Inspiration from the SFX greats to make movies on your phone

Ian Failes

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20th century, 21st century, Film production: technical & background skills, Prose: non-fiction

How movie special effects were first created and how they are achieved today, and how you can create your own special effects using just a smartphone.

This book delves into some of the greatest innovations in practical and digital effects seen on film, showcasing how particular shots, characters and creatures were made and revealing to the reader the techniques involved.

Special effects are regularly used to imagine alien worlds, place actors into exotic locations, create incredible action sequences and bring to life never-before-seen creatures and characters.

With the growth of personal computers, digital cameras and smart phones and tablets, many of the methods used by the world's best effects artists can also now be tried at home.

How To Destroy a City, and Other Special Effects offers a unique perspective on the most captivating effects shots in cinema history by outlining the key research and development, on-set solutions and software and hardware breakthroughs in photochemical processing, miniatures, animatronics, make-up, animation, stunts and computer graphics - and then introducing to the reader how they too can employ these techniques themselves.

The book is designed for aspiring filmmakers and special effects artists, as well as anyone looking to gain a comprehensive insight into the storytelling, art and technology behind the biggest and beloved films of recent times.

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Ian Failes

Ian Failes is a journalist with visual-effects trade publication fxguide. Based in Sydney, Australia, Ian has a background in law, but found his passion in watching and writing about films and visual effects.

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