In this week’s podcast we talk to Don Shay, the publisher of the world’s leading authority and publication of record for the visual effects industry: Cinefex.
“The art of visual effects is to seamlessly combine what is real and what is created. Cinefex elegantly documents all the behind-the-scenes hard work that goes into making effects look effortless. For an intricate study of the science behind the ‘magic,’ there is no other source than Cinefex.” – Stan Winston, Character Creator
“Cinefex conveys to film enthusiasts a passion for special effects once limited only to its technical artisans. Detailed visual coverage and revealing insights into the cutting edge of technology make Cinefex required reading for anyone interested in the new era of filmmaking.” – George Lucas, Director/Filmmaker
For 25 years Cinefex has been the most influencial magazine in the visual effects industry. Started by one man it remains independently owned and run. The magazine is the publication of record for the effects industry for over a quater of a century.
The first ever issue of Cinefex covered two films: Star Trek the Motion Picture and Alien. Don Shay comments that if he could change this now, he would have swapped the front and back covers, making Alien the lead story.
The one time Japanese publisher of Cinefex published an unlicensed book on Star Wars. The issue was pulled, but a few copies were sold before the rest were destroyed. This image was from one of the few copies to have ever appeared on ebay. It is extremely rare and valuable.
Aliens is one of the issues that was reprinted in French and later as part of a book which reprinted three of the films Cinefex stories in one special reprint book.
For a while as the industry moved from mainly physical effects to digital visual effects, it seemed like there an ever increasingly number of images of “a guy pointing at a monitor.” In reality, since the minor magazine redesign three years ago not a single such image has made it into the magazine.
Cinefex is so influential that over the years the raw unedited versions of several films have been reprinted for Oscar campaigns. These limited edition re prints – never sold and only distributed directly by the studios – have become collector’s items in their own right.
The next issue of Cinefex will feature The Chronicles of Narnia, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Zathura, The Legend of Zorro, Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, and King Kong. This is extemely fitting given both Cinefex’s and Shay’s affection for the original film, and the role it played in starting Shay’s interest in the area of special effects years ago.