Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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p. ix

I have had the opportunity and pleasure to work out some of the ideas in these pages at the 2010 conferences of the Society for Cognitive Study of the Moving Image and the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Speaking invitations to...

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Introduction: Beyond Spectacle

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pp. 1-10

Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, Iron Man, The Lord of the Rings—these are the kinds of movies that people think of when the subject of “special effects” comes up. The blue Na’vi of the planet Pandora, flying atop giant winged beasts; the diminutive...

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1. Through the Looking Glass

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pp. 11-55

The digital era in cinema challenges our understanding of the medium and not simply because of the shift to electronics from celluloid. It challenges us to think anew about the nature of realism in cinema and about the conjunction between art and...

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2. Painting with Digital Light

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pp. 56-98

Prolific Hollywood cinematographer Leon Shamroy worked for nearly a half-century and won two consecutive Oscars for cinematography. His work included such key genre pictures as You Only Live Once (1947)...

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3. Actors and Algorithms

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pp. 99-144

A decade into Hollywood’s digital revolution, Andrew Niccol wrote and directed S1m0ne (2002), a speculative fantasy in which film director Victor Taransky (Al Pacino) replaces a temperamental star (Winona Ryder) with a digital actor. His move saves the production...

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4. Digital Environment Creation

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pp. 145-182

Aerial flyovers—moving camera shots taken from a helicopter or an airplane—are a traditional way of introducing important story locations. In a helicopter shot in Bad Boys II (2003), the camera flies toward a Cuban beach and circles a mansion...

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5. Immersive Aesthetics

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pp. 183-220

Cinema marries a compelling presentation of sound and moving images to the depiction of what often are worlds of the imagination. The more perceptually convincing these imaginary worlds can be made to seem, the more virtual and immersive...

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Conclusion: The Pleasures of Illusion

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pp. 221-228

Visual effects were developed at cinema’s inception, building upon traditions for representing visual illusions that already existed in photography, theater, and other arts. Dan North has demonstrated how the practices of Victorian magic theater were incorporated...

Notes

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pp. 229-246

Index

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pp. 247-256