Watch This: The Cutting Edge of Special Effects… In 1984

We find ourselves going down odd little rabbit-holes of movie history sometimes, and it can be pretty rewarding. Like in the case of this well-made, though appealingly cheesy, hour-long doc about movie effects – both visual and sound – from 1984. This period was an important time in the development of these effects, with many technicians still in the business who had gained a mastery of optically printed compositions, and a new generation just beginning to grasp the possibilities that digital technology offered.

It’s amusing in hindsight to see how much time is spent with the makers of ANDROID (1982), an ambitious, but not especially well-executed sci-fi movie. The whole presentation is interesting now in ways that were not necessarily obvious in 1984. The workspaces, the laborious techniques that are now achieved with the push of a computer key, in many ways, it is most fascinating as the end of an era rather than the beginning of one.


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