About this project
If you missed our Kickstarter campaign, don't worry! You can find out how to get this digital archive of the entire history of modern visual effects at the New Scribbler Press website. It will be available as part of the already-available Cinefex for iPad app starting in January 2014.
We'd like to thank all of you visual effects professionals, hobbyists, and enthusiasts, we not only reached our initial funding goal, we also became
the 4th most funded publishing project in Kickstarter history!
From all of us here at New Scribbler Press — A Heartfelt Thank You!
What Is Cinefex Magazine?
Cinefex is an indispensable resource for anyone who loves the process of creating movie magic. Whether you work in the visual effects or animation industry, are a filmmaking or effects hobbyist, or just love to hear behind-the-scenes stories of some of the past decade's most visually significant and incredible films, Cinefex magazine will inform, awe, and fascinate you.
Long before DVD extras and YouTube behind-the-scenes videos, Cinefex took its place as the only in-depth chronicle of what was really happening in the studios throughout the golden age of visual effects—and that depth has been remarkable. It is an era of filmmaking in which every major project brought something utterly new and unique that had never before been attempted, requiring that artists fully understand the challenge before a solution was devised. Within the pages of Cinefex, and for a long time virtually nowhere else, the world's most creative pioneers and legends in VFX have been eager to share everything they knew and had devised working on these projects.
Cinefex is also a vital historical document from an era before digital tools took over and abstracted the visual-problem-solving process. But many current filmmakers are smartly mining practical techniques and combining them with the best and most accessible digital tools to produce amazing images, without invoking a crushing budget. Cinefex is the best — and really, the ONLY — resource for in-depth, detailed information about how to get amazing shots in-camera and use other technology, from motion control, pyrotechnics and prosthetics to digital compositing and computer graphics, to take the audience to places they've never been before.
What We Are Doing
We wanted to bring new life to this archive of VFX film history, so we are licensing over thirty years worth of the most rare and costly issues of Cinefex to bring it to your iPad—every back issue from issue 1 with behind-the-scenes coverage of Star Trek and Alien, to issue 126 featuring Thor and X-Men. (Dozens of these have been sold out for years or decades — we conservatively calculated the cost to acquire the entire collection in print at $2500 today, based on the latest eBay auctions!)
Through this digital archive, more aspiring VFX artists and film fans will have access to this indispensable resource. In the Cinefex Classic Collection, you will be able to access the pioneering era of modern visual effects anytime, anywhere—with every name marked-up and searchable, every technique, tool, or experiment from the Oscar-winning masters of the art just a keyword search away. You can pore over whole galleries of behind-the-scenes photos you can’t get anywhere else, from films like Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, and Blade Runner, to name just a few from a list of several hundred.
"Cinefex is the one true source. Read it to expand your vision." - James Cameron, Director/Filmmaker
Why Is This So Cool?
To provide the best interactive experience possible, we have custom developed our own publishing platform, and are developing a reading, browsing and search environment just for the archived issues of Cinefex magazine. Instead of simply making PDFs of the pages, like more tablet magazines out there, we undertook the monumental task of adding features that we think are even more valuable to your creative development. Here’s how the digital archive we are creating is different:
• Searchability - Each issue and article is being individually scanned, unless a digital master exists, optimized to OCR with proofing for typographical and formatting errors, and marked up with custom XML tags that refer to whether a searchable term refers to a movie, person, company, or technique. Text can be selected, highlighted, even copied. You can easily find all mentions of the director, picture, artist, studio or technique you’re looking for.
• Quality / Beauty - Even if you’ve read Cinefex for years, you’ve never seen it like this before. We have taken a lot of trouble to ensure that images can be enlarged to the finest detail on a retina display, are optimally adjusted for sharpness and level balance, and are more color accurate and more beautiful than ever before. This is the way Cinefex was meant to be seen.
• Ease of access - Cinefex is huge, with many issues often weighing in at over 150 pages, and the full print set literally weighing over 100 pounds, containing millions of words and thousands of one-of-a-kind photos. One article about an ambitious feature like Ghostbusters (Issue 17) might contain, oh, say, 25,881 words and 88 images. Yet the digital edition will be so efficient that, if access to Cinefex was what you cared about most, you could carry the entire set on a single 1.4 pound iPad.
• Completeness - Early issues of Cinefex in particular were notorious for selling out. Popular issues (like the first 20, covering movies from Star Trek and Alien to Return of the Jedi and Tron) sold out almost immediately, and have been unavailable as anything other than black and white photocopies ever since. The Cinefex Classic Collection includes the entire print run of this indispensable resource.
• Durability - No more dog-eared corners and finger-printed photos. You may find yourself among readers who don’t yet own an iPad, but plan to buy one just to gain access to this collection.
We first brought our idea to preserve these rare and out-of-print issues to the folks at Cinefex a couple of years ago. They liked the concept, and offered us the opportunity to begin with their most recent issues of Cinefex. We are proud to say that after a year of work, you can download it today to read the current issues, complete with additional content not found in the print edition.
Now that we have accomplished that, we have been given the green light to pursue our original dream of archiving the early issues of Cinefex magazine covering this fundamental and pioneering time in movie magic.
How The Funds Will Be Used
Our small team of three people has been hard at work on this project for the better part of two years. We've devoted hundreds of uncompensated hours to this, because we wanted to create an archive that people like us—movie fans, filmmakers, and VFX artists alike—would find valuable and relevant.
Getting to the point that we are today has been a monumental task. We knew when we started Cinefex for the iPad, that the money it took to create this wouldn't come close to compensating the amount of work that would be required to build our own platform to deliver it. But we are committed to doing it this way because we truly believe in the value of this project.
Some of the funds raised in this Kickstarter will go to pay Cinefex licensing fees allowing us to create this archive—a fair agreement considering the unimaginable work that the small-staffed magazine has poured into this publication over the last 30 years. The majority of the funds raised, however, will go directly to the costs it takes to bring these archives into a new format.
Much of the work that we are doing is painstaking—like translating the original printed text into machine-editable text while proofing for typographical and formatting errors, marking-up each word by hand with custom tags, and optimally adjusting thousands of photos for sharpness and level balance. As of today, we are on issue 70 of the 126 back issues and have about six months' more work to do to reign in this gigantic collection.
By becoming a backer of our project, you give us the means to make it the best we can make it for you, while providing us with your vote of confidence that this has been an undertaking worth pursuing.
Our Special Curated Collections
Mid-Campaign Added Tier Rewards
— The Visual Effects Artist Collections —
We heard your request for more Cinefex collections to choose from for your backer reward, so we are adding 3 curated collections just for you! They are: the $25 pledge level for The James Cameron Collection (8 issues), the $40 pledge level for The Rick Baker Collection (13 issues), and the $60 pledge level for The Stan Winston Collection (18 issues). Details of these backer rewards can be found below.
If you want to receive multiple collections as your backer reward, you may choose to add on these collections to any pledge. Simply add up the total amount of each collection that you wish to receive, and pledge at that level. For example, if you would like the Stan Winston collection (a $60 pledge level) and the Star Trek collection (a $35 pledge level), simply make a donation at $95 or more, and select one of those pledge rewards.
After the project is successfully funded, we will send out a survey to collect your information, and give you the opportunity to tell us about any add-on rewards that you had pledged for.
We are excited to offer these specially curated collections to you for our final week of this campaign, and we hope you are as well!
— Industrial Light & Magic: The Art of Innovation —
To show our appreciation for your $1,000 donation, we will send you a signed copy of Industrial Light & Magic: The Art of Innovation. This 360-page hardcover book extensively details the history of 43 ILM films from 1995 to 2011, and will be signed by every single supervisor pictured in the two-page spread within the book. They are Dennis Muren, John Knoll, Scott Farrar, Roger Guyett, Pablo Helman, Bill George, Tim Alexander, Jeff White, Grady Cofer, Russell Earl, Craig Hammack, Lindy DeQuattro, & Kim Libreri. Each movie has a writeup focusing on behind-the-scenes photos and fascinating stories and interviews from the film staff. It's a captivating read with candid stories from the filmmakers, artists, and technicians who were there, changing the history of cinema with their early work.
AND with this donation level, we will send you two full collections of the Cinefex Classic for iPad when it is released.
— Peek Behind The Magic Tour with Alec Gillis —
To show our appreciation for a $1,000 donation, you and a friend will get a tour of AMALGAMATED DYNAMICS STUDIOS in LA. This is a really cool thing, folks! After all, this is where Academy Award winning creatures were born, from Aliens and Starship Troopers, to The Hulk and Spiderman. This is a unique opportunity to see all those cool practical effects up close in person. AND, you get a meet and greet with ALEC GILLIS in his creature workshop.
And of course, to round out your whole practical effects experience, we will give you two full collections of the Cinefex Classic for iPad when it is released.
Our thanks for strategic planning and management for our Kickstarter campaign goes out to
Risks and challenges
We need to redesign the app to allow you to download issues via your Apple ID. This sounds trivial, but is actually a substantial piece of engineering, and we're a small team that has exhausted our resources just getting to this point.
And then there's preparation of the issues themselves: high-quality scanning and de-screening, formatting for the tablet, OCR (optical character recognition) scanning so that the issues can be made searchable and can be re-laid out to be as legible and reader-friendly as possible on an iPad.
We want to make it easy for you to take a name or topic, search the entire back catalog for it, and get instant, useful, keyword-driven results - whether or not you have the catalog on the tablet, and even if you don't yet own the relevant issues.
We have already done the hardest work - completing the platform and getting it out into the real world, where real people are already enjoying current issues of Cinefex on their iPads. Now we just face the sheer amount of data required to take several linear-feet of printed matter and make it easily available to visual effects professionals, film students, and movie buffs alike.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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