Cover of issue number 1
Publisher Don Shay
Editor Don Shay
Associate Editor S.S. Wilson
Circulation Manager JoDyne Duncan
Editorial Consultant Robert P. Everett
Editorial Services Ann Dredla

Into the V'ger Maw with Douglas Trumbull

With only nine months remaining before its world premiere, Douglas Trumbull stepped in as director of special effects for Star Trek — The Motion Picture. Five hundred effects shots later, the multimillion dollar space epic was completed — on schedule. Trumbull discusses with candor the organizational and technical shortcomings which led to the dismissal of the original effects unit, and his own subsequent efforts to salvage the beleaguered production. In addition to his personal redesign of the effects sequences, Trumbull details the extensive research and development effort, the crushing workload, and the specific techniques employed in achieving many of Star Trek’s most spectacular moments. Interview by Don Shay.

Creating an Alien Ambiance

Author Don Shay
Focus Alien (1979)
Pages 34-71

As had no other film before, Alien was utterly successful in attaining a convincing depiction of alien lifeforms, artifacts and environs. Conceived first in the mind of Screenwriter Dan O’Bannon, and then translated into visual terms by surrealist painter H.R. Giger, Alien was not only a consummate shocker, but also a work of great aesthetic virtuosity. Particularly demanding was the alien polymorph — from its earliest forms constructed by Roger Dicken to the full-size monstrosity sculpted by H.R. Giger and activated by Carlo Rambaldi. Equally of note were the complex otherworld sets built under the supervision of production designer Michael Seymour, and the extensive special effects engineered by Brian Johnson and Nick Allder. These and other craftsmen discuss in detail the collaborative effort behind Alien’s pervasive atmosphere of eerie realism. Article by Don Shay.

— article descriptions via Cinefex 1, table of contents

Films

Alien (1979) 36, 43, 63-67
Alien (1979) 34-71
34, 37-38, 41-42, 45-46, 49-50, 52-54, 57-58, 60-62, 65-72
Altered States (1980) 6, 12
Empire Strikes Back (1980) 39, 68
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) 4-33
1-2, 5-6, 9-10, 12-14, 16-18, 20-22, 24-26, 28-31, 33

People

Abel, Robert 6, 8, 15, 27
Allder, Nick 39-40, 51-52, 55, 59-63, 65, 67-68, 71
45, 54
Dykstra, John 4, 6, 12, 16, 20, 27, 32, 39
Jein, Greg 15, 19
Trumbull, Douglas 6, 10, 14, 20, 24-25, 29

Companies

Academy Awards 40
Apogee 4, 12-20, 27
Robert Abel and Associates 4, 6-7, 23, 28

Terms & Techniques

acid effects 56
58
aerial image 31
aerial perspective 19
air ram 52, 55
53
animation stand 8, 11, 20, 23-24, 27, 32
17, 21, 30
armatures 44
audio synthesizers 27
computer generated imagery 7
flying rigs 8, 20-23, 60
miniatures 15-19, 63
production design 8, 27, 39, 48, 51, 59, 63-65