Episode 013 January 2015
Mike Gower chats with us about the making of Poltergeist, and we learn how to make ectoplasmic goo and body-sausage water guns.
About The Optical
Host Mark Boszko takes you on a journey back through the annals of Cinefex magazine, talking about the movies and topics they covered 30+ years ago. We talk to people involved in the films, people who make movies, and people who love movies, and have a fun time doing it.
Special thanks to Cinefex for access to these out-of-print back issues.
Even though these are out of print, you can now download and read along with Issue 10 — and every other back issue of Cinefex — in the Cinefex iPad App. Download the free iPad app now!
Mike Gower enjoys designing things, watching movies, and frolicking near the Jacaranda trees.
- Poltergeist (1982)
- Cinefex number 10
- Revisiting Cinefex (10): Poltergeist and Firefox by Graham Edwards
- Poltergeist trailer
- Jacaranda trees
- Who really directed Poltergeist? (warning: a bit of a conspiracy vibe here)
- Tobe Hooper went on to direct Lifeforce (1985), based on The Space Vampires, by Colin Wilson
- TV Station Sign-off
- TV-Signoffs.com archives footage of TV sign-off clips.
- Royal Wedding (1951), where Fred Astaire dances on the ceiling
- 60 Minutes segment interviewing Steven Spielberg c.1982 on E.T., Poltergeist and his career to that point.
- Alien (1979)
- Twilight Zone - “Little Girl Lost”, which you can watch free on Hulu
- “G is for Greenscreen” on the Cinefex Blog, by Graham Edwards, talks a bit about ILM’s bluescreen techniques
- The Optical, Episode 005 has our talk with Ed Marsh about the replacement animation used for the Pilsbury Dough Boy.
- On Wikipedia, the article on methyl cellulose (Dow brand name METHOCEL™) has a section on its use in special effects work
- Slow-motion footage of a water balloon popping
- Lensbaby lenses
- The Optical, Episode 001 has our discussion of the blinding lights used in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
- Poltergeist Making-of Featurette from 1982, showing the cameraman strapped into the gimbal-mounted room, and other great behind-the-scenes footage.
- Diphenyl oxalate (the glow-stick chemical) on Wikipedia
- Cyalume idIRt
- Vistavision format specs, at The Widescreen Museum
- A version of the house implosion story with both Richard Edlund and Gene Whitman “armed with pump-action shotguns”, and with a great photo of the house’s final resting place.
- The Optical, Episode 006 contains our talk with Thaine Morris and his use of shotguns for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
- Retro Holiday Inn neon sign, photo by Bruce Aleksander on Flickr
- Poltergeist is German for "noisy ghost"