‘Game of Thrones’ Dragons Were Inspired By…Chickens?

Game of Thrones dragons

Each season, we get to see new behind-the-scenes videos detailing the impressive work of the visual effects teams for HBO’s Game of Thrones and how they’re able to generate some of the most iconic images in fantasy from scratch. Take, for instance, Daenerys Targaryen’s three dragons: Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal. A company called Pixomondo has been in charge of bringing Dany’s “children” to life since season 2, and now they’ve revealed the unlikely inspiration for the fearsome winged creatures from our real-life animal kingdom.
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most influential visual effects movies

In honor of its 20th anniversary, the Visual Effects Society – a professional organization of artists, producers, technologists, and more who work in the entertainment industry – polled its nearly 3,400 members and determined a ranking of the most influential visual effects movies of all time. And since this is the internet, we’re legally bound to examine (and potentially argue with) a list like this after it’s published. So let’s take a look and see which films made the cut.
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The Weta Effect

With the advancement of technology happening at an exponential rate, it seems like almost anything is possible, especially on the big screen. Special effects are more advanced than they’ve ever been, allowing entire cities and civilizations to be destroyed with the click of a mouse (all right, it’s a little more complicated than that). But is that a good thing?

A new video essay, called The Weta Effect, offers the hypothesis that the reason people seem to not be as impressed by blockbusters and their special effects over the past decade is that special effects look too polished now. Technology allows the creation of such unrealistic characters, creatures and locations in such a realistic way, that it’s become harder to suspend out disbelief to accept them as they are. Does that make sense?

Find out more by watching the Weta Effect video below! Read More »

Special Effects in the 80s

Earlier this week, we featured a little infographic counting down the biggest movie sets in the history of cinema. This look into the practical sets from decades past shows both how impressive and large some physical sets used to be, and also just how few giant film sets are built today, in favor of digital effects. But even the world of special effects wasn’t so technologically advanced. And much like extensive practical set building, the use of less-sophisticated but still impressive special effects is something that seems to be missing from today’s movies.

So if you need to escape the present day for awhile, check out this vintage one-hour NOVA special that takes a look at the magic of special effects in the 80s, focusing on films such as Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Watch the NOVA segment on special effects below! Read More »