4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2011
This large coffee table book is a rich treasure chest of unseen photographs and memories from the near 50 year history of the BBC Visual Effects Department. Although some will be disappointed that the book doesn't cover the work on programmes such as Doctor Who in more detail the volume covers a huge range of productions and the wide scope of services provided by the unit.
Those of us who grew up during the 1970s and 80s will be familiar with the author's work particularly on Doctor Who, Blake's Seven and Red Dwarf. There insight is excellent. It is also fitting that the opening section of the book pays tribute to the likes of Jack Kine, Bernard Wilkie, Michaeljohn Harris and Ian Scoones. I have been fortunate to have met all of these men. They were childhood heros to me and it is fitting that history has this book as a celebration of their work and all the designers and assistants who followed.
Well done Mat and Mike!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2011
It is sad but the BBC got such a bad rep for effects because of shoestring budgets and poor quality. This book redresses the balance and shows the astonishing miniatures and props made for BBC programs over the years. Work includes the well known stuff like DR Who but also showcased is the amazing work for drama, kids tv and comedies.
There are great photos of the sets and models and interesting facts. Sometimes during editing a programme the effects are ruined, as with the infamous Casualty plane crash!
This book shows the hard work, enthusiasm and detail that went into every project.
It is a good book, a little brief on detail in some areas but very enjoyable.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2012
An excellent book looking at BBC visual effects,rather unusualy it hardly covers Dr Who or Blakes 7
prefering to give greater cover to the many other shows and dramas they worked on.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 August 2011
This book was utterly excellent, lots of really nice photos and info. It covers many of the BBC shows done since the 50s, and has many great colour photos of the models etc being set up to be shot in such shows as Doctor Who, Blakes 7, Red Dwarf, Space Vets etc. More a book for those interested in the history of the department, rather than a book for people trying to do their own practical visual fx at home. However, it does state on the cover that it is a "history", so it effectively does what it says on the tin. Well worth the money.
on 21 February 2011
For anyone interested in how visual FX are created in films and television, this book is a useful insight. It's pitched at those with an "interest" in the subject rather than the "technician" trying to create those items.
It will tell you that certain items were created from expanded polystyrene blocks, or using fibreglass resin ... but it doesn't go into depth about the actual creation. That's understandable else it would have run to 1000+ pages, (and probably would lose a lot of readers in the process)
It also explains that fire scenes are mostly achieved with smoke and lighting, and perhaps using a flame fork powered by propane for flames. It also explains how models and minitures had to be filmed at slow speed in order for flames/smoke/explosions were in scale.
As I say, it tells you HOW an effect was created without going into a lot of technical details.
I'm not an avid book reader, but with all the pictures and informative text, I read it from cover to cover in a week. Well worth the money.