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The Visual Effects Producer: Understanding the Art and Business of VFX Paperback – 9 Oct 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press (9 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240812638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240812632
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 75,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"The Visual Effects Producer is absolutely essential reading!  Finance and Zwerman cover every aspect of producing visual effects in a clear and concise manner that will inform novices and industry veterans alike."

- Gale Anne Hurd, Producer (The Incredible Hulk, Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Aliens)

"This indispensable resource for VFX producers (and would-be VFX producers) is not only user friendly but jam packed with the information and techniques you'd otherwise have to learn the hard, painful and expensive way!"

- Jeffrey A. Okun, VFX Supervisor (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Blood Diamond, The Last Samurai)

"A must read for all filmmakers and aspiring filmmakers. The authors have combined wisdom and practicality to produce an extraordinary book that explains the business of producing VFX without losing sight of the art and magic."

- Yudi Bennett, Member of DGA and Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences; Frank Capra Award Recipient
(StarTrek Generations, Pleasantville)

About the Author

Charles Finance is a freelance VFX Producer and Supervisor and a member of the Visual Effects Society (VES), where he serves as co-chair of the Society's Awards Committee. After a stint in the U.S. Army as still photographer/cinematographer and earning his MA degree in Cinema from USC, he embarked on a career of producing and directing more than 70 non-theatrical films, most of them on scientific and technical subjects. His baptism in visual effects came in 1983, when producer Raffaella De Laurentiis asked him to take on the role of VFX Coordinator on David Lynch's Dune.

Upon completing Dune (which, with more than 500 optical effects, was one of the most visual effects-intensive films up to that time), he became VFX Production Manager at Van der Veer Photo Effects, where he helped guide effects production on Conan the Destroyer, Spacecamp and other features. In 1986 he co-founded Perpetual Motion Pictures, a full-service visual effects company that provided miniatures, matte paintings, blue screen photography, effects animation, and optical effects services to the feature film industry. At PMP - as the company became known - he contributed his talents as general manager as well as serving as its Visual Effects Producer. Since 1994, Mr. Finance has worked as a freelance VFX Producer, VFX Consultant, and occasional Supervisor. His credits include George of the Jungle, The Arrival, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and Dune. He served as on-set VFX Producer on Dungeons and Dragons and more recently as consultant on the TV series 24.
Ms. Zwerman is a highly respected Visual Effects Producer with an outstanding record of accomplishments in film production and visual effects. She began her career in film in New York, where she quickly rose through the ranks from Production Assistant to Assistant Director and Unit Production Manager in both films and commercials. She won a Grammy Award for "Best Concept Music Video” for producing the music video I'm Fat, starring Weird Al Yankovic. After moving to Hollywood she worked for several years as UPM and Post-Production Manager before making the leap to VFX Producer on the film Tall Tale. Since then, her credit has appeared on a successsion of high-profile feature motion pictures such as The Guardian, Men of Honor, Alien Resurrection, and Broken Arrow. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, and the Visual Effects Society. She is very active in these organizations: Chairperson of the Directors Guild of America's AD/UPM VFX/Digital Technology Committee (DGA); a board member of the Producers Guild of America's New Media Council (PGA); and Chair of the Visual Effects Society's Special Projects(VES). Over the past ten years she has planned and hosted numerous technology and visual effects seminars for these organizations and was honored with a Directors Guild of America Honor Plaque for extraordinary service to the guild's Technology Council. She continues to share her knowledge by leading VFX seminars at universities and film schools, teaching visual effects techniques to young professionals just entering the entertainment industry

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Format: Paperback
This book very well covers the full range of duties of a VFX Producer. It also covers some very good information on VFX Supervisors and the general working environment and interactions between the VFX Producer and others in both the VFX crew and the principle crew. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
"The Visual Effects Producer" is exactly what I was looking for. It gives overview of the process of creating VFX from concept to screen. It also give practical examples which I find very useful. It is a very good first step to VFX producing.

Gabriel Georgiev
Production manager
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Visual Effects Producer - ALl you will ever need!!! 9 Oct. 2009
By Jeffrey A. Okun - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have read this book -cover to cover- and must say that as a reference guide it is the most comprehensive, easy to read and understand book on the subject ever written! It covers everything from inception to going to the movie to see the project!

Susan and Chuck have done a fantastic job of taking difficult to understand concepts and breaking them apart into easy to understand and execute ideas. The illustrations and photos help tremendously and I am just awe-struck at how comprehensive this book is.

It will surely save the reader hours of time and tons of money that would have otherwise been ill-spent on set learning the lessons the hard way.

What is also amazing is how up to date this work is. It even covers Hoyt Yeatman's HDRI technology.

WOW! Hat's off to you two for taking this huge undertaking on, and then doing such a fantastic job with what could have been a yawn. I wish we had had this book 20 years ago!!!

Thank you both!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is exactly what the title says it is. 21 Feb. 2012
By Nick Ziemer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will teach you how the art and business of the VFX industry are interconnected; and what you as a Visual Effects Producer/Supervisor must do in order to complete films with visual effects in a comprehensive fashion. Covering everything from what some of the most used equipment is on a visual effects film set, and what their purpose is, to how to complete a script breakdown and budget the visual effects. Very good read if you are interested in getting into the business side of visual effects.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars much needed and much appreciated 14 Oct. 2009
By mark herman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you ever had questions (or thought you had answers) about the role of the vfx producer, this is a "must read". In a clear, concise and entertaining manner this book covers it all. I found myself re-reading many chapters and thinking "so that's why", or, "I wished I had known this before"

Read this book, its a good way to avoid painful, often expensive mistakes
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable guide for any filmmaker 7 Oct. 2009
By James R. Mosca - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This soup to nuts guide covers all aspects of visual effects production from past to present. It's an invaluable guide for any filmmaker, looking for film technique options when it comes to those difficult shots. A must have for any producer's toolbox.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use as Course Textbook 22 Sept. 2009
By Julian Grant - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I use this text in my VFX Supervision Class at Columbia College Chicago. This is an outstanding resource and provides a very clear workflow and review of all key duties and responsibilities for a VFX Supervisor/ Producer. Highly recommended.
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