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The two earlier books from ILM were Industrial Light & Magic: The Art of Special Effects in 1987 and Industrial Light & Magic: Into the Digital Realm in 1996.

This new 360-page hardcover features 43 films from 1995 to 2011. Movies from before 1995 are featured in only a few pages since they were in the earlier books. To give you an idea of how far it goes back, the first movie featured is Casper (1995).

The more recent movies are Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Transformers, Iron Man, and the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy and even Rango from 2011.

Each movie has a writeup focusing on the special effects used, and comes with accompanying film stills and photos from behind the scenes. The interesting stories and interviews from the film staff makes for a fascinating read. It's like finding out how magic tricks are done. These guys are living right at the bleeding edge, creating software for making movies when nothing else in the market exists. It's intriguing to read how they overcome challenges that come with every film.

This book is a wonderful flashback at how techniques for movie making have evolved. In Jumanji, The monkeys riding on the police bike still looked rather crude. Fast forward to present time, we now have Avatar which is basically a full length special effects movie.

Highly recommended to movie buffs.
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on 30 October 2011
Having been a huge fan of the previous two ILM books The Art Of Special Effects and Into The Digital Realm) I was excited to see this book coming out , bring upto date ILM's work in more recent times. Having now had the opportunity to read the book I feel a degree of disappointment and a missed opportunity.
Firstly compared to the previous two books it looks smaller and thinner and this is explained by the use of non- glossy paper, a huge mistake when you are presenting lavish movie images.
Secondly the quality of the images ranges from the shocking (blurred, grainy) to exceptional and this is extremely disappointing as the previous two books overcame this very well. An example of what you are in for can be found in the first four pages- a horrible double page spread of a matte painting from Kuosawa's 'Dreams' which looks like it has been lifted from an old VHS copy to an incredibly crisp image from Iron Man 2 accompanying Jon Favreau's introduction to the book. The book is full of these contrasts and it is a shame as clean images of these shots can be found in a variety of magazines.
Then there is the complete omission of 'Hulk' which contains some of the most difficult effects shot ever produced by ILM'S at the time. This alone gets one star dropped for this book.
All in all I would recommend people get the book for the many great images of those fantastic movies that it does contain but be prepared to grimace every 3rd or 4th page as you get a grainy, blurred image. This could and should have been so much better and the author could have learnt a thing or two from looking at the previous two ILM books rather that trying to deny their existence as the narrative in this book often hints at.
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on 3 November 2014
 This is a great all-in-one primer on Industrial Light & Magic. Anyone who goes to the movies has no doubt seen plenty of films that had work from ILM's visual effects studio. These artists and technicians allow the impossible to be achieved on the screen in a realistic way.

The book essentially picks up in 1995, which is about where the previous ILM book left off, and works its way through 2011. So if you want to learn about ILM's founding and early work then you'll want to refer to another book. But this book is good reference material if your primary interest is ILM's recent more work.

It's fair to say that no other VFX house has been as prolific or as important as ILM. The book goes through each of the films of which ILM contributed. Examples of innovations discusses are as follows: performance capture in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies; complex metal surfaces for "Transformers" and "Iron Man"; fluid simulation for "Poseidon"; etc. Other examples of popular movies included are Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, and the Harry Potter franchise. And of course, you can't discuss ILM without mentioning Star Wars - this book covers the modifications made for the Original Trilogy 1997 re-release, as well as the use of digital technology for the Prequel Trilogy (emphasis is placed on CGI characters like Yoda and General Grievous).

One small gripe is that as someone who is already very familiar with visual effects, I found the commentary within the book to be quite lacking. It's really just scratches the surface of the process, with each movie only getting a few pages. If you want a more in-depth look at visual effects, I would urge you to subscribe to the magazine Cinefex - it's still the best resource for aspiring VFX artists and curious movie fans alike.

There is a foreword by Jon Favreau (director of Iron Man) and a preface by Gore Verbinski (director of Rango and the Pirates trilogy). It's nice to hear these filmmakers describe in their own words what makes ILM special.

For more reviews, please see my Amazon profile or visit MovieArtBook(dot)com. Thanks for reading!
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on 6 March 2012
The special effects in cinema is still, and will always be, expanding and ILM are still right up there. There are other special effects "houses" out there of course, Digital Domain and Weta to name just two, and the quality generally of today's CGI from most of these special effect companies and others continues to push the digital frontiers. But ILM doesn't sit on its pixals given its longer heritage and this latest offering on the story of ILM brings you up to bang up to date (2011) with the CGI fest that is "Rango". Others on this site will and would have expounded better than I on this book, so all i'll say is if you are a fan of the art of cinematic special effects you'll enjoy this read....and looking at the pictures.
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on 3 November 2014
 This is a great all-in-one primer on Industrial Light & Magic. Anyone who goes to the movies has no doubt seen plenty of films that had work from ILM's visual effects studio. These artists and technicians allow the impossible to be achieved on the screen in a realistic way.

The book essentially picks up in 1995, which is about where the previous ILM book left off, and works its way through 2011. So if you want to learn about ILM's founding and early work then you'll want to refer to another book. But this book is good reference material if your primary interest is ILM's recent more work.

It's fair to say that no other VFX house has been as prolific or as important as ILM. The book goes through each of the films of which ILM contributed. Examples of innovations discusses are as follows: performance capture in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies; complex metal surfaces for "Transformers" and "Iron Man"; fluid simulation for "Poseidon"; etc. Other examples of popular movies included are Titanic, Saving Private Ryan, and the Harry Potter franchise. And of course, you can't discuss ILM without mentioning Star Wars - this book covers the modifications made for the Original Trilogy 1997 re-release, as well as the use of digital technology for the Prequel Trilogy (emphasis is placed on CGI characters like Yoda and General Grievous).

One small gripe is that as someone who is already very familiar with visual effects, I found the commentary within the book to be quite lacking. It's really just scratches the surface of the process, with each movie only getting a few pages. If you want a more in-depth look at visual effects, I would urge you to subscribe to the magazine Cinefex - it's still the best resource for aspiring VFX artists and curious movie fans alike.

There is a foreword by Jon Favreau (director of Iron Man) and a preface by Gore Verbinski (director of Rango and the Pirates trilogy). It's nice to hear these filmmakers describe in their own words what makes ILM special.
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on 3 December 2015
The book arrived within 3 days and was not special delivery. It's amazing, very well illustrated and a brilliant buy for lovers pf special eff cya. I bought it fir a Xmas present and I'm sure the recipient will be thrilled.
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on 30 August 2013
I got this book within 3 days, even though I choose standard delivery.

The book itself is bigger than I thought. The cover was a little bit damaged when it arrived, but no big deal.

It was different than what I exspected: there are big pictures in it, with an explanation. They explain what type of challenges they had during the making of certain films.

I would recommend it, because of the nice high quality pictures. If you're not really a fan of films or vfx, don't buy it.
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on 8 May 2015
Like others on here, slightly disappoint with image quality. I have the first two books, they knock this into next week quality wise. But worth having in your collection.
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on 4 January 2013
bought this for my son, as it was on his wish list. Excellent value, beautiful book with lots of interesting stuff to read alongside fabulous images.
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on 7 August 2013
This is such an interesting book, I now need to get the previous two editions as i need to know more!
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