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It’s all in the details: these miniatures changed movies


Perhaps it’s having grown up in the ’80s and a hearty dose of nostalgia in the face of overwrought visual effects in modern movies, but there’s something indescribably powerful about the special effects in films like Blade Runner, Alien, and Dark City. It was an era before CG took over, a time when nearly a century of practical special effects culminated in whole armies of craft workers and artists that knew how to bring the audience to another world or dimension. Visual effects masters like Douglas Trumbull, the mind behind the visual effects in Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Blade Runner pushed the limits of filmmaking in the blockbuster era and beyond. In a welcome change from the prequels — and trends in big-budget Hollywood effects — Looper director Rian Johnson recently told The Hollywood Reporter that the new Star Wars films would return to some of the practical effects that the originals used so effectively to help you suspend disbelief.

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