On December 3rd, Christopher Finch returns to the world of animation with his new book, The CG Story: Computer Generated Animation and Special Effects. His most famous title, “The Art of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms,” gave readers and in-depth look at Disney’s hand drawn era of films. So it only seems fitting that Finch would return to chronicle the new era of digital cinema: CG. While CG is still new and growing, it has by now it’s own rich history. Having literally grown up with the entire history of CG, this story is very personal to me, and I never tire of reading about it. It was delight to read Finch’s take on everything. I can remember when and where I was with every development he writes about, and which projects inspired me the most to eventually pursue a career in animation (Toy Story and Jurassic Park).
You cannot cover the early history of CG without mentioning Lucasfilm and Pixar. Michael Rubin’s, “Droidmaker: George Lucas And the Digital Revolution,” and Karen Paik’s, “To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios,” both cover this story in depth from the perspectives of each studio. Finch’s book unavoidably covers the same ground in the earlier chapters, but where it differs from those titles is its scope thereafter. Finch offers a more broad and unbiased view of the industry as a whole, covering many films and studios often unmentioned in most texts on the subject. The CG Story covers both special and visual effects as well as fully digital animated features. It progressively examines the technological strides each feature film has made for the medium. The text is accompanied by hundreds of behind the scenes images, photographs, and art work. This large format book is a beautiful volume worthy of a spot on your shelf.
Official Press Release
“The CG Story” starts with a close and richly-illustrated look at the early days in the creative development of special effects technology with a chapter by chapter – back and forth approach – between Live-Action and Animation filmmaking and then investigates the full gallop advance of this visual art form up to the present day.
Among the notable technologists and filmmakers who are featured in the book are: Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, James Cameron, Stanley Kubrick, Douglas Trumbull, Martin Scorsese, Robert Zemeckis, Tim Burton, Peter Jackson, Alfonso Cuaron, Ang Lee, Ridley Scott, John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Michael Bay, Andrew Stanton, Christopher Nolan, Joss Whedon, Sam Raimi, Lana and Andy Wachowski and Brad Bird.
The book also explores the creation of “CG” projects with movie star performances from the likes of: Tom Hanks, Daniel Radcliffe, Cate Blanchett, Mike Myers, Harrison Ford, Johnny Depp, Ellen DeGeneres, Keanu Reeves, Angelina Jolie, Tim Allen, Antonio Banderas, Ian McKellen, Heath Ledger, Robin Williams, Queen Latifah, Leonardo DiCaprio, Milla Jovovich, Elijah Wood, Maggie Smith, Eddie Murphy, Helena Bonham Carter, Zoe Saldana, Ewan McGregor, Robert Downey Jr., Tilda Swinton, Jim Carrey and Salma Hayek.
Key film milestones include: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Tron, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner, Beauty and the Beast, Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump, Toy Story, Titanic, Shrek, Avatar, Lord of the Rings WALL-E, Matrix, Finding Nemo, The Dark Night, District 9, Up, Gladiator, X Men: The Last Stand, Monsters Inc., Iron Man and The Avengers.