The Cinefex Illusionists - John Bruno

Open our 40th anniversary edition, Cinefex 169, and you'll find The Illusionists, a huge panel where 21 Oscar-winning visual effects discuss past, present, and future cinematic illusions. We recorded over 14 hours of interview material for the article, and part of it inevitably ended up on the floor of the editing room. In this series of short blogs, we're excited to share some of our favorite outtakes. To read the full round table, get your copy of Cinefex 169.

CINEFEX – What was your career like with visual effects?

in visual effects through animation. I am from Northern California and there were many
published cartoonists living nearby – people like Hank Ketcham and Charles M.
Schulz. I was looked after by these guys when I was young and I decided that it was
I wanted to do. I got some letters of reference from them and went to Disney
Studios and said, "I want to be an animator."

CINEFEX – And you
did you hire

hired myself and I started working in film animation for Chuck Jones. I made a film
with Richard Williams, finally got a call from Ivan Reitman
Universal. We met and he showed me a magazine called Heavy Metal. He opened it for this page with a character named
Arzach, drawn by Jean Giraud – you know, Möbius. Ivan said, "Can you do an animation to look like this?" I said, "Sure."
I moved to Montreal and we started making heavy metal as an animated feature.

CINEFEX – So what?
prompted the transition from animation to visual effects?

Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Richard Edlund were looking for someone to poltergeist. Richard invited me to one
Meet and I showed them my heavy metal role.
Before I knew it, I was at Industrial Light & Magic and created an animation

CINEFEX – You stayed
with Richard Edlund when he left ILM to start Boss Film Studios.

The first film we made at Boss was Ghostbusters.
I remember Richard coming into the office and saying to me, “You know this guy, Ivan Reitman. You worked with him
previously on heavy metal. Well he wants
join in a kind of comedy poltergeist
the cast of Saturday Night Live! "

CINEFEX – You did
Have a clue what a legendary movie Ghostbusters
would become?

Never thought about it. There were only eight of us in the room and we watched
Daily newspapers. We laughed and said, "Me
think it's funny, but I don't know if anyone else will. "We made the whole mind
Things like we did at ILM – guys in suits, miniatures, animated
Effects – and we released the film in just ten months. That totally messed up
Things in Hollywood because suddenly every six months before shaving they shave
Post-production plans. We have warmth for that.

CINEFEX – A few years
Later you were the visual effects supervisor at The Abyss.

JOHN BRUNO – That's right. I met Jim Cameron at an alien show in Westwood
then again at the Tokyo Film Festival. Here we became friends and talked about favorites
Movies like Mysterious Island and Old School
Techniques such as rear projection, stop motion, puppets. In the end we used all of them
that on The Abyss – 65mm rear window
Process, full-size sets underwater, miniature submarines. We used everyone
imaginable technology, including computer animation for the water tentacle.

CINEFEX – I did it
Do you feel natural and switch from animation to visual effects like you did?

I found it strange or strange at all times. Think about it. Has animation
Backgrounds, overlays, documents, drawing elements, special effect elements.
In visual effects you have a background plate, you have a character, you have overlays, you have mats.
You need to understand how these elements are separated and manipulated
Time and room. Good animation skills are good for visual effects
Supervisor even if you're making a live action movie.

Cinefex is a bimonthly magazine
to visual image effects. Since 1980 it has been the Bible for effects
Professionals and enthusiasts who cover the field like no other publication.
Richly illustrated in color, with extensive articles and interviews, Cinefex
offers a fascinating insight into the technologies and techniques behind many of our products
most popular and consistent films.

Cinefex 169 - The Illusionists


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