Robert Abel (Self)Linwood G. Dunn (Self)
The development of film special effects up to the dawn of the computer age. Linwood Dunn, a Hollywood special effects master from the glory days of Hollywood, and Robert Abel, a member of the next generation, each discuss the making of film illusions. Illustrated with film clips. Dunn grew up when the challenge was creating an ape for "King Kong", or making the Eiffel Tower crash down. He shows how the "optical printer" can combine separately recorded images on one strand of film, putting a leopard in a room or a stormy ocean behind a boat. He explains how Welles brought the audience straight through the skylight of the night club in "Citizen Kane", bridging the interior and exterior shots in a flash of lightning. Abel explains how he looks for illusions that don't exist at all in real life, and describes his work as being in the "post 2001" special effects era. His crew has perfected equipment that involves computer driven cameras and printers. One of his demonstrations is of a "7-Up" commercial that starts with one girl and ends with dozens - all printed from the same model.