SCREEN-L Archives

March 2008, Week 4


Options: Use Proportional Font
Show Text Part by Default
Condense Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Cynthia Miller <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 25 Mar 2008 17:26:01 -0400
text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (64 lines)
Call for Papers

"The 'Science' of Special Effects: Aesthetic Approaches to Industry" Area

2008 Film & History Conference

Film & Science: Fictions, Documentaries, and Beyond

October 30-November 2, 2008

Chicago, Illinois <> 

Second-Round Deadline: May 1, 2008


AREA: The "Science" of Special Effects: Aesthetic Approaches to Industry


This area examines the industrial, technological, theoretical, and aesthetic questions surrounding special-effects technologies. Presenters may investigate historical changes in special and visual effects, as in the gradual switch from physical to digital applications; they may focus on the use of visual effects in film or television texts that do not fit into typically spectacle-driven genres (i.e., effects in drama, comedy, and musical narratives instead of in action-adventure, science fiction, or fantasy); they may consider the theoretical implications of special/visual effects and technology on texts; or they may concentrate on neglected historical and aesthetic values of effects development.

Possible papers or panels might include the following:

-- An investigation of the terms "Special Effect" and "Visual Effect," what they constitute, and how their definitions have been delineated and complicated by changing technologies.

-- Special/visual effects "stars" such as (Keynote Speaker) Stan Winston, Douglas Trumbull, or Richard Edlund, and their impact on the construction and application of visual effects images for mainstream/non-mainstream cinema.

-- The changing relationship between visual effects technologies and pre-production, i.e. looking at "previz," at the development of films "around" their effects sequences, or at the use of physical materials such as maquettes as templates for eventual CG elements.

-- How contemporary visual-effects practitioners negotiate and incorporate real world "physics" into their design of digital characters ("synthespians") and environments.  

-- How visual effects contribute to the formation of complete "environments" on screen, how they are incorporated into narratives, and how meaning is affected when a physical environment is entirely fabricated.

--The implementation of special/visual effects by costume and motion-capture "artists" and actors, and how studies of these practices can offer insight into classic and contemporary working relationships between effects practitioners, actors and crew.

-- The Visual Effects Society and its impact on the industry and filmmaking throughout the organization's history. 

-- How directors or other creative personalities use physical and digital effects in their projects (e.g., Robert Zemeckis' application of digital technologies or Guillermo Del Toro's proclaimed interest in keeping a 50/50 balance between physical and digital effects).


Please send your 200-word proposal by May 1, 2008 to the area chairs:


Michael S. Duffy, Bob Rehak, Area Chairs, "The 'Science' of Special Effects"

Email: [log in to unmask], [log in to unmask]


Panel proposals for up to four presenters are also welcome, but each presenter must submit his or her own paper proposal. Deadline for proposals: May 1, 2008. 


This area, comprising multiple panels, is a part of the 2008 biennial Film & History Conference, sponsored by The Center for the Study of Film and History. Speakers will include founder John O'Connor and editor Peter C. Rollins (in a ceremony to celebrate the transfer to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh); Wheeler Winston Dixon, author of Visions of the Apocalypse, Disaster and Memory, and Lost in the Fifties: Recovering Phantom Hollywood; Sidney Perkowitz, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Physics at Emory University and author of Hollywood Science: Movies, Science, & the End of the World; and special-effects legend Stan Winston, our Keynote Speaker.  For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website ( <> ).

To sign off Screen-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF Screen-L
in the message.  Problems?  Contact [log in to unmask]