“After 41 years of publication, we are sad to report that Cinefex 172, just off the presses, will be our final issue. We extend heartfelt thanks to our loyal readers and advertisers who sustained us through the years, and to the countless filmmakers and artists who told us their stories, shared their secrets, and trusted us to write and preserve the history of motion picture visual effects. A fond farewell to you all.”
So read the public statement by Cinefex Magazine as printed in issue #172 of Cinefex Magazine for February 2021. The printed publication that served as a celebration of visual effects and an inspiration to a generation of both professional and amateur filmmakers.
Farewell Cinefex, you gave us the magic of VFX to inspire and amaze fan and pro alike.
With striking covers and in-depth technical interviews, Cinefex created a window into the hidden world of Hollywood special effects at the highest level.
Citing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, publisher Gregg Shay announced yesterday that the magazine’s recent 40th anniversary issue, featuring The Mandalorian, would be its last. “The pandemic deprived us of subject matter, retail outlets, and, most critically, advertisers, many of whom, like us, struggled to remain afloat in a climate of intense turmoil and uncertainty,” Shay said. “We did our best to weather the storm, but ultimately the storm prevailed.”
Cinefex was different than the review and entertainment-focused approach of most publications. It was a gee-whiz geeky magazine that chronicled the evolution of the effects industry and its new technologies from the practical-puppetry of Ridley Scott’s Alien to the birth of CGI dinos in Jurassic Park, to the de-aging deep-fakery in Gemini Man, to the CGI apes of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Every blockbuster from Star Trek (issue 1) to the MCU were explored in detail, with exclusive hires images, and interviews with the professional effects artists responsible for the development of the most advanced techniques in the industry. Every important breakthrough in the art and science of visual effects for film was documented in the pages of Cinefex.
Adam Savage (MythBusters) said, “It is a PhD degree in film special effects,” while James Cameron (Avatar) calls it the “one true source” to “expand your vision.”
Back issues are still available at their web site, for as long as they last. I hope they continue their work; that prospect is uncertain, and they have not spoken to the possibility, though their statement of closure seems weighty in its finality.
David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.