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Plastic RealitySpecial Effects, Technology, and the Emergence of 1970s Blockbuster Aesthetics$
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Julie Turnock

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231163538

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231163538.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 01 April 2020

Before Industrial Light and Magic

Before Industrial Light and Magic

The Independent Hollywood Special Effects Business, 1968–1975

(p.63) 2 Before Industrial Light and Magic
Plastic Reality

Julie A. Turnock

Columbia University Press

This chapter studies the history of the special effects branch of the independent Hollywood service industry. The independent optical and effects business has existed since at least the early 1920s when Frank Williams and Carroll Dunning founded the Williams Composite Laboratories and the Dunning Process Company, respectively, and worked as independent contractors with the studios. In addition to studio and independent feature films, effects houses also worked on commercials, so-called motion graphics logos, and industrial or educational films. Lucas film's special effects wing, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), has been the industry leader in special effects production since about 1980, extensively shaping and defining photorealism. Beginning with Star Wars in 1977, ILM has continued to dominate the special effects industry up to this day with films such as Transformers and Iron Man.

Keywords:   independent special effects business, Frank Williams, Carroll Dunning, Williams Composite Laboratories, Dunning Process Company, effects houses, Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, Star Wars, special effects industry

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