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Review Essay—Digital Visual Effects in Cinema: The Seduction of Reality

Chanchul Jung 1

1한양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper reviews Stephen Prince’s 2012 book, Digital Visual Effects in Cinema: the Seduction of Reality in the question of whether or not cinema has changed in its way of telling stories since its digitization. Having replaced film, digital imaging technologies revolutionized the film industry in profound ways. They have been expanding the illusory world of cinematic spectacles that always excite our eyes. Many scholars in cinema studies have been interested in developing the understanding of digital cinema, its history, theories, and aesthetics. Particularly, they focus on whether a new aesthetics is emerging in filmmaking in cinema’s digital age. Stephen Prince’s book is a valuable contribution to the growing literature on digital culture. The book features a useful survey of the history of digital technology. Individual chapters are about selected production departments, such as those in lighting performance and art directing, which form the codes of realism that anchor the visual aspect of classic Hollywood storytelling. Without overwhelming readers with unnecessary details, Prince provides a behind-the-scenes look at various digital visual effects, while comparing with corresponding special effects of the film age. Prince’s main argument is that the digital visual effects adhere to conventional codes of realism.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.