If you aren't getting this DVD, you are missing out on some of the
best coverage of Movie FX, how-to's and general information related
to the how and what of special effects. It's so much nicer to
watch it on your DVD player, then to page through a static magazine.
Each issue covers a diverse range of topics, including interviews
with leading studios, how-to's for the artists, a look at
collectors/auctions, trailers for upcoming and recent movies.
We had a chat with Gary Barth, the owner
and creator of this great new medium. Read what he has to say
about his "baby", then go subscribe to his DVD at
. you can also pick up the current issue at most
popular bookstore magazine racks.
prompted you to begin Movie FX Magazine?
I began my career in videogames…which is what I’d been doing for the
last 14 years. About 6 years ago, I created a videomagazine (then
on CD) for PlayStation. I’d been a fan of special effects and a
collector of movie props for the past few years, so I figured why
not combine my multimedia experience with my favorite hobby…and
Movie FX was born.
you always plan on DVD format?
Absolutely. About 2 years ago, we moved the PlayStation Underground
(the Sony videomag) onto DVD once the technology became cheap
enough. That’s when I decided to do Movie FX, with the superior
sound and video quality. Plus, since it was a quarterly videomag
that I needed to get on magazine shelves, a VHS tape was never an
You worked in the video game industry, why the jump to FX?
enough, I didn’t have to make that leap. To this day, I still work
for Sony running the Multimedia Dept. Movie FX, while it is in some
major retail outlet chains like Borders and Barnes and Noble, is
still very much a hobby for me, and I produce it in my spare
time…which is why I’m proud when people tell me how good it looks.
LMC: What did you do in the video game
started out owning my own videogame rental store back in ’88. Then
I became a writer for Gamepro and I started working in Quality
Assurance at Activision. Pretty soon I was writing their game
manuals. After stints at Atari and Sega, I moved to Sony to start
their QA Dept. After a year or so, I got into producing and soon
after PlayStation Underground was born.
have a prop collection of your own, would you care to discuss it?
Some years ago, I really wanted to get a lightsaber because I’d
seen some incredible ones at conventions over the years. Through
that process, I met a lot of other prop collectors and slowly got
into the collecting world. I met incredible artists like Steve
Dymszo, who used to make a lot of dead on accurate prop replicas for
himself based on movies like Aliens, Batman and Star Wars. That
lead him to get licenses for movie props based on the Judge Dredd
and James Bond properties and he recently started Master Replicas
which makes high end licensed Star Wars props. I’d say 50% of my
collection is made up of stuff he created. The other 50% comes from
ebay and the occasional props I get from friends in the effects
industry. My Movie FX office in my home is filled with a few racks
and cases of props, wardobe, spaceships, etc. I have a very
understanding girlfriend. ;-)
How big of a readership (or viewership I
should say) going in did you plan or envision?
Because I went in with no Venture Capital help (I funded it all
myself because I didn’t want anyone telling me how to run my
company), I knew we’d be starting small. When you don’t have money
for advertising, it’s hard. I rely on word of mouth, the occasional
review, etc.. I didn’t have the money to pump out 50,000 copies of
this an issue…but we’re slowly growing.
LMC: How do the actual numbers compare?
slow going, but for the most part, the studios and effects industry
folks have been supportive and we increase our sales with every
issue. They say the first year or two of a business is the hardest,
but we’ll get there in time.
has been the readerships’ reaction for the most part?
proud to say that I have yet to read a truly negative review from
anyone who has emailed me, which gives me the strength to carry on.
Like on days when I’m tired of working 8 or 9 hours and then have to
come home and work on Movie FX. Sure, you get the fan who prefers
one effects method of another, and wants to see more CG, or more
makeup…but I try to keep each issue balanced with a little bit of
everything. There are even some people who could care less about
the special effects, and just buy it for the movie trailers.
Whatever makes them happy! ;-)