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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  MovieFXMag.comyou can also pick up the current issue at most popular bookstore magazine racks.

 

·       LMC: What prompted you to begin Movie FX Magazine?

GB: Well, 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.

LMC: Did you always plan on DVD format?

GB: 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 option.

LMC: You worked in the video game industry, why the jump to FX?                                        

GB: Amazingly 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 industry?

GB: I 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.

LMC: You have a prop collection of your own, would you care to discuss it?

GB: Sure.  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.  ;-)

LMC: How big of a readership (or viewership I should say) going in did you plan or envision?          

GB: 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?      

GB: It’s 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.

LMC: What has been the readerships’ reaction for the most part?

GB: I am 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!  ;-)

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