2. 3. 2020

The Magic of Film Tricks

One of the most revolutionary technological inventions of all time is the film camera. From the very beginning of cinematography, the film industry has been trying to come up with new technologies that would not only provide a larger portion of entertainment, but also contribute to artistic impression. Film tricks are as old as film itself and we can hardly imagine a film without visual effects. Audiences consume digital effects in addition to their popcorn and nachos. But who should get credit for them? How do visual effects originate and what is their history?

In 2020, one of the most important pioneers of cinematic tricks would have been 100 years old: American filmmaker and artist Ray Harryhausen, who created unique puppets for the films Clash of the Titans, Jason and Argonauts, and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. This contemporary of Karel Zeman's has inspired the directors Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, George Lucas, Tim Burton, and many others. Let us pay tribute not only to him, but also to other film trick wizards who, with the help of the latest technology, provide audiences with incredible film experiences.

Filmgoers can look forward to watching a collection of films that were revolutionary to the film world due to their innovative visual tricks. Films such as Journey to the Moon (1902), Metropolis (1927), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Alien (1979), Jurassic Park (1993), Matrix (1999), Avatar (2009) and others will be accompanied by an expert who will answer the question of why these films have become an inspiration for others. Film-trick artist and supervisor of film tricks Boris Masník and film columnist Kamil Fila will take care of the introduction to the films.

This attractive theme of film tricks will also be enriched by a series of meetings with film professionals. Boris Masník will present Czech Film Tricks in discussions in the big top tent in Komenský Park, where he will invite Czech filmmakers and actors with whom he has worked on film tricks (Kosmo, Arabela, and others). Another item of interest will be Masterclass with Czech and foreign specialists in visual tricks who have participated in the making of Hollywood films such as Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time, Ironman 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, Snow White and the Huntsman, Skyfall, Interstellar, Man of Steel, Venom, The Fast and the Furious, Guardians of the Galaxy, and more.

We will commemorate a pioneer of film tricks, Karel Zeman, by screening The Fabulous World of Jules Verne with an introduction by Boris Masník and the documentary Film Adventurer Karel Zeman.

Boris Masník (1951)

is a film trick artist and supervisor of film effects. He graduated from the University of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague from the field of Film and Television Graphics. In 1977 he joined the film trick studio Barrandov. Over 21 years, he has worked as a specialist in the making of film effects for nearly a hundred Czech and foreign film and audiovisual projects. He has collaborated in the search for and implementation of new trick technologies. In 1998, he joined UPP (Universal Production Partners) in Prague, which is engaged in digital post-production, computer animation and film effects. It focuses on the links between traditional film processes and new digital technologies. He is also an active teacher at several film universities and vocational schools.

Selected filmography:
-    Spoor
-    Laika
-    Burning Bush
-    Toys in the Attic
-    I Servied the King of England
-    An Angel of the Lord
-    The Watermill Princess
-    Pan Tau
-    Princess Jasnenka and the Flying Shoemaker
-    Merry Christmas from the Octopi
-    Give the Devil His Due
-    The Secret of Steel City
-    The Flying Cestmir
-    The Visitors
-    Arabela