Recontextualizing CGI, Animation, and Visual Effects

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Velvet Light Trap/University of Texas Austin Radio-Television-Film
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Has animation overtaken "live-action" as the dominant form of production practice?

As contemporary film and television increasingly relies on digital imagery, CGI, animation and visual effects have been seamlessly integrated into "live-action." The recent popularity of films such as 300, Avatar, Inception and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World suggests an atmosphere in which audiences may expect to find more digital, visual effects and animation in live-action media. At the same time, as animation has become a staple in the corporate bottom line, they also constitute their own major category of film and television products. It seems that animation, visual effects, and cgi have been significant to the way that all films are made. It is therefore important that we recontextualize animation studies to rethink what we mean when we say "animation."

Issue #69 of The Velvet Light Trap, "Recontextualizing CGI, Animation, and Visual Effects," thus seeks to engage the intersections between these techniques in all aspects of the labor practices, production, exhibition, distribution, and reception of media. It is critical that this scholarship challenge traditional views, while suggesting new avenues for scholarly pursuit. This includes re-reading and reassessing traditional histories of animation, as well as examining the aesthetic, economic, and technological ways in which visual effects and animation impact contemporary cinema and television, especially with regards to (though not limited by) the following topics:

• Cinema of attractions
• Changing standards of realism
• Global and Local Labor practices
• Pre-production and post-production
• 3-D technologies
• Motion capture and rotoscoping
• Video games and media convergence
• Historical perspectives
• Earlier visual effects practices, such as mattes and process shots

Submission Instructions
Papers should be between 6,000 and 7,500 words (approximately 20-25 pages double-spaced), in MLA style with a cover page including the writer's name and contact information.

Please send one copy of the paper (including a one-page abstract with each copy) and one electronic copy saved as a Word .doc file in a format suitable to be sent to a reader anonymously. The journal's Editorial Advisory Board will referee all submissions.

For more information or questions, contact Amanda Landa at Hard copy submissions are due January 30, 2011, and should be sent to:

The Velvet Light Trap, c/o The Department of Radio-Television-Film,
University of Texas at Austin, CMA 6.118, Mail Code A0800, Austin, TX, 78712
The electronic copy submission is also due on January 30, 2011 and should be sent to Amanda Landa

The Velvet Light Trap is an academic, peer-reviewed journal of film and television studies. Graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas-Austin alternately coordinate issues. The Editorial Advisory Board includes such notable scholars as Charlie Keil, Dan Marcus, David Desser, David Foster, Michele Malach, Joe McElhaney, Beretta Smith-Shomade, Jason Mittell, Malcolm Turvey, James Morrison, Tara McPherson, Steve Neale, Aswin Punathambekar, and Michael Williams.