The Current Issue
Nikon Owner Issue 10
By Gray Levett
Film historians will tell you that in 1971 George Lucas formed his own independent production company, Lucasfilm Ltd., in Marin County, California, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. In July of 1975, with the Star Wars saga already written and design work having been started the previous year, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) was established to produce the visual effects for Star Wars. In 1977 Star Wars opened and became the largest grossing film of all time to that date. It received six Academy Awards for original score, film editing, sound, art and set decoration, costume design and visual effects, as well as a Special Achievement Academy Award for sound effect creations.
In this issue of Nikon Owner, the Canadian based writer and broadcaster Robert Falconer begins the first of a two part interview with Richard Edlund, the distinguished architect of ILM. The article covers his extraordinary career, his photography, and the important role his Nikkor lenses played in creating the Academy Award-winning visual effects for the original Star Wars Trilogy.
The documentary/drama The Twilight Hour, directed by Jason Figgis and featuring readings by John Hurt, has been described as an unsettling encounter with ancient supernatural beliefs that envelop the many enigmatic ruins and unearthly landscapes of Ireland. This film unveils the travels of a very singular man, Simon Marsden, an internationally acclaimed photographer of the mystical realms, as he gathers a photographic record of these haunted locations in his eighth and latest book; The Twilight Hour: Celtic Visions From the Past.
This truly haunting film captures the sense of foreboding that Marsden often feels on his solitary journeys, and brings us face to face with the frightening events and sensations that can await anyone who ventures alone into the unknown.
“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.”*
You will probably be aware that the final part of Peter Jackson’s critically acclaimed Academy Award-winning trilogy Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King will be released on 17th December. Viggo Mortensen plays the character of Aragorn (Strider). Since his debut as a young Amish farmer in Peter Weir’s Witness, Viggo Mortensen’s career has been a stream of well-crafted performances. His acting has been continually recognized and praised by film critics in over thirty movies, including such diverse projects as Jane Campion’s Portrait of a Lady, Sean Penn’s Indian Runner, Brian DePalma’s Carlito’s Way, Ridley Scott’s G.I. Jane and Tony Goldwyn’s A Walk on the Moon. What is less well-known is that Viggo Mortensen is also an accomplished poet, painter and photographer. Quite recently I received a copy of his new book Coincidence of Memory. In this beautifully illustrated book, Mortensen combines photographs, paintings, and poems that span his artistic output from 1978 to 2002. Hardcover, 8 x 8 inches, 66 pages, 57 reproductions ISBN: 0-9721436-0-2. Published by Perceval Press.
I would like to offer my congratulations to the acclaimed underwater photographer Constantinos Petrinos for his fascinating lecture at The Hellenic Centre in London on 16th October. Constantinos is a delightful speaker and his images created quite an effect on the attentive audience. If you have not seen his underwater photography then I do urge you to visit his website: www.petrinos.gr Congratulations are also due in no small measure to photographer and fellow magazine subscriber Mike Eleftheriades for producing the event and making it such a huge success. The hall was packed! Well done to everyone that worked so hard to make this event such a success.
There are possibly only a few writers who should attempt to write a book about the history of Nikon, and our technical editor Simon Stafford is probably at the top of that list. It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, Simon has taken this saying and has gone one step further as his book contains over 1000 photographs of Nikon equipment from the early rangefinders to the latest film and digital models. There are many, many images of equipment that have simply never been seen before.
Simon Stafford has brought this new edition of the Nikon Compendium right up-to-date. In fact it amounts to a complete rewrite. The monumental task of including all the new Nikon cameras, lenses and accessories all add up to making this second edition an accomplished and exhaustive history of the Nikon camera system.
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