Today, I started work as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, where I am teaching on various Film-related modules for the School of Creative Arts. I am starting off by supporting the Media Histories & Culture module, which is anchored on Special Effects and Digital Animation for first year undergraduates. Following the module’s first lecture, I was assigned a group of thirty-or-so undergraduates to discuss the purpose of the course, the potential benefits and to get them to individually elucidate on why they’re doing said course.
They’re a good and enthusiastic bunch, pretty much all of them avid gamers with an eye on a career in the industry. During the seminar, I spoke about the inherent tensions between old-school practical special effects and their modern, digital equivalents, noting that the former still had great value and there were many great examples of their power.
“One perfect example of practical effects – via model making – that still holds up beautifully today is Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, released in 1982. Who here has seen that film…?”
One hand went up.
Out of thirty-plus people…!!
“That’s a joke, right? A kind of “Funny-ha-ha-let’s-screw-with-the-new-tutor” joke, right…?
Wow. Okay. Really?
“Okay: I really have to get you a list of films to watch for research…”
My inner reaction is presented below without commentary.