Interactive ‘making-of’ machines: The performance and materiality of the processes, spaces and labor of VFX production

Sarah Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyses and interrogates two interactive museum installations which were designed to reveal behind-the-scenes materials from Inception (2010) and Gravity (2013) in order to showcase the breakthrough Visual Effects (VFX) of each of the films for which both received widespread critical acclaim. The multi-screen, interactive and immersive installations were both created in direct collaboration with the VFX supervisors who were responsible for pioneering the new and innovative creative solutions in each of the films. The installations translate these processes for a wider audience and as such they not only provide rich sites for textual analysis as new ancillary forms of paratextual access, but they also provide insights into the way that VFX sector presents itself, situated within the wider context of the current global VFX industry. The article draws together critical production studies, textual analysis and reflections from the industry which, combined, provide new understandings of these interactive forms of ancillary film ‘making-of’ content, their performative dimensions and the labor processes that they reveal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalSpectator: The University of Southern California Journal of Film and Television
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2015


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