Special Effects: They Shall Not Grow Old

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019 / 7:00 PM - 9:45 PM (PST)
  • Pollock Theater
  • Screening Format: DCP (99 Minutes)
  • With Elliot Travers (assistant editor)
  • Director: Peter Jackson

Drawing on period footage from England’s Imperial War Museum and BBC radio interviews with World War I soldiers, director Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) deploys state-of-the-art digital restoration technology to reanimate some of the world’s earliest war footage. Released in commemoration of the war’s centennial and dedicated to Jackson’s own grandfather who fought in the war, the film is an astonishing portal to the past that offers viewers a surprisingly intimate view of the everyday lives of British infantrymen. As part of the Carsey-Wolf Center’s Special Effects series, this event will explore the notion of film restoration as a form of special effect; the film’s sophisticated use of colorization and audio synchronization with the assistance of lip readers render it a remarkable technological feat.

Elliot Travers (assistant editor, They Shall Not Grow Old) joined moderator Ross Melnick (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion.



Assistant Editor Elliot Travers

Elliot Travers is an accomplished and versatile filmmaker with fourteen years experience in film and television. He has spent the last decade working as an Editor, Assistant Editor, Post Production Supervisor, and Assistant Director, and has held editorial roles on award-winning films such as Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, and Mortal Engines. Most recently, he was the lead Assistant Editor on the groundbreaking documentary They Shall Not Grow Old. Elliot is currently based in Wellington, New Zealand with WingNut Films.


Moderator Ross Melnick

Ross Melnick specializes in media industry history and analysis, film, radio, and television history, archival theory and practice, silent cinema, early radio and media convergence, newsfilm, and U.S. and global film exhibition. His most recent book is American Showman: Samuel ‘Roxy’ Rothafel and the Birth of the Entertainment Industry, 1908-1935 (Columbia University Press, 2012). His articles have been published in Cinema Journal, Film History, The Moving Image, and Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television (forthcoming).

 This event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center and the Department of Film and Media Studies.

Special Effects

Cinema, in its essence, is a special effect. From the medium’s first days, filmmakers have used cutting edge-technologies, physical skill, and world-class craftsmanship to dazzle audiences and keep movies spectacular. The Carsey-Wolf Center’s fall 2019 series Special Effects invites audiences to explore the diverse history of special-effects cinema through a series of remarkable films, spanning Hollywood classics, CGI blockbusters, and previously unseen documentary footage. Expanding on traditional definitions of the term “special effects,” this series investigates the craft of special effects through iconic cinema makeup and costuming, digital image manipulation, practical stunts, and color film processing.