Have you ever wondered how television and movies are made with such amazing special effects? It has always intrigued me, so today I paid a visit to Animagic Museum of Special Effects. Animagic is a special, little museum tucked away on Main St., in Lee, and it is devoted specifically to special effects and animation that have been produced here in the Berkshires. The museum was founded by several artists, who made their marks on the world while living here, in the Berkshires. These artists have been instrumental for the special effects in several movies, including Predator, for which founding member, Eugene Mamut, won an Academy Award (this can also be viewed at the museum). You can take a short tour of the museum, where you will find a visual feast for your eyes. Animagic showcases the works of several local artists, and includes not only memorabilia and models from the movies and television shows, but also ceramics and puppets. When you are done with the tour, you are given the opportunity (for a fee) to create your own stop animation short film. The artists work with you step by step, helping you to make your very own work of art, and you are given a copy of your film to take home and share with friends and family. Kids especially seem to love this and feel a sense of accomplishment with their film. There is also a store inside of the museum, with many interesting toys and gifts. The museum is open year round, seven days a week, by appointment only. The tour is a guided one, given by one of the founders, and I thought this was a great touch, because it gave me a much more personal connection with the art. So, the next time that I am watching a particular commercial, or I see Chicken Run or X-men, I will be looking for the special effects that I now know were made here in the Berkshires and I will smile and feel just a little proud of my amazingly talented region.
See you soon-BGAT