A Man Among Monsters


“Once you’ve shown something is possible,
everybody can do it.”

Special effects artist and pioneer Stan Winston passed away June 15, 2008 after a long battle with cancer.  Stan was truly one of my heroes dating as far back as I can remember.  It must have been about the time I saw the original Terminator in the late 1980s that I first heard about him.  His designs and execution of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s makeup and the full life-size Terminator endoskeletons blew me away.  Little did I know at that time that his fantastical creations would continue to amaze the world for the next 25 years.

A quick look at his studio’s resume reads like a who’s who of classic movie creature designs : Aliens, Predator, Monster Squad, Jurassic Park, A.I., and most recently Iron Man.  The list goes on an on.

Unlike most of his forgotten peers, Stan embraced the emergence of digital technology in the early 1990’s, working closely alongside two of his most famous collaborators Jim Cameron and Steven Spielberg on some of their biggest hits.  He understood that practical effects would still have a valuable place in this new digital world.  He was right, even with all of the fancy computer generated graphics you can throw at us, sometimes a puppet or a guy in a suit is just better.

NOTE : I found a fantastic tribute thread started over at Ain’t It Cool News with comments from Jim Cameron, Frank Darabont, Jon Favreau, Rick Baker, and many more.

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