June 16, 2008

Rest In Peace Stan Winston

The father of the dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK, of THE TERMINATOR, of PUMPKINHEAD and PREDATOR and the Monsters in MONSTER SQUAD and, of course, ALIENS, has passed on.

The man is a legend and created legends. He himself a God in his own right, sculpting Icons that will be remembered as long as people with imagination deem it prudent to tell stories to an audience.

He was a leader in practical effects work, having given opportunity to all top effects leaders today. Winston idolized the people that came before him in the field, like Ray Harryhausen, and sought to make his own iconography, inspiring yet more to follow in his lead.

The picture below is of Ray Harryhausen getting his star on the Hollywood walk of fame, something that Winston was instrumental in making happen. Also pictured is another effects legend, Rick Baker, and director Frank Darabont.

A quick anecdote to share. If you're a big MONSTER SQUAD fan you'd be glad to know that Tom Woodruff who worked with Winston on the effects and was even the man in the Gillman suit, as well as the cast and crew had a funny story involving Winston involving that film:

Apparently, Stan oversaw the film, but gave his sculptors freedom to create the creatures, so as a gag, they sculpted up Wolf Man to look exactly like Stan. Now, who knows if he ever saw himself in it and the final version in the movie IS werewolf Stan Winston.

He won Oscars for his make-up and visual effects work on ALIENS, TERMINATOR 2 and JURASSIC PARK and was nominated for his work on HEARTBEEPS, PREDATOR, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, BATMAN RETURNS, THE LOST WORLD and AI.

And he wasn't done yet. His practical work on IRON MAN is a huge part of what made the film a success and he was working on the new Terminator movie. We can only hope that his memory is done justice by Stan Winston Studios and they keep creating icons for generations to come.

[Via Quint from aintitcool.com]

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