Pioneer VFX Artist Douglas Trumbull’s Masterclass (2001: Space Odyssey, Blade Runner)
In a fascinating 1h30 masterclass, VFX pioneer Douglas Trumbull takes us through his whole career. After having worked on a NASA film that Stanley Kubrick saw, Trumbull was recruited to work on 2001: Space Odyssey. Now, if you remember from the 1966 Behind the Scenes, nobody knew what the moon looked like, or any other planet for that matter, so Trumbull and his team had to not only to come up with creative solutions to build device that would render the visual illusion for the audience to be in space, but also to imagine plausible realities still unknown to them.
“There were a whole bunch of things that were designed, written, experimented with, drawn, discussed and deleted.”
Because 2001 was Trumbull first full immersion in the movie industry, and because it was such an ambitious project, the masterclass starts right off the bat with a fascinating journey through the film’s creative process. Douglas Trumbull started first as an artist, fascinated by science-fiction universes and spatial visuals, and being a VFX artist back in the 60s meant painting, building models, creating new camera systems etc… A full hand-on creative job, no computers involved.
Along with sharing his work and experience on films now considered classics, Douglas Trumbull also talks about his own career’s progress as a film director, which starts during one of the most-fascinating times: the 70s in Hollywood. Right after 2001, Trumbull had a lot of opportunities that turned out to stuck him in development hell, spending years developing projects that kept falling apart for various reasons he explains.
Trumbull’s masterclass is not only a VFX presentation, it is a lesson in cinema recent history, how Studios used to make deals, filmmakers work with their creative teams and science-fiction emerged.
There is so much more to it, and every minute is worth your time, Trumbull has been a precursor in many fields, experimented with a ton of ideas (including slow motion, 3D, imax, simulation entertainment etc), built an impressive number of device, and of course, worked on Close Encounters of the Third Kind giving away as many anecdotes, showing slides and explaining the creative process than for 2001, and then Blade Runner, Star Trek etc.
An inspiring masterclass from a true master and forward thinker:[via to @gohollywoodorg]
check the archives for a taste of it.