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Monday, June 16, 2008

Stan Winston Passes On

My day just got really sad.

While perusing some news stories online, I just discovered that Stan Winston passed away today.

You know me, I love my science fiction movies, and most of them are possible because of Stan Winston. Winston and his crew were pioneers and industry leaders in make-up effects and animatronic creatures.

He first made his name known by doing Arnold Schwarznegger's make-up and the animatronic Terminator skeletons in The Terminator. He went on to make the aliens in Aliens, the creature in Predator, all manner of killer robots in Terminator 2, plus all of the robots in one of my favourite sci-fi films, A.I..

But let's not forget the animatronic beasties he made that kicked the most ass...the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park and its sequels.

He worked with one of my favourite directors -- Tim Burton -- three times. He did Johnny Depp's make-up and the animatronic scissor hands in Edward Scissorhands, the Penguin's make-up and some animatronic penguins in Batman Returns, and the make-up effects and a few animatronic big fish for Big Fish.

He worked until his dying day, with his handiwork currently in two of the biggest films this summer: Iron Man's armor in Iron Man and the crystal skulls in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls. He had already begun work on James Cameron's next film, Avatar, due out next year, and once again providing killer robots for Terminator 4.

Winston was 62. He died of multiple myeloma.

Here's the official website of Stan Winston Studios, where you can find out all about his work.

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