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R.I.P. Stan Winston

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R.I.P. Stan Winston

Effects maestro Stan Winston died Sunday after a long battle with a blood cancer. While not specifically animation-related, his work has had a huge influence on the animation industry. He was 62.

It's a shame when we lose such a gifted artist at a relatively young age. I'll miss him.

I heard about him this morning. It's very sad, and I'll miss all his work that I loved to watch. RIP Stan.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

When I heard this news, it got me thinking about a few things, one being my own affection for special effects and production design work, and of the real legacy of Stan Winston.

Very early on, one of my main sources of artistic inspiration was the designs of props, models and monsters from the movies. I gravitated toward those that I thought came across as visually cool or believable. If the effects work and the designs were easy to accept, it tended to make the movie so much more enjoyable.
Guys like Derek Meddings and Martin Bower made nice models, but their work tended to fascinate me because it was toy-like. Rick Baker was the king of the monkeys, but that seemed to be all he did. John Dykstra made neato models swish and swoop thru space, and Douglas Trumbull was re-defining what cameras could ( and perhaps should do).
I realized intuitively that the stuff Stan Winston was doing was hooking me more and more than a lot of the other guys.
When I watch Aliens, its easy as heck for me to accept that Ripley is wearing that exo-frame and battling the royal Alien queen-bitch in a life or death cat-fight.
When I watch Terminator 2: Judgement Day that T-800 stamping into shot in the opening sequence reads as a REAL robot to me.
When I watch Predator, its not a bunch of muscle-bound yokels running around a jungle with a guy in a latex monster suit, its a kick-ass team of commandos tackling a worthy alien hunter, who just so much owns the lot of them.
The acceptance I have is easy, probably because a consummate talent like Stan Winston did all the hard to make it just that easy.
Sure, Stan did not do it all himself, but he gets a lot of the credit.........and rightly deserves it.

Stan understood one of the greatest gifts cinema gives its audience: simple movie magic. The immersion into an experience, more than often fantasy, that allows all of us to live vicariously through the adventures of those we see on screen.
Stan's work never wavered from that ideal.
As a fellow creator, as an inspired soul, as a inveterate movie watcher and life-long aficionado of sci-fi-fantasy, heroes and monsters and thrilling adventures. Stan's work touched me deeply and profoundly.

I shall not forget him and his creations.

Rest in Peace, Stan

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Sad to hear

As Ken said so well...

The immersion into an experience,...

I was totally into the movies as well. Nothing pulls me back to reality (like I'm in a theater) more quickly than bad effects.

Of course it's all about the story, but good work keeps me IN the story.

Prayers to him and his family.


We, who worship you work...salut you

I really hope there's a Heaven for excelency......

RIP Stan...