Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stan Winston, RIP

I didn't go to film school so I could make movies about people feeling things deeply. I wanted to work on movies with shiny metal robots, gruesome aliens, fearsome dinosaurs and maybe a gorilla or two. The only director/ producer I ever wanted to be was, maybe, the Coens.

But, really, I wanted to be one of five people.

1) Chuck Jones
2) Early career Walt Disney (as I've aged, I see the appeal of being late career, crazy, world-building Uncle Walt.)
3) Rick Baker
4) Stan Winston
5) and, upon occasion, early career Lucas

I don't think it will come to surprise you that I watched a lot of sci-fi and genre movies. And at the conclusion of those movies, I would see the words "Stan Winston" related to the picture in some way. And I think if you check out a lot of great movies, you're going to find Winston's name somewhere in an IMDB listing.

Terminator. Predator. Aliens. All came out of Stan Winston's shop. And a whole heck of a lot more. For me, being able to bring those things to life always seemed as interesting, if not more so, than a lot of the rest of the movie-making process. Even if the movie wasn't all that great, Winston and his shop's FX were always amazing (ex: Congo).

I'm sorry to hear that Mr. Winston has passed away. I am certain that Mr. Winston's contributions to cinema will never be forgotten. He, and his team, have simply changed the way movie special effects, make-up, etc... work and how the audience can relate to special effects as characters in their own right.

Winston was part of the generation who took their artistry to the next level, turning B-pictures into blockbusters, and who understood how to blend how to blend fantasy and reality seamlessly within the frame.

We'll miss you, Stan. May your workshop carry your vision forward.


JAL said...

C'mon now, give "Sad Chad" it's due.

The League said...

It is true that all who see "Sad Chad" are moved by its pensive eloquence. I quit showing it as it too often made Jason weep like a baby.

Michael Corley said...

The fact that you can whip out any of those movies and they still stand the test of time is amazing, especially considering the heavy fx nature of the films.