Douglas Trumbull: legendary filmmaker and effects artist


Douglas Trumbull (born 1942) is one of the most renowned pioneers in the field of special effects. Most of the common imaginary of dystopic or very remote futures comes from the effort he put in the movies he worked in.

Illustrator in Los Angeles at first, in the Sixties he caught the attention of Stanley Kubrick who put him in charge for the visual effects in “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968). From this very occasion, Trumbull always tried to experiment with the technology of the time, with the aim to achieve the most realistic effects.

As Trumbull kept working with visual effects he managed to push further techniques that were already known (such as the motion control used in 1981’s “Blade Runner“) and introduce new ones (his “Showscan” process utilized in his movie “Brainstorm” in 1983).

The modern days with their CGI-driven effects did not affect the work of Trumbull. For the 2011’s “The Tree of Life” he used organic effects already tested in “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, agreeing with the director, Terrence Malik, to create “a working environment that’s almost impossible to come by these days”.

The works of Trumbull carried him into the Hall of Fame of special effects, and whoever is passionate in this field or simply appreciates iconic movies should really look up to him.

Enrico Greco, Cristian Gurra, Jessica Manetta, Claudia Rolletto.


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