Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Stan Winston RIP

Stan Winston was one of the greats, a titan in the field of special make up effects and a winner of four Oscars. I had the good fortune to meet him several times and my visits to his creature shop with its gallery of icon characters (several Aliens, Predator, Pumpkinhead, Edward Scissorhands, various Terminators, the creatures from Monster Squad, et al) were a geeks delight. I first met him in January 1993 when I went to his shop to interview him. I arrived and was told to go round the back way. I did and walked straight into a full sized T Rex and a couple of raptors that were being worked on at the time. This was six, seven months before Jurassic Park was due to be released and in those days advance pictures from films were rare and so the sight of these dinosaurs, up close and personal, blew my mind. I spent the afternoon interviewing Stan, and came back again a couple months later for a few days to look through his photographic archives. He was gracious and fun and I still remember waiting for him to arrive and then the sound of his sports car screeching to a halt in the shop. "That's Stan," someone said, and indeed it was. He was a showman, larger than life (he actually started out wanting to be an actor) and his work (including most recently on Iron Man) will live on. He was only 62 and had been battling multiple myeloma for seven years. He will be missed.

5 comments:

Stram said...

Your meeting with him is a lovely story! I only know him through his works on Burton's movie, and i love it! It's a sad loss. One more.

Gerard said...

I'm still so bummed about this. Winston totally defined how special effects really could be to me as a school-aged kid who caught the movie bug early.

Mark Salisbury said...

Along with Baker, Bottin and Smith, he was a god during the time when rubber ruled.

I still remember going to see The Terminator six weeks before it came out, having scored preview tickets from a newspaper and knowing nothing except that Arnie was in it. Can you imagine what that was like? Not knowing he was from the future. Or even a robot?.

I then saw a trailer for the film just before it was released that showed the shot of the endoskeleton rising from the fire. Man, I was so pissed on behalf of all those who hadn't seen it...

Gerard said...

Oh man...

Too awesome.

Poor Stan. I'm still sad. Going to see Edward Scissorhands on 35mm in a couple of weeks ought to cheer me up. I've never seen it in a cinema!

Mark Salisbury said...

Enjoy :)