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.