People Tell Me I Look Like Han Solo.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
  R.I.P. Stan Winston
Starting your day off with shitty news is never good, but this morning I kicked off my day by learning that Oscar-winning special effects guy Stan Winston died on the weekend. Winston was pretty much the king of creature effects and suits, and a pioneer in fusing practical real-world effects with CGI, having won Academy Awards for his work on Aliens, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park and for his makeup work on Batman Returns. His last work, making the suits for Iron Man, was hailed by movie and comic geeks (I'm both) as a not-inconsiderable contribution to that movie's awesomeness. He also designed the creature from the Predator movies, and the last-minute nature of that job (long story short, paraphrased from the brilliant If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It documentary on the Predator DVD: the original Predator looked 100% different, they started production, decided it looked like crap and stopped shooting, called in Winston to redesign it from the ground up on virtually zero notice, and the result was one of the most iconic cinema monsters in decades – if that's not the sign of true goddamned genius, I don't know what is) makes it 10 times more impressive.

I don't usually like to wax poetic about "the magic of the movies" and such, but Winston was one of those guys whose work contributed to that funny tingly feeling people who love movies get when they know they're watching something truly special, whether it's photo-realistic dinosaurs on screen for the first time, or unstoppable cyborgs from the future, or a superhero come to life. And movies are going to suck just a little bit more without him.

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Stan was a genius.
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