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Old December 10 2010, 04:43 PM   #1
Dusty Ayres
Location: ANS Yamato, Sector 5, Sol System
Doug Trumbull's Space Odysseys

When it was released in 1968, a promotional brochure released by MGM promised that "Everything in 2001: A Space Odyssey can happen within the next three decades, and...most of the picture will happen by the beginning of the next millennium." It was an overeager prediction. Granted, nowadays we do have voice-print recognition software, chess-playing computers, and, thanks to the iPhone 4, personal videophones. But we've yet to colonize the moon, or build hotels inside space stations. And, thankfully, the artificial intelligence we've managed to create hasn't acquired sentience, gone haywire, and started singing “Daisy Bell”…yet.
This week, Doug Trumbull will be hosting two-hour seminars on the special effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner at TIFF Bell Lightbox, to correspond with the screenings of the two films as part of the (still ongoing) Essential Cinema program. (Of note: 2001 will be screening in ultra-definition 70mm, a format Trumbull helped popularize.)

We spoke with Trumbull last week from his office in Massachusetts about his work on these seminal science fiction films, as well as the current state of special effects and world-making in Hollywood cinema.

Torontoist: When you got into filmmaking in the 1960s, special effects weren’t the cornerstone of cinema that they are now. What led you to the field?

Doug Trumbull: Well, the short version of that is that as a young art student, I was reading a lot of science fiction. And you can’t grow up in the United States without watching a lot of alien attack movies. I grew up on all those sci-fi movies, which I agreed were mostly all B-movie crud—although Forbidden Planet was quite extraordinary for its time. Anyhow, there I was with my portfolio filled with alien planets and space ships, whereas other portfolios from other artists would have still lives, life drawings, watercolours, or oil paintings. Mine was all science-fiction. I decided I would like to try and get into the movie industry via animation.

I was directed to a specialist studio called Graphic Films that was making space films for the government, for NASA and the Air Force. They were informational training films that were mostly shown to congress and government officials to keep funding going for the Apollo program and the old Mercury program. So I was painting Mercury capsules and Apollo capsules and lunar landers and stuff. Kubrick saw a film I had worked on for the New York World's Fair, which was in 1964 and ’65. It was a 70mm film called To the Moon and Beyond, that I’d done all the illustrations and artwork for. So he hired Graphic Films to start doing preliminary designs for 2001. It was a contract that predated the production.
Doug Trumbull's Space Odysseys
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Old December 10 2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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Re: Doug Trumbull's Space Odysseys

Interesting. They ought to film this as a documentary for HBO or something. He can't be young and his recollections could have historical importance regarding the portrayal of space in film...
...sf fandom is only a personality disorder if you do it right.-Klaus - archive stories! for honest gaming

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Old December 10 2010, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: Doug Trumbull's Space Odysseys

Dusty Ayres wrote: View Post
Infraction for spamming - posting link with no original content. Again.

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2001: a space odyssey, blade runner, doug trumbull

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