Those who have devoured special features on DVDs over the years may be familiar with most of what follows, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is never a bad time to take a moment to appreciate the details of a specific art form.

Creating animatronic models for special effects sequences in film is a very specific art form, and arguably no one was better at it than the late Stan Winston. His studio is now associated with an online school that provides effects tutorial videos, and that school has posted a collection of old animatronic effects tests on YouTube.

Sadly, these test clips won’t actually show you the nuts and bolts of how, say, a velociraptor model is made and controlled. But there is still a revelation in seeing these models removed from the context of the films in which we first saw them. The stark background of a studio or warehouse only enhances the artistry involved in  bringing the models to life. Read More »

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