Stan Winston Jurassic Park

Steven Spielberg‘s Jurassic Park comes back to theaters on April 5 in 3D and IMAX. Even if you aren’t a fan of those formats, it’s a trip well worth taking simply because in the twenty years since its release, most of the times you’ve seen the film has been at home. Maybe you were even lucky enough to see it in a repertory theater but you haven’t seen it with a fully-functional, high-end sound system and projection since 1993. For that alone, Jurassic Park 3D is worth checking out. Spielberg’s movie works at any size, but it was meant to be seen big.

Watching the film again, you’ll marvel at how good the effects still look, even in the revealing 3D IMAX format. Part of that is the astonishing, Oscar-winning visual effects of Dennis Muren and the team at Industrial Light and Magic. It’s also because of the equally impressive way Spielberg blended those computer effects with practical effects done by Stan Winston and his team.

The Stan Winston School has been posting some great videos to YouTube recently and their latest takes us behind the scenes with the everyone’s favorite “veggiesaurus,” the Brachiosaur. Read More »

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Though Steven Spielberg‘s Jurassic Park is well-known for its advancements in computer graphics, legendary creature creator Stan Winston had plenty of work to do, too. He created numerous dinosaurs for the film including the all-important Velociraptor, the main antagonist of the movie. Several of the bird-like carnivores were rendered in a computer but Winston and his team also created suits that humans could comfortably wear and maneuver while still looking like a raptor.

Stan Winston Studios supervisor John Rosengrant was the main man inside the suits and recently posted a video showing how he, Winston and his team went from crude models all the way through the final filming. You can check it out below along with a few images too. Read More »

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 »

Before Bryan Singer was brought on board to direct Superman Returns, McG was developing a Superman reboot titled Superman: Flyby, a screenplay written by a younger JJ Abrams. McG ended up leaving the project when Warner Bros became adamant about shooting the movie in Australia instead of New York City and Canada to save money on Budget. But I sometimes wonder what could have been when it comes to McG’s take on the Man of Steel.

Read More »


The Sandlot’s Marty “Yeah-Yeah” York and Patrick “Ham” Renna reunite at LA Fitness in Hollywood where York is a personal trainer. [tmz via tdw]

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 40 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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Jeff Bridges’ Iron Man Photo Diary

You probably know Jeff Bridges as an actor, but many people don’t know that he also dabbles in photography as a hobby. Bridges recently updated his online photo book with his behind the scenes Iron Man photos. There are lots of great stuff including a look inside Stan Winston studios, photos from early production meetings, a wardrobe test, and various sets from the film.

Check out the full album on JeffBridges.com. Thanks to Mr Babyman for the tip.

Favreau gives Tony Hawk a Tour of Stan Winston Studios

The Pitch: While filming an episode of Iconoclasts, Jon Favreau gave skateboard legend Tony Hawk a tour of Stan Winston Studios.

Watch More Cool Videos Here!

Video of the Day is a daily feature of /Film showcasing geekarific video creations. Have a video we should be feature on VOTD? E-Mail us at orfilms@gmail.com.

The passing of Stan Winston hit everyone off guard yesterday, including the many people who have worked with the legend over the years.

McG has posted a statement on the Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins website, declaring his intention to dedicate the fourth Terminator film to the memory of Stan. Here is an excerpt: “Stan was a good guy who was in it for all the right reasons. He loved what he did. Stan confided in me once, that he created imaginary monsters as a child to keep him company. He said he felt like the only kid in the world who did this. Little did he know his childhood friends would come to be the heroes of millions. You are not alone Stan, the fruit of your imagination will be with us forever.”

Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead director Edgar Wright blogged: “A real genius. And a sad loss.”

Meanwhile, AICN has done an awesome job of gathering statements from some of the filmmakers who have worked with him over the years. Here are some highlights.

James Cameron: “We’ve lost a great artist, a man who made a contribution to the cinema of the fantastic that will resound for a long long time. I don’t need to list the indelible characters he and his team of artists brought to the screen. Readers of your site know them. We all know Stan’s work, the genius of his designs. But not even the fans necessarily know how great he was as a man. I mean a real man — a man who knows that even though your artistic passion can rule your life, you still make time for your family and your friends. He was a good father, and he raised two great kids. His wife of 37 years, Karen, was with him in the beginning, helping him make plaster molds in their garage for low budget gigs on TV movies, and she was with him at the end.”

Jon Favreau: “He was a giant. I was blessed to have known him. I worked with him on both Zathura and Iron Man. He was experienced and helped guide me while never losing his childlike enthusiasm. He was the king of integrating practical effects with CGI, never losing his relevance in an ever changing industry. I am proud to have worked with him and we were looking forward to future collaborations. I knew that he was struggling, but I had no idea that he would be gone so soon. Hollywood has lost a shining star.”

Frank Darabont: “One of the blessings of being in movies is when you meet icons whose work you deeply admire and they turn out to be fantastic people. They’re the ones you’re honored to encounter along the way, the people who are kind and gracious and inspiring in addition to being superbly talented. They exhibit genuine humanity and touch your heart in various ways, and you foolishly figure they’ll always be around to get to know better as the years go on. But then they are taken far too soon, and you’re left with the deep and lasting regret of not having gotten to know them nearly as well as you’d wanted or expected to. I’ve met and lost a number of extraordinary people who fall into this category, among them Roddy McDowell, John Frankenheimer, Sidney Pollack, Dave Stevens, and John Alvin. Stan Winston now sadly joins my list.”

Read the full letters, including more from Joe Dante, Rick Baker, Monster Squad director Fred Dekker and others on AICN.

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