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Ken Ralston

Ken Ralston

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Death Becomes Her DVD Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis and Goldie Hawn star in this special effects laden... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

The Rocketeer DVD "The Rocketeer" (1991) takes place in the anxious atmosphere prior to World War... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: special effects supervisor, director, director of photography, model photographer, model builder, painter, sculptor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Academy Award-winner Ken Ralston was a leading pioneer in the specialized field of visual effects, creating some of cinema's most breathtaking moments for acclaimed filmmakers like George Lucas and Robert Zemeckis. Beginning as a founding member of Lucasfilm's effects division Industrial Light & Magic, Ralston learned his craft on Lucas' "Star Wars" (1977) before taking on a supervisory role for "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982) and earning a Special Achievement Oscar for his work on the third "Star Wars installment, "Return of the Jedi" (1983). He won the first of several Academy Awards for the movie magic he and his team cooked up for Ron Howard's "Cocoon" (1985) and another with Zemeckis on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" (1988). After more Oscar-winning collaborations with Zemeckis on "Death Becomes Her" (1992) and "Forrest Gump" (1994), Ralston eventually left his home at ILM for an upper-management position with Sony Pictures Imageworks, where he orchestrated more visual magic for such features as "Cast Away" (2000) and "Men in Black II" (2002), as well as Zemeckis' technologically ground breaking fantasy "Beowulf" (2007). Three years later, he also helped director Tim Burton score one of his...

Academy Award-winner Ken Ralston was a leading pioneer in the specialized field of visual effects, creating some of cinema's most breathtaking moments for acclaimed filmmakers like George Lucas and Robert Zemeckis. Beginning as a founding member of Lucasfilm's effects division Industrial Light & Magic, Ralston learned his craft on Lucas' "Star Wars" (1977) before taking on a supervisory role for "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982) and earning a Special Achievement Oscar for his work on the third "Star Wars installment, "Return of the Jedi" (1983). He won the first of several Academy Awards for the movie magic he and his team cooked up for Ron Howard's "Cocoon" (1985) and another with Zemeckis on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" (1988). After more Oscar-winning collaborations with Zemeckis on "Death Becomes Her" (1992) and "Forrest Gump" (1994), Ralston eventually left his home at ILM for an upper-management position with Sony Pictures Imageworks, where he orchestrated more visual magic for such features as "Cast Away" (2000) and "Men in Black II" (2002), as well as Zemeckis' technologically ground breaking fantasy "Beowulf" (2007). Three years later, he also helped director Tim Burton score one of his biggest box offices successes, providing spectacular visual effects for "Alice in Wonderland" (2010). Whether looking to explore the far reaches of the universe or create an entirely fantastical world of make believe, filmmakers looked to Ralston time and again to bring their visions to vibrant life.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Death Becomes Her (1992) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)
2.
  Rocketeer, The (1991) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Made 8mm forty minute audition film
:
Hired by Cascade Productions; worked under Phil Kellison building props and as stop-motion photographer for commercials
:
Joined Industrial Light & Magic as camera assistant on "Star Wars"
1980:
First film credit, as optical effects photographer on "The Empire Strikes Back"
1982:
First credit as special visual effects supervisor, on "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"
1995:
Left Industrial Light and Magic to assume presidency of Sony Pictures Imageworks
1999:
Signed to make feature directorial debut with "Jumanji 2"; left project in February 2000 over "creative differences"
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