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Stan Winston

Stan Winston

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Also Known As: Stanley Winston Died: June 15, 2008
Born: April 7, 1946 Cause of Death: multiple myeloma
Birth Place: Richmond, Virginia, USA Profession: character designer, special makeup effects designer, producer, executive, director, special effects producer, writer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A leading figure in modern movie special effects, Stan Winston once described himself as a character designer rather than a makeup effects technician. His Stan Winston Studio crafted some of modern cinema's most fantastic figures - from animatronic Terminators to computer-generated dinosaurs roaming modern-day Earth - Winston was in a class above the competition. Best know for his collaboration with director James Cameron, Winston was responsible for creating the unforgettable xenomorphs in "Aliens" (1986), as well as the 14-foot tall Alien Queen. On both "The Terminator" (1984) and its lavish sequel "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991), Winston worked to bring Cameron's vision of the iconic endoskeleton to life. In a similar vein, he designed the alien hunter in "Predator" (1987) and "Predator 2" (1990), while working with director Tim Burton on Johnny Depp's sharp-fingered appendages in "Edward Scissorhands" (1990) and Danny DeVito's grotesque Penguin makeup in "Batman Returns" (1992). Winston employed a crack team of painters, sculptors and other artists and craftsmen which he favorably compared to the masters of the Renaissance. In short, Winston not only was at the top of his craft, he...

A leading figure in modern movie special effects, Stan Winston once described himself as a character designer rather than a makeup effects technician. His Stan Winston Studio crafted some of modern cinema's most fantastic figures - from animatronic Terminators to computer-generated dinosaurs roaming modern-day Earth - Winston was in a class above the competition. Best know for his collaboration with director James Cameron, Winston was responsible for creating the unforgettable xenomorphs in "Aliens" (1986), as well as the 14-foot tall Alien Queen. On both "The Terminator" (1984) and its lavish sequel "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991), Winston worked to bring Cameron's vision of the iconic endoskeleton to life. In a similar vein, he designed the alien hunter in "Predator" (1987) and "Predator 2" (1990), while working with director Tim Burton on Johnny Depp's sharp-fingered appendages in "Edward Scissorhands" (1990) and Danny DeVito's grotesque Penguin makeup in "Batman Returns" (1992). Winston employed a crack team of painters, sculptors and other artists and craftsmen which he favorably compared to the masters of the Renaissance. In short, Winston not only was at the top of his craft, he singlehandedly resurrected Hollywood from its reliance on campy man-in-the-rubber suits from the 1950s and 1960s to full-blown, life-sized animatronic puppets that both terrified and enthralled moviegoers for generations.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Congo (1995) Director (2nd Unit)
3.
  Up World (1993) Director
4.
  Pumpkinhead (1988) Director
5.
  The Terminator (1984) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Arlington, Virginia
1969:
Moved to California
:
Completed 6000 hours in an apprenticeship program in theatrical makeup and special effects at the Walt Disney Studio
1972:
TV debut, makeup effects for the TV-movie, "Gargoyles"
1974:
Breakthrough TV work, aged actress Cicely Tyson for the acclaimed TV-movie, "The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman"
:
Established the Stan Winston Studio in Northridge, California
1975:
Received first feature makeup credit for "The Terror of Dr. Chancey/Mansion of the Doomed"
1977:
Provided special makeup for the landmark TV miniseries, "Roots"
1978:
First feature credit for special makeup, Sidney Lumet's "The Wiz"
1981:
Credited as special makeup consultant for Oliver Stone's "The Hand"
1981:
Nominated for the first Oscar recognizing achievement in makeup for the film, "Heartbeeps"
1982:
First credit for effects design, "Parasite"
1983:
Did "Panther and Hawk transformations" for the NBC sci-fi adventure series, "Manimal"
1984:
Second unit director for "The Terminator" (also worked on special effects); first collaboration with James Cameron
1986:
Created alien effects and lead the huge effects unit on Cameron's "Aliens"; won first Academy Award for Best Visual Effects
1987:
Created the alien antagonist of "Predator"
1988:
Feature directing debut, "Pumpkinhead" (also received story credit)
1989:
First credit as creature effects producer, "Leviathan"
1990:
Served as special makeup effects producer for Tim Burton's "Edward Scissorhands"
1991:
Earned two Oscars for Visual Effects and Makeup for work on Cameron's "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"
:
Formed Digital Domain, a digital special effects company, with James Cameron and Scott Ross; the second largest computer effects company after Industrial Light and Magic; he and Cameron resigned from the company in 1998
1993:
Helmed second feature, "The Adventures of a Gnome Named Gnorm"; also did makeup effects; released direct-to-video
1993:
Created the live action dinosaurs for Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park"; received fourth Academy Award
1994:
Provided vampire makeup and effects for the highly publicized "Interview with a Vampire"
1995:
Second unit director for "Congo"
1996:
Directed the short film "Ghosts" starring Michael Jackson; also did special effects, produced and scripted
1996:
Signed development deal with DreamWorks to produce and direct films
1997:
Formed Stan Winston Productions
1997:
Returned to creating live action dinosaurs for the sequel "The Lost World: Jurassic Park"
1999:
Designed the character effects for "Instinct"
1999:
Was special effects supervisor on "End of Days"
2001:
Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame (February 23)
2001:
Produced a series of TV-movie remakes for HBO/Cinemax, including "Earth vs the Spider" (1958), "How to Make a Monster" (1958), "Day the World Ended" (1956), "The She-Creature" (1956) and "Teenage Cave Man" (1958)
2001:
Created a walking and talking teddy bear for "A.I. Artificial Intelligence"
2001:
Once again contributed to creating live action dinosaurs for "Jurassic Park III"
2003:
Reprised role as anamatronic and makeup effects supervisor on "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines"
2008:
Final work was creating the physical suit for use by Robert Downey Jr. in "Iron Man"
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Education

University of Virginia: Charlottesville , Virginia - 1968

Notes

"I defy someone to look at the art we've sculpted and tell me that Michelangelo is any better," asserts special effects conjurer Stan Winston. ... 'I would put the talent that is under this roof up against the finest painters, sculptors and artists of the Renaissance. Brilliant painting, brilliant sculpture, brilliant artwork that comes together here, then has to go out there and ACT--that deserves ULTIMATE respect from the artistic community.'" --From "The Michelangelo of Monsters" by Stephen Rebello, Movieline, November 1994.

"I don't want to become extinct like the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park". I want to say that everyone at ILM did for that movie the most incredible, ground-breaking computer animation that has been done to date on the screen. To the audiences who saw the movie and said, 'I think the whole thing is animation or all computer-generated images,' I say. 'Ladies and gentlemen, approximately 65 percent of all dinosaur footage in "Jurassic Park" is full-size, live, right there in your face.' Every dinosaur was designed--dramatically, dynamically and paleontologically correct--under this roof at Stan Winston's studio." --Stan Winston quoted in "The Michelangelo of Monsters" by Stephen Rebello, Movieline, November 1994.

"I need to get into the mind of the director and, hopefully, make a connection. After all, that's who I'm working for. On this movie ("Interview with the Vampire" 1994), we were integrated in the design, the look of the vampires. I would say about the work we did for this film, or any film, that there is a certain amount of 'Stan Winston' in everything that comes out of this studio. But there should never be a signature of 'Stan Winston' on anything. The signature should be that of the director, of that character and of the particular actor." --Winston quoted in the "The Michelangelo of Monsters" by Stephen Rebello, Movieline, November 1994.

"I would say that my wish to perform, my wish to be an actor, which never came to fruition, is very integral to the creative process by which I develop characters for films." --Stan Winston in "The Michelangelo of Monsters" by Stephen Rebello, Movieline, November 1994.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Karen Winston. Married c. 1969.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Matt Winston. Actor. Yale graduate.
daughter:
Debbie Winston. Graduated from the University of Arizona.

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