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John Dykstra

John Dykstra

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Also Known As: John C Dykstra Died:
Born: June 3, 1947 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Long Beach, California, USA Profession: producer, special effects supervisor, inventor, director of photography, special effects designer, industrial designer, special effects cameraman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Modern-day special effects, for all its reliance on computers, digital graphics and ultra high-end technology, owed much of its existence to John Dykstra. One of the first technicians to merge traditional photography with developments in electronics, Dykstra created the groundbreaking visual effects for "Star Wars" (1977), which earned him an Academy Award, and inspired a generation of filmgoers and future filmmakers. With his invention of the "Dykstraflex" camera, Dykstra literally turned movie special effects on its head with an electronically controlled moving camera that dove, swooped and twisted around a stationary object. Fiercely independent, Dykstra started his own company, Apogee, which oversaw effects for the original "Battlestar Galactica," (ABC, 1978-79) "Firefox" (1982), while he later created the effects for "Batman Forever" (1995) and "Stuart Little" (1999) after the company folded. With the emergence of CGI, Dykstra stayed ahead of the game with his breakthrough work on the "Spider-Man" films. Thanks to his dedication to constant innovation, Dykstra helped steer a revolution in movie magic at a time when studios were shuttering the aging, in-house effects departments and sending...

Modern-day special effects, for all its reliance on computers, digital graphics and ultra high-end technology, owed much of its existence to John Dykstra. One of the first technicians to merge traditional photography with developments in electronics, Dykstra created the groundbreaking visual effects for "Star Wars" (1977), which earned him an Academy Award, and inspired a generation of filmgoers and future filmmakers. With his invention of the "Dykstraflex" camera, Dykstra literally turned movie special effects on its head with an electronically controlled moving camera that dove, swooped and twisted around a stationary object. Fiercely independent, Dykstra started his own company, Apogee, which oversaw effects for the original "Battlestar Galactica," (ABC, 1978-79) "Firefox" (1982), while he later created the effects for "Batman Forever" (1995) and "Stuart Little" (1999) after the company folded. With the emergence of CGI, Dykstra stayed ahead of the game with his breakthrough work on the "Spider-Man" films. Thanks to his dedication to constant innovation, Dykstra helped steer a revolution in movie magic at a time when studios were shuttering the aging, in-house effects departments and sending their old school technicians into early retirement.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Stuart Little (1999) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)
3.
  Invaders From Mars (1986) 2nd Unit Director (2nd Unit)

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Worked as a cinematographer shooting miniatures for a psychological study sponsored by the National Science Foundation regarding responses to various architectural forms
:
Worked as a special effects cameraman and industrial designer for special effects expert Douglas Trumbull's Trumbull Film Effects
1972:
Feature debut, credited for special effects photography for Trumbull's "Silent Running"
1973:
Worked for Berkeley's Institute of Urban Development on a project applying cinematography and visual effects to the construction of miniature cityscape models
:
Served as director of special effects photography for a program entitled "Voyage to the Outer Planets" for the Ruben H Fleet Space Theater in San Diego, California
:
Reteamed with Trumbull at the latter's Future General company to work on various projects including commercials, theme park attractions and experiments in three-dimensional filmmaking
1977:
While serving as the first head of Industrial Light and Magic, credited as the special effects photography supervisor on George Lucas' genre landmark, "Star Wars"
1978:
Left ILM to start his own special effects company, Apogee (date approximate)
1978:
TV series producing debut (with Donald P Bellisario, Paul Playdon and David J O'Connell), "Battlestar Galactica"; also first TV credit as special effects coordinator
1978:
Feature producing debut, "Battlestar Galactica", a re-edited theatrical version of the three-hour TV series pilot (also credited as special effects coordinator)
1982:
Credited as special visual effects producer for Clint Eastwood's "Firefox"
1983:
TV-movie debut, provided special effects for ABC's "Starflight: The Plane That Couldn't Land" (released theatrically overseas as "Starlight One")
1985:
First collaboration with horror-fantasy director Tobe Hooper, provided special visual effects for "Lifeforce"
1989:
Credited as special creative consultant on Hooper's "Spontaneous Combustion"
1995:
Served as visual effects head supervisor for "Batman Forever", his most commercially successful project since "Star Wars"
1997:
Reteamed with Schumacher for the sequel "Batman & Robin"
1999:
Served as senior visual effects supervisor on "Stuart Little"; shared an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects
2004:
Served as visual effects supervisor for "Spider-Man 2"
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Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Cass McCune. Married on September 15, 1996.

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