On Sunday, June 15th 2008 Hollywood and the world at large lost a legend.
Academy Award winning visual effects artist and master Stan Winston passed away after a seven-year battle with myeloma.
Many are not familiar with who Stan Winston is, but everyone in this world has at some time seen his work.
Stan was responsible for bringing the intimidating robots from the “Terminator” movies to life.
Stan created the fearsome Predator who stalked Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger in the jungle.
Stan gave us a reason to scream in space with the sinister Aliens who did battle with Sigourney Weaver.
Stan introduced us to the unique person that was Edward Scissorhands.
Perhaps the most well known was the life he breathed into creatures of “Jurassic Park” making every little boy”s fantasy come true. Living dinosaurs.
I was fortunate to be able to meet Stan Winston a couple of times.
The first was at a press junket for ?Jurassic Park 3?. After a brief tour of one of the jungle sets we were taken back to a non-descript office where we got to sit and ask Stan questions. He came into and lit up the room. His personality just spilled over and made a potentially boring roundtable interview fun and interesting. After our little roundtable he took us to the Universal Studios 747 stage where two of his biggest creations were hanging out.
We walked into the 747 stage and he first revealed his latest creation – the Spinosaur. Right across from the Spinosaur was the legendary T-Rex.
Stan was a like a proud papa the whole time, you could tell he was proud of his work and the work of his team. He truly loved what he was doing and considered himself very lucky.
The second time I met him was after a screening of “Jurassic Park” at Arclight Cinemas. The same cheerful attitude and appreciation for his fans, the whole time. I was even lucky enough to get him to sign my “Jurassic Park”, “Lost World”, “Jurassic Park 3” and “Terminator 2” DVD covers. A few months later James Cameron signed my “Terminator 2” cover and when he noticed Stan’s signature said “I share great company on this”.
Stan Winston was an incredible man who brought the imaginations of many filmmakers and moviegoers to life. The world will never be the same without him.