Another of my favorites lost…Michael Crichton

I first picked up “Jurassic Park” when I found out that Steven Spielberg was considering making it a movie.

It was the first book I ever picked up that I couldn’t put down, and the first book I read multiple times.

It was the first book I ever sought out a hardback copy of well after the hardback had come and gone.

It is and will likely remain my favorite book of all time.

The writing in it was brilliant and it helped a visual person like myself imagine a world where dinosaurs once again roamed the earth, and made science so much more fun.

After I finished Jurassic Park I then devoured every Michael Crichton book I could get my hands on.

“The Andromeda Strain”, “Congo”, “Disclosure”, “Rising Sun”, “Sphere” , “Terminal Man” I read them all, and loved them all. I went on to read everything that he put out after that as well.

Each book was written with incredible intelligence and concepts, but they were never overly intelligent, or went over my head.

Today I am sad to see that the brilliant author of those books and one of the key minds behind “E.R.” has lost his battle with cancer.

You can read more about this wonderful author here – http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081105/ap_en_ot/obit_crichton

If you haven’t ever picked up one of his books I recommend that you do. His writing style was a special one that will be missed.

My copies will forever have a special place in my library, especially my worn and tattered copy of “Jurassic Park” which I am sure to read many more times in my lifetime.

Thanks Michael for all the great stories! You will be missed, and be sure to tell Stan we all said “Hi!”.

The Passing Of A Legend – Stan Winston

On Sunday, June 15th 2008 Hollywood and the world at large lost a legend.

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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.

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Stan created the fearsome Predator who stalked Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger in the jungle.
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Stan gave us a reason to scream in space with the sinister Aliens who did battle with Sigourney Weaver.
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Stan introduced us to the unique person that was Edward Scissorhands.
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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.
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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.