Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stan Winston, 1946-2008

Special visual effects and make-up visionary Stan Winston died on Sunday in his home in Malibu, California, surrounded by his family.

Winston had been suffering a seven-year-long struggle with multiple myeloma. He was 62.

Winston had a tremendously successful life and influential impact on the film industry, in a career that spanned roughly four decades. He brought to life some of the most iconic movie monsters and creatures, most notably for those featured in Jurassic Park, Aliens, and Terminator 2. He also collaborated with Tim Burton, on Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, and Big Fish. Burton spoke very highly of Winston.

Richard Corliss of Time Magazine wrote about Winston. In the recent article, he included some comments on his collaborations with Mr. Burton, and thus offering a sense of Stan Winston's work as a whole:

"Yet he wasn't out simply to scare the audience; he wanted to create complex, often sympathetic figures— to enlighten us about the dark side. "I don't do special effects," he once said. "I do characters." His Edward Scissorhands character, elaborated on from director Tim Burton's sketches, puts the poignancy right in that white, sweet, baleful, soulful face. The Penguin, played by Danny DeVito in Burton's Batman Returns, is an ugly, beaky thing that no kid could mistake for having happy feet; yet beneath his comic rage there's an abandoned child's ache, palpable and, thanks to Winston, visible."

You can read the rest of the article here.

Stan Winston may have passed on too soon, but his impact on the film industry will certainly not fade away any time in the near future. Winston reportedly always had a vibrant enthusiasm for his work. That artistic passion certainly shows in his iconic, unforgettable creations.

Rest in peace, Stan.

A couple of Mr. Winston's familiar creations:

Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Danny DeVito as The Penguin in Batman Returns (1992)


Redfox said...

good journey, ol´ Winston.

Anonymous said...

It's a disgrace that this is the first place I've heard of his passing. He was a true visonary.

Dan Biggane said...

I agree with the previous comment, I too only found out about Mr Winston's sad passing on this website.

My mum died from the same form of debilitating bone marrow cancer last October (aged 58).

I just wanted to take this opportunity, to pass on my sympathy to Mr Winston's family.

I love Tim Burton's movies and Edward Scissorhands is possibly the most enchanting, magical movie I've ever seen. Despite the beautiful acting/performances and Burton's story, this film might not have worked had it not been for the special visual effects and make-up from Mr Winston.

I have always been deeply moved by the Edward Scissorhands story, now I can't help feel it will be an even more emotional watch.

Likewise, I've always found Big Fish a partcularly emotional, but feel good life-affirming story ...

It's currently Myeloma Awareness Week here in the UK and if I may take this opportunity to draw readers attention to my music4myeloma campaign - it's on myspace please pay me a visit (if it's ok to publish the link here? its: www.myspace.com/music4myeloma).

I miss my mum more and more evry single day but, as part of my fundaising and awareness raising attempts for Myeloma UK I would love to pay my respects to Mr Winston through a possible public screening of Edward Scissorhands and Big Fish... can anyone advise me? (Theatres wouldn't be such a problem but I'm not sure on laws etc)

Rest in peace, Mr Winston (and Vincent Price)

Dan Biggane

Fuzzy Duck said...

^Thank you for the information, Dan Biggane.

As for screenings, I don't know what legal issues you may run into. If you were making the money for personal profit, that would be illegal. But I'm not certain what the rules are with fundraisers...

Keep up the great work, though, and best of luck and wishes to you! It would be great for an event like that to occur.

Anonymous said...

This article is great. Stan Winston was one of the best makeup artists ever next to Rick Baker and Tom Savini.

I loved his work. Very clever guy.

I was so shocked when he passed away.