Make-up, animatronics and effects legend Stan Winston passed away on Sunday at the too-young age of 62. In memoriam, Cinematical humbly presents this list of the man's most enduring achievements.
Some of my most treasured movie memories -- childhood and otherwise -- are courtesy of Stan Winston. What impressed me about this list as I was making it was that Winston specialized in realizing the imaginations of our greatest filmmakers -- directors like Burton, Spielberg, Cameron. Winston was a genius himself, of course, but he also facilitated genius, and that's just as important. Those guys owe him so much.
He had many accomplishments beyond the ones I've listed. That's what the comment thread is for.
1. Jurassic Park's Dinosaurs.
It's hard to describe the impression Jurassic Park made back in 1993. I was 9 years old, which was just old enough to be properly amazed. This was the new generation of popular cinema: perfect, lifelike wonders on the screen as if it were the most natural thing on the planet. Earlier technicians did a lot with simple puppetry, stop-motion and miniatures, but now all bets were off, and all barriers seemed lifted. Once you accepted the scientific goofiness of the film's premise, no further suspension of disbelief was necessary. Winston opened the gates to a whole new cinematic playground.