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Master of Creatures

January 5, 2015

From The California Sunday Magazine, a nice fancy & splashy article write-up about Meister Phil Tippett.

Phil Tippett is perhaps kind of a renegade and/or iconoclast in the biz. Years ago, just about every major effects studio that switched to CGI, eventually disposed of most of their ol’ school, tools of the trade methods & equipment, whereas Phil, still has kept much of his traditional special effects equipment, tools, & stage/studio. He has not abandoned his roots in the tactile hand-crafting of visual effects with real world materials, puppets, sets, miniatures, The original 1993 Jurassic Park forced Phil to jump into CGI in order to stay in the visual effects business and he has been very successful in transferring his ol’ school creative sensibilities & philosophy to CGI.

IMO, much of today’s creature character motion, choreography & style that you see in many of the genre sci-fi, fantasy, etc movies done by other special effects studios, borrows from Phil Tippett. There is high kinetic energy in the creature character animation. Look at my earlier post about the Dark Overlord as one example. Phil inspired by Ray Harryhausen who’s characters (the Cyclops only one example) had an incredibly dynamic signature in those days (before Cgi), when compared to men in suits & mechanical puppets (of that time). Ray was ahead of his time. Of course Ray as a young boy, strongly inspired & motivated by Willis O’brien (the original King Kong). The torch passes on to the next …. however … there are only very small minority who still have passion for this hands-on tactile creation of creature character animation & special effects. I just hope ‘it’ continues, in spite of all the excess bombardment of mass produced CGI sameness out there.

Here is the article … a good read & overview about Phil and brief revelation of his observations about the biz.


Topics: Animators, Dynamation, Special Effects, Stop Motion | No Comments »


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