Doug Trumbull leaves us at the age of 79, leaving behind an indelible impact on the world of sci-fi cinema.
Douglas Trumbull has passed away, following a two year battle with cancer, a tumor and a stroke. He was 79 years old. What a legacy he leaves behind.
Trumbull’s filmography boasts some of the greatest science fiction films ever made, but beyond that, some of the most revolutionary effects sequences ever committed to film. From the mesmerising opening shot of Blade Runner where the future dystopia of Los Angeles was built as a copper-etched model, filled with fibre-optic lights, through to the iconic star-gate sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey, for which Trumbull developed a unique kind of photography known as ‘slit-scan’, the special effects whizz was a true pioneer.
Trumbull also worked on Star Trek: The Motion Picture, as well as Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. George Lucas wanted him to head up this fledgling Industrial Light and Magic special effects house, whilst making Star Wars: A New Hope in the mid-1970s, but Trumbull was already committed to working with Spielberg on Close Encounters. He would also direct, making both Brainstorm and the influential and stunning-looking Silent Running, a film which belied its budget with beautiful visuals to become a classic science fiction tale which still has a firm following today.
Trumbull, who was nominated for two Oscars and received two honorary awards from the Academy, is succeeded by his daughter, who said he is ‘an absolute genius and a wizard and his contributions to the film and special effects industry will live on for decades and beyond.’
Our condolences our with his family at this time. Thanks for everything, Mr Trumbull.
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