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While others grew up admiring movie stars, sport athletes, chart topping singers... my greater heroes were actually fathers in the special effects scene. It is guys like Willis O'Brien, Ray Harryhausen, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett and Dennis Murren who made movie magic real to me.

While the great Ray Harryhausen mastered the art of stop-motion animation, it was Stan Winston who mastered animatronics; electronically animated, part-robot, part-puppet creatures. Topped with his craft of world class movie makeup, who can forget creatures like the menacing, 14-foot-tall Alien Queen in "Aliens," the extraterrestrial jungle creature in "Predator," the futuristic cyborg assassins in the "Terminator" movies, and the life-size Tyrannosaurus rex in the " Jurassic Park" movies.

Yesterday, the movie industry lost a great talent. Stan Winston, 62; died of complications from multiple myeloma.
Special effects, by themselves, don't mean diddly squat in a movie. If the characters I created can't perform, can't act and aren't interesting, it just isn't going to work. It doesn't matter how good the technique is if you have not created interesting characters. - Stan Winston

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