• To The Moon And Beyond

    In 1963 Graphic Films Corporation produced a film titled “To the Moon and Beyond” for the Travel and Transportation pavilion at the 1964-5 New York World’s Fair. Douglas Trumbull produced much of the artwork for unusual multiplane and fisheye photography under the direction of Benjamin Jackson, and cinematographer James Dickson.

  • Blade Runner

    Director Ridley Scott was fortunate to contract with EEG just after completion of CE3K, because there was a great visual similarity between the films. The Hades Landscape and overall cityscape needed the same smoke effects as CE3K, the blimp needed the same lighting effects as the Mothership, and the spinners were not dissimilar to the UFOs. The optical addition of drizzling rain helped make the difference between the pristine beauty of CE3K and the gritty pollution of Blade Runner.

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

    Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece was filmed in Borehamwood, England, for three years between 1965 and its release in 1968. Douglas Trumbull began work on the film as an animator doing the Hal readouts, and worked his way up through miniature design, construction, and photography. He became instrumental in solving some of the most difficult challenges of the film, including Jupiter and the Stargate.

  • Star Trek - The Motion Picture

    Teaming up with Robert Wise again, Douglas Trumbull and Richard Yuricich’s EEG helped finish this troubled film on time by splitting off some of the work to John Dykstra’s Apogee. The photographic effects work was previously contracted to Bob Abel’s company, which planned to implement a radical departure in effects work by using Evans and Sutherland computers to previsualize all shots, and send control tapes to the stage for automated photography. There were myriad reasons why this approach failed, causing Paramount to terminate Abel and cajole Trumbull and Yuricich into the breach. A deal was struck whereby in exchange for completing the Star Trek work on a harrowing schedule, Trumbull would be freed from his exclusive contract at Future General Corporation (a subsidiary of Paramount), and take the Showscan film process with him.

  • The Andromeda Strain

    Robert Wise’s film, based upon Michael Crichton’s best-selling novel, offered Douglas Trumbull the job of creating and shooting the deadly strain from space. The project was shot at Trumbull Film Effects in Canoga Park, California, in collaboration with his partner Jamie Shourt, where they implemented some of the first applications of computer numerically controlled stepper motors on both microscopes and miniatures.

  • Brainstorm

    First developed at Future General Corporation as a vehicle to launch the Showscan process of high speed 70mm photography and projection, the project foundered at Paramount under new management. Picked up by MGM under David Begleman, the film starred Natalie Wood, Christopher Walken, Cliff Robertson, and Louise Fletcher, under the direction of Douglas Trumbull. MGM was unwilling to make the film in Showscan, so a compromise was reached by using both 35mm and 65mm formats, alternating between mono and stereophonic sound. The story of Natalie Wood’s tragic death during production will never been fully known, and the challenge of completing the film against the will of MGM was one of Douglas Trumbull’s greatest triumphs, while also revealing to him the worst of Hollywood machinations. For this reason, he moved to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts and began working outside the Hollywood feature film community, soon to land the very exciting project “BACK TO THE FUTURE – THE RIDE for Steven Spielberg and Universal.

  • Silent Running

    Douglas Trumbull wrote the original treatment for this film, and later collaborated with Michael Cimino, Steven Bochco, and Derek Washburn on the screenplay, which Trumbull directed. Based upon an idea from Todd Browning’s “Freaks”, Trumbull and his team devised the Drones. Performed by bilateral amputees, the Drones played against Bruce Dern in this science fiction classic about preserving the world’s flora and fauna against an eco catastrophe. The film pioneered the use of portable 4x5 plate front projection throughout, often achieving fifteen set-ups per day of process photography in addition to the regular schedule. The film was shot in 32 days, aboard the mothballed aircraft carrier Valley Forge in Long Beach, California, and inside an airplane hangar at the Van Nuys airport in the San Fernando Valley.

  • Secrets Of The Luxor Pyramid - Trilogy

    Following the tremendous success of BACK TO THE FUTURE – THE RIDE, Trumbull’s new company Berkshire Motion Picture was awarded a contract for three attractions at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas. Exploring a radical new concept in theme park attractions, Trumbull devised a trilogy of attractions that comprised the first, second, and third act of a complete drama. The first act was a simulator ride with a revolutionary motion base as well as 48 frame per second photography and projection onto a hemispheric screen with high gain and low cross-reflectance. The second act was a seemingly “live” late night television talk show, featuring the Showscan process rear projected into a full-scale set – resulting in the audience believing that they were seeing a live show. The third act was the Theatre of the Future, featuring a vertical screen “Time Machine” theme, and explored complex speed ramping of the 48 frame per second VistaVision film. Photographic effects work included combined live action, miniature, and CGI all composited at 6K resolution. Photographic effects were headed by Joel Hynek and Jeff Kleiser, and the trilogy was co-directed by Douglas Trumbull and Arish Fyzee. Production design was by Robert U. Taylor.

  • Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

    Following on the success of “Jaws”, Steven Spielberg wrote and directed this science fiction classic about the world’s first large scale contact and exchange with an alien species. Douglas Trumbull partnered with his longtime friend and collaborator Richard Yuricich and began Entertainment Effects Group in Marina Del Rey, California to produce the photographic effects. They pioneered the first real-time on-location digital recording of camera motion in collaboration with Jerry Jeffress, who built the electronics. Doug’s father, Donald Trumbull engineered the physical motion control rigs, and EEG was the first company to composite motion control shots in 65mm. They pioneered the “smoke room” technique for miniature atmosphere control, the salt/fresh water tank technique for cloud creation, and complex “soft matte” techniques for retaining glows and lens flares within composite shots.