Cinematic monsters have come a long way in the last 40 years. In the days of “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” they were puppets and costumes, stop-motion figures and animatronic creations. In the years since, they have become something else entirely, progressing from CG to motion capture, and creations such as BB–8 — the droid is a sort of one-of-a-kind creation that doesn’t fit neatly into these other categories. Today, especially with movies like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the aliens and monsters that pop up on screen are likely a blend of most of these techniques. And much of the time the art of creating these aliens and monsters, as imperative as it is to any given film, goes forgotten.
Phil Tippett, the animator and monster maker behind such classics as that first ‘Star Wars’ entry and “Jurassic Park,” is one of the most important figures in the field today, and a new 22-minute VICE doc is here to celebrate his ghoulish work. “My Life In Monsters: Meet The Animator Behind ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Jurassic Park’” takes a look at Tippett’s long and storied career building some of the most iconic creatures in cinematic history. From creating masks and puppets for the original ‘Star Wars’ films, to helping to pioneer motion-capture animation on “Jurassic Park” (and winning an Oscar for his troubles), Tippett helped to revolutionize animation, effects, and film as we know it.
It’s a brief but interesting look into the life and mind of a cinematic legend, and an engrossing glimpse behind the scenes of some of the era’s most boundary-pushing films.
Check out ‘My Life In Monsters’ below and hit up the comments section with your thoughts.