Special effects movies tend to date rapidly, to the point where the effects of The Phantom Menace looked a bit hokey by the time Attack of the Clones came out just a few years later. So how come the effects of the original Jurassic Park, released back in 1993 when half the people reading this were in junior high, still look better than just about anything you'd see at the multiplex today? Why, because Steven Spielberg had the good sense to employ Mr. Stan Winston, special-effects artist extraordinaire. The film mixed what was then state-of-the-art computer animation with life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs created at the Winston workshop, and while some of the CGI shots in the film admittedly look a bit sketchy nowadays, Winston's robot dinosaurs remain terrifyingly persuasive. Among his many, many other credits, we have Winston to thank for the creatures in some of James Cameron's better pictures (including the robo-Arnold of The Terminator and the titular penis monsters of Aliens) and for Johnny Depp's memorable look in Edward Scissorhands. A local boy of sorts (Winston got his training at Cal State Long Beach), Winston returns to these parts Saturday to sign copies of Jody Duncan's new book, The Winston Effect, an exhaustive look at Winston's output over the past 30 years.
Stan Winston signs The Winston Effect at Monsters In Motion, 181 W. Orangethorpe Ave., Ste. E, Placentia, (714) 577-8863. Sat., noon. Free.
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