Multi-faceted filmmaker and master of special effects.
April 8, 1942
Douglas Trumbull has forged a multi-faceted career as an innovative master of special effects, a visionary filmmaker, and an entrepreneur.
Born in Los Angeles, Trumbull began his career as a technical illustrator for Graphic Films, a small animation and graphic arts studio. His work on the feature To the Moon and Beyond (1964) caught the attention of director Stanley Kubrick and resulted in Trumbull's hire as special effects supervisor on Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film utilized Trumbull's own process of slit-scan photography to obtain the more abstract sequences. This groundbreaking technique contributed to the film's critical acclaim and established Trumbull as one of the top names in motion picture special effects.
Trumbull made his directorial debut with the feature film Silent Running (1972), a quiet film that emphasizes an ecological message over explosive thrills, but thanks to Trumbull's effects experience, has strong visual impact. In addition to directing, Trumbull continued to impart his special effects talents on the landmark science fiction films Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and Blade Runner (1982), each film earning him an Academy Award nomination.
Trumbull's recent endeavors have built upon his film production experience and have provided further developments in special effects technology. He has been awarded multiple patents for ventures including motion simulator design and the Showscan® process for cinematography. In 1997 Trumbull formed Entertainment Design Workshop (EDW), a company specializing in advancing technologies for digital production, virtual sets, and electronic cinematography. He has received the American Society of Cinematographer's Lifetime Achievement Award, a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award, and is one of only five honorary members of the Visual Effects Society.