SFX Legend Douglas Trumbull on Kubrick, Malick and the Future of Film

The man behind many of the ground breaking effects of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey opens up about what it was like to work for him, Terrence Malick, and where film is going in the future.
Douglas_Trumbull

Filmmaker: You began your career by looking for a job as an animator in Los Angeles. Your first film, To the Moon and Beyond,appeared at the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and you were employed to do the illustrations and artwork. How did this film shape your career?

Trumbull: This was a film shot in a very odd film process that has never been used before or since, which was a 10-perforation-high, 70mm film where each frame of film was a circle projected onto a dome screen. It was shot and projected through fish-eye lenses and projected onto a planetary dome. The film took you from the big bang to infinity in about 15 minutes. Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke came to the World’s Fair and saw the film and I think now it must have been a seminal moment for them because it validated their concept that they could make 2001: A Space Odyssey, which at that time was called Journey Beyond the Stars, and that it would be possible to make a scientific, popular 70mm movie.

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