“The Trumbull Effect”
Tribute by Jon van der Horst
Post by Jennifer Kiley
Post Friday 4th July 2014
Tribute to one of the biggest special/visual effects gurus of our time: Douglas Trumbull.
This should be presented not just as a Tribute to Douglas Trumbull but to a collection of the most sensational awe-inspiring scenes & moments in films. It may be a redundant statement but I am going to say it. “It took my breath away.” A bombardment, in a positive manner, of uplifting & if you are a cinephile or not, some will remember each scene from the film it belongs to. Even if you don’t the special effects as still breathtakingly amazing.
Douglas Trumbull left a magnificent legacy & is a brilliant teacher & guide for all those who want to keep building on Douglas Trumbull’s Foundation. The list of films are many. I have enjoyed most, I believe. At the bottom of the post are a list of IMdB links to filmtracks. Also, there is an alternate site on YouTube. All the links should be active. Just click on them & they will take you to the filmtracks.
“The Trumbull Effect” [Douglas Trumbull] Tribute by Jon van der Horst
05m 34s HD by J. Horst
Excerpts from “Promenade” and “The Bogatyr Gates (in the Capital in Kiev)” of Modest Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”
Alternate link: youtube.com/watch?v=E233iga1ZJI&hd=1
Douglas Huntley Trumbull (born April 8, 1942) is the son of Donald Trumbull who created visual effects for the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz as well as later movies including Silent Running and Star Wars. Douglas entered into being a filmmaker having a pedigree in which to follow. He is a successful American film director, special effects supervisor, and inventor. He contributed to, or was responsible for, the special photographic effects of:
***2001: A Space Odyssey [Keir Dullea & Gary Lockwood. Directed by Stanley Kubrick from book by Arthur C. Clarke] Brief Synopsis: Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial, object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.
***Close Encounters of the Third Kind [Richard Dreyfus, François Truffaut, Teri Garr & Melinda Dillon. Directed by Steven Spielberg] Brief Synopsis: After an encounter with U.F.O.s, many people are drawn to a special site. A line worker, played by Richard Dreyfus, feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen. It is worth every moment you have to watch in order to reach the fantastic special effects reaching their ultimate awesome experience culminating in the blown away conclusion of this film.
***Star Trek: The Motion Picture  [William Shatner (Kirk), Leonard Nimoy (Spoc), DeForest Kelley (Bones). Directed by Robert Wise (directed The Sound of Music & West Side Story – just a few of the many in his repertoire). Star Trek: The Motion Picture is based on the TV Series Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry]. Brief Synopsis: When a destructive space entity is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral Kirk resumes command of the Starship Enterprise in order to intercept, examine and hopefully stop the intruder.
***Blade Runner [Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Darryl Hannah, Rutger Hauer & Directed by Ridley Scott] Brief Synopsis: A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.
***The Tree of Life [Jessica Chastain, Brad Pitt & Sean Penn. Directed by Terrence Mallick]. Brief Synopsis: The story of a family in Waco, Texas in 1956. The eldest son witnesses the loss of innocence and struggles with his parents’ conflicting teachings. (The opening sequence with knock you out of this world).
Douglas Trumbull directed the movies:
***Silent Running [Bruce Dern. Directed by Douglas Trumbull]. Brief Synopsis: In a future where all flora is extinct on Earth, an astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth’s botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft. [A revised statement about Silent Running: “This film is about the ecology movement. Trying to make people realize if we continue polluting Earth the only safe place for nature would be in space. If things don’t change we will go to our graves knowing we did nothing except to give the next generations an uninhabitable planet, instead of the healthy planet we were given. The film makes this obvious & simple point. We need to gain wisdom. Return to a place we once knew only to find it has been completely destroyed by urban/ industrial/ economic development. We will then understand the true meaning of Silent Running. When you go back to find the favorite woods you loved or the lake you used to swim in no longer there. Deep down you will understand why we need to take care of Earth. This seems to be the point of the film Silent Running. It is not a bad movie, it is a great movie, and what we learn should open up awareness within the audience].
***Brainstorm  [Natalie Woods’ last film. She died from a mysterious drowning while it was being filmed. It, also, stars Christopher Walken & Louise Fletcher of ‘Nurse Ratchet’ fame from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest & Cliff Robertson]. Douglas Trumbull directs this 70MM Dolby Stereo Sci-Fi classic. Brief Synopsis: Before people knew what Virtual Reality was, Brainstorm showed us. In the film, a Team of Scientists, work on a machine that records and plays back the primary 5 senses. At first, it is just ‘entertainment,’ but then the Military intercedes with the program & before the scientists have a chance to notice their program Brainstorm has been stolen away. The Military intrusion drives the scientists to go underground & secretly steal the components & access the Brainstorm system. They can’t help but continue following their curiosity, until one of the scientists suffers a fatal heart attack, while recording it on the machine. At this point, the military completely cut off the scientists from access to Brainstorm. The lead scientist in charge of Brainstorm, from out of his curiosity grows an obsessive need to listen to the recording of the heart attack. In order to do so he must regain access to Brainstorm by bypassing the Militaries control. Will he be able to do this?…Who will get final control of Brainstorm?
I feel Brainstorm should be up there with the biggest films for its originality & suspense. I admit when I first watched it, I wanted to see Natalie Woods’ last film, but I did want to see Brainstorm when I first heard it was being made & that Natalie Woods would be one of the stars in it. That was before her sudden & suspicious death.
The following phrasing was on the poster to advertise the film Brainstorm: “The door to the mind is open. Imagine a machine that records sights… sounds …sensations…thoughts… feelings…emotions, even your dreams and nightmares. Then at the touch of a button, transfers these personal experiences from one mind to another. Any person. Any experience. Anything you can imagine. BRAINSTORM…The Ultimate Experience.”
This is Douglas Trumbull’s contribution to the world of film. I would unequivocally say, he has given us an exceptional foundation which many have used to continue growing the world of special effects through the use of CGI & brilliant artists. They create the magic. We as the audience reap the rewards.
Thank you Douglas Trumbull. I have been fortunate to have seen all of the films I have mentioned. They are all 5 star ***** films filled with the entertainment most of us have enjoyed & will continue to enjoy. If you are of my school of film watching, I am a repeat “offender” for I enjoy multiple viewings of the best of what films have to offer. I, personally, love being a screenwriter and a student of film making & a true cinephile. Watching films, Feature length or Short Films, are a major part of the reality I live in. ❤ jkm
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Posted on “Expats Post” where I am an author & film reviewer, on Monday the 30th of June 2014. Will be listed under the Film Reviews when first posted on most pages you might visit at Expats Post.