Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

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Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"Hi, I'm T. rex, and today I lost my best friend...."

That was the reaction from the most famous resident of Jurassic Park earlier this morning when it was announced that four-time Academy Award-winning special effects-makeup-prosthetics genius Stan Winston --- the man whose creations also included the slimy 14-foot alien Queen from Aliens and the liquid-metal assassin T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgement Day --- died Sunday night at his home in Malibu, California. He was 62.

Another of Stan's legendary creations, the icky-looking and dismal Predator, issued a statement requesting that his loyal fans allow him a few days to mourn Stan's loss in private. A spokesperson for Stan Winston Studios identified the cause of death as multiple myeloma.

While many celebrated Stan's talents as a master special effects wizard, Stan himself believed otherwise, saying: "It's not about technology. It's all about writers writing wonderful stories with fantastic characters and me being able to create a visual image that goes beyond what you would expect." And the unexpected stomped out of Stan's workshops and onto the big screen in more ways than one: from the slicy fingers of Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands to the beaky visage of the Penguin in Batman Returns; from the walking, talking animatronic teddy bear from Spielberg's A.I. to his only two major efforts as a film director, 1988's Pumpkinhead and 1990's A Gnome Named Gnorm.

In 2001, Stan Winston became the first and only special effects/make-up artist to be honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That same year, he launched launched Stan Winston Creatures, the toy company whose inaugural line coincided with the HBO series he was then developing, Creature Features, saluting the cheaply-made horror movies of the 1950's. His most recent contributions included two of this summer's current hits, Iron Man and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. At the time of his death, the following projects were in development at Stan Winston Studios: Terminator --- Salvation: The Future Begins...., G.I. Joe, Shutter Island and James Cameron's Avatar.

Stan Winston is survived by his wife, Karen and eldest son Matthew, both of Encino, California; daughter Debbie Winston-Litoff, of nearby Woodland Hills; and 4 grandchildren.

In his comments from Jurassic Park, T. rex said: "Stan did more for us dinosaurs than any of the big geniuses put together. Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen may have made us look really good in their day, but when it came to giving dinos everywhere the reputation we've been so proud of all these years, it was Stan who really hit the biggest home runs outta the ball park. We'll miss you, Stan!" the big fella concluded, before stomping off to a private section of Isla Nubar. Clearly T. rex did not want the humans attending his brief press conference to see the King of the Thunder Lizards bursting into tears.