Douglas Trumbull, effects supervisor of The Motion Picture, dies at 79
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Douglas Trumbull Effectively Saved Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Douglas Trumbull was director and special effects supervisor for films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Trek: The Movie. A busy man in the 1970s, he turned down the opportunity to provide effects for Star Wars, but took on the task for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And it was close encounters that kept him from originally accepting Paramount’s offer to oversee effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Fortunately, things worked out to put Trumbull in the pilot’s seat for the special effects of the very first Star Trek movie, which launched a fleet of follow-up films and effectively saved Star Trek: The Motion Picture when Robert Abel and Associates failed. were not up to the task. Star Trek fans will always be grateful for his intervention, and today we mourn the news of his death at the age of 79.
Star Trek pays tribute to Douglas Trumbull
Michael Okuda, the graphic designer who designed the Enterprise deck for Star Trek IV: A Voyage Home and many other Star Trek projects, called Trumbull a “legend”, “artist, inventor and personal hero”. And David C. Fein, who produced the director’s cut of Robert Wise’s The Motion Picture, said, “Doug created the future. He lived with “what could be” and inspired beyond limits. His passion was contagious, his vision was limitless. Although he will be greatly missed, his influence will be with us forever.
In a moving position, Todd Vaziri, the 2009 Star Trek Sequence Supervisor, shared business cards showcasing Trumbull and his work with special photographic effects and a simple “Douglas Trumbull.” “Thank you.”
Trumbull’s contribution to the Star Trek community will never be forgotten. Thanks to his dedication and drive, we were able to return to the Enterprise in all its glory in 1979.