As you would have heard by now, one of the greatest cinematic monster makers of all time died on 16 June, succumbing to multiple myeloma, which he’d been fighting for seven years. Stanley Winston, who was 62, will be missed not only by his family and friends, but by his numerous colleagues at the Stan Winston Studios and by his legions of fans.
For a long time Winston has been the “face” of genre special effects and SFX make-up — a superstar in the field, whose name is almost as much of a draw-card as those of the great directors he worked with (who included Tim Burton, John Carpenter, James Cameron, Neil Jordan, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, Terry Gilliam, Tobe Hooper, Peter Hyams, Stephen Hopkins, Frank Marshall, Steve Miner, Michael Bay, Fred Dekker, Gary Sherman and others — a virtual role-call of genre filmmakers). From his gargoyles in 1972, through a parade of aliens, predators, things, dinosaurs, robots, ghosts, demons and other assorted creatures to his recent work in constructing Iron Man, he has done more to create the icons of modern horror and science fiction than almost anyone. In his directorial debut film Pumpkinhead (1988), he created one of my favourite monster designs.
Winston has won four Oscars for his work in Jurassic Park, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Aliens, but has won 17 other film awards and has been nominated 31 times. Check out his amazing filmography for yourself on IMDB.
I have known Stan Winston’s name — and have considered it a guarantee of quality monster or SFX design if it appeared on the credits of a movie, however effective the specific film itself may or may not have been — for nearly as long as I have watched movies. I will definitely miss his expertise.
Below is a collection of images, mainly taken from auction material, that illustrate the extent of his talent. They are all maquettes made by Winston himself, or under his guidance, that were used on-screen in the various films in which they featured.