The man who birthed a thousand creatures is gone. Hollywood visual effects master Stan Winston passed away on Sunday from multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the blood cells he had been dealing with for seven years, at the age of 62. He is survived by a wife, son, daughter, brother, four grandchildren and an army of dinosaurs, aliens, robots and mutants that he has helped bring to life over the years.
It's hard to say what Stan Winston is most famous for. Stan Winston Studio, which started in his garage in 1972 and today has a staff of 50, created the aliens from Alien and Predator, the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, the makeup from Edward Scissorhands, the suit of armor from Iron Man and the robots from The Terminator, including the currently in production Terminator: Salvation. The studio also worked on hundreds of other films and TV shows, and even made their own action figures based on their original designs for a short time.
Even as CGI became more and more prevalent, Winston's practical effects and makeup made a film's characters more believable, because they were real. So now I have a challenge for the folks at Stan Winston Studio: Bring him back.
Seriously, we can't lose him. Iron Man needed that real suit, Terminator needs real robots, and we need Stan. As long as Stan was in Hollywood, there was the chance that a movie would come out looking halfway decent. C'mon, you made real, living dinosaurs in Jurassic Park and real, living Wookies in the Star Wars Holiday Special, so this should be a piece of cake! Just grab one of those spare Terminator endoskeletons, get one of those full-body lifecasts of Stan I know you have lying around and put it together. He'll need a nuclear fuel cell and the occasional tune-up, but we'd all feel better knowing he's still around.