Kong Still King

Kong The Magnificent

The special efx wizards of today look back on this classic tale of Beauty And The Beast. Fathom Events is showing this classic in theaters on March 15th only.

PHIL TIPPETT, Tippett Studio

(“Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope,” “Jurassic Park,” “RoboCop”)

“I was five in 1956 when King Kong was aired on TV – a small screen. I recall hiding behind an overstuffed chair horrified yet enthralled by the visions. That’s when it all started. This was a seminal film – pure magic. When you consider that sound had only come to the screen a scant four years earlier, the imagination of what could be done exploded. Not to mention Willis O’Brien’s team’s fantastic, cutting-edge stop-motion animation, puppets by Marcel Delgado, matte paintings by Mario Larrinaga and Byron Crabbe, the detailed miniatures, rear projection, etc., were ground-breaking. King Kong remains a monument to the creative mind. Truly a miracle. Everything just seemed to flow together. DON’T MISS IT ON THE BIG SCREEN!”

 HAL HICKEL, Animation Director, Industrial Light & Magic

(“The Mandalorian,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl”)

King Kong has had an immeasurable influence on the visual effects industry generally, and on my career specifically. Like many practitioners of visual effects before me, the 1933 King Kong was the movie that started me on my path. I saw the film for the first time around 1970 on TV when I was 6 years old and was instantly obsessed with learning about how it was made. A few years later, when I had my own Super 8 camera, the first thing I did was make my own Kong puppet, and start animating him kicking toy cars, and climbing cardboard buildings. The impossible vision of an enormous ape rampaging around NYC has forever left its imprint on my psyche, and our industry.”

MIKE CHAMBERS, Chair, Visual Effects Society

(“Dunkirk,” “Inception”)

“I distinctly remember the first time I saw King Kong on TV as a young boy in the late 60’s, and it blew my young boy’s mind! As a grown man, VFX professional & cinephile, I am still in awe of the work of some of the great pioneers of special visual effects who brought it to life. Though there have been a number of remakes released over the years, all utilizing the latest technologies of their times, it is this original King Kong that will always remain a classic of cinematic history.”

MATTHEW SENREICH, Co-Founder, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios

(“Robot Chicken” Co-Creator)

“My Dad showed me King Kong many times as a kid, and being a New Yorker, I was captivated by him climbing the Empire State Building. I wondered how was that real. To this day, every time I go back home, I still dream I see him up there. But without King Kong and Willis O’Brien’s work in stop-motion animation, I might not do what I do! I certainly would not be in a creative environment every single day where I subconsciously think of that scene, and everything it led to. On some level, King Kong is around me all the time – to me, that’s the definition of movie magic.”

SETH GREEN, Co-Founder, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios

(“Robot Chicken” Co-Creator)

King Kong was made almost 90 years ago, and its visual effects are not just a milestone, they are a great way to see how far we’ve come. This early stop motion didn’t offer the control over the speed or fluidity of the motion that we have today, which makes stop-motion all the more convincing, but were it not for King Kong and the innovations inspired, we would never be here. The original work may seem clunky, but it’s also legendary, and if I had never seen the animation in King Kong I would never have dreamed of applying it to comedy.”

CRAIG BARRON, Film Historian and Oscar-Winning Visual Effects Supervisor

(“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Captain America: The First Avenger”)

“I first saw King Kong in a revival theater at the age of 12. It was an experience that led me to a career in visual effects. “Kong” the towering gorilla-like creature was an 18-inch animation puppet, a fabrication of machined and articulated steel covered with foam skin and rabbit fur that creator and stop-motion model animator Willis O’Brien manipulated frame by frame. It’s a masterpiece that O’Brien developed new visual effect technologies for, making King Kong one of the greatest adventure-fantasies ever made.”

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