The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

Pamela Turner

Experimental Animation and Visual Effects; Illusive Applications of Innovative Visions

he relationship between animation and visual effects, as seen in the early resurgence of visual effects in 1970s Hollywood, will be examined through the contributions of five artists; John Whitney, Sr., Adam Beckett, Jordan Belson, Chris Casady, and Dennis Pies. This renaissance was prompted largely by the need for effects artists for the production of “The Star Wars”. There had been a lull in the need for visual effects after the 1950s and when pre-production began in 1975 the remaining experts had retired. Directors turned to experimental animators who were familiar with innovating new techniques and exploring alternative visions.

Biographical statement: As Adam Beckett’s biographer, my research has taken me from the fine arts arena into the unlikely world of Hollywood visual effects. Recently, I co-hosted a screening of Beckett’s work, an event held by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Science and Technology Committee to honor his creative contributions to the industry. In addition to writing and research, I teach animation studio as an associate professor in the Kinetic Imaging department at Virginia Commonwealth University, and have made two award-winning animations. I oversee the Adam Beckett Project at The iotaCenter, in Los Angeles.