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October 13, 2006

SPECIAL EFFECTS PIONEER DOUGLAS TRUMBULL TO GIVE FILM RESIDENCY AND PUBLIC SCREENINGS AT SIMON'S ROCK COLLLEGE OF BARD

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA — Oscar-winning filmmaker and visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull will be part of a three-week film studies residency at Simon's Rock College. The residency will include Trumbull's participation with students in the production of a short film, as well as four evening events in late October. The evening events will be free and open to the public.

On Monday, October 23, there will be a screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), directed by Stanley Kubrick, followed on Wednesday, October 25 by Blade Runner (1982), directed by Ridley Scott. Douglas Trumbull served as Special Photographic Supervisor on both these films. Silent Running (1970), which was directed by Trumbull, will be shown on Thursday, October 26. Douglas Trumbull will introduce each film and will deliver a short presentation with a Q & A afterwards.

The concluding event will be Douglas Trumbull: Past, Present and Future on Saturday October 28 — an evening in which Trumbull will discuss the current and future direction of his cinematic explorations. Included will be the screening of numerous clips, as well as some never-before-seen clips of works in progress.

All of the evening events/screenings will take place in the McConnell Theater at 7:30 p.m

As part of the residency, Trumbull will be the visiting artist for three weeks in the Electronic Arts Studio Video Production course in the Daniel Art Center at Simon's Rock. He will be working with Simon's Rock professor Larry Burke and his students to create a short film using electronic cinematography, "Virtual Set" technology, and computers to record, store, and edit scenes. Students will be using cutting edge technology provided by Paul Lacombe of Brainstorm America, and the class will create virtual sets as backgrounds, or settings, for the action of the film, performed by students from the Theatre Arts Department, under the supervision of Aimee Michel.

Larry Burke, who teaches film studies and digital video production at Simon's Rock, organized the residency and events, and says he was motivated to do so for a couple of reasons. "I had the idea that there is this incredibly significant figure in the world of film technology and artistry living in our midst," he said. At first Burke thought they might simply organize a retrospective of his films, but he then learned that Trumbull was interested in working with the students.

Burke is also interested in bridging the academic world with the professional and the residency seemed to be an ideal way to achieve that connection. "Along with Doug's long list of Hollywood productions, he is an important figure in the creative economy of the Berkshires by virtue of having created high-tech film companies in Housatonic, Lenoxdale, and Sheffield over the last eighteen years," said Burke.

Doug Trumbull's filmography of productions, in which he played a variety of roles including writer, director, producer, cinematographer, and photographic effects supervisor, includes 2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running, The Andromeda Strain, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Brainstorm and Leonardo's Dream.

Back to the Future — The Ride and Secrets of the Luxor Pyramid were produced in Housatonic and Lenoxdale. More recently Trumbull's company, Entertainment Design Workshop in Sheffield, developed the virtual set technology and supported the production of 52 episodes of Disney's The Book of Pooh.

Before he became renowned for his photographic effects and work as a director, he was a technical illustrator for Graphic Films, working on futuristic documentaries about space for NASA and the Air Force. At age 23, he became part of the team that pioneered the next generation of cinema, in Stanley Kubrick's visionary 2001: A Space Odyssey, which received an Academy Award for best photographic effects.

Trumbull has received Oscar nominations for his work in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Blade Runner. He has received an Academy Award in the area of Scientific and Technical Achievement, as well as the International Monitor Award and American Society of Cinematographers Lifetime Achievement award for his outstanding contributions in the field of filmmaking.

Trumbull holds twenty U.S. Patents on various entertainment technologies, and was Vice Chairman of IMAX Corporation, helping to take the company public in 1995. He continues to explore the boundaries of the "immersive experience", including the possibility of imagery being relayed directly to the retina, without aid of a conventional projector.

Today, Trumbull continues to develop virtual set technology and is preparing to apply new digital technologies to his own feature

Simon's Rock Media Contact:
Briee Della Rocca: 413 644-4706
E-mail: bdellarocca@simons-rock.edu