Star destroyer from "Star Wars"
Special effects take a low profile, with naturalistic cinema
verité films in the ascendancy, until several special effects hits
herald the start of the blockbuster era.
Disaster is the order of the decade, beginning with "Earthquake" and "The
Towering Inferno" in 1974. More mayhem follows with "The Hindenburg" (1975)
and "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972).
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" features a spectacular UFO mothership
aglow with thousands of lights overseen by visual effects supervisor Doug
Trumbull; the 400-pound fiberglass model, four feet high by five feet wide, is
meticulously wired with neon tubes, incandescent bulbs, and fiber optics.
Additional lighting is added through projection.
"Star Wars" is released, featuring highly complex space battles made possible
by electronic motion control, invented by visual effects supervisor John
Dykstra. Dykstra and the film receive Oscars, and "Star Wars" revitalizes the
1977 - the Millenium Falcon, from "Star Wars"
Photos: (1) ©1996 WGBH Educational Foundation.
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