Thomas William Howard
27 March 1910
Northamptonshire, England, UK
|Died||30 August 1985 75) (aged|
Hertfordshire, England, UK
|Other names||Thomas Howard|
|Occupation||Special effects artist|
Tom Howard (27 March 1910 – 30 August 1985) was a British special effects artist who won two Academy Awards. He had 82 films from 1940 to 1974.
Both of these were for Best Special Effects.
Tom Howard (born in Kent on 27 March 1910) was an esteemed British special effects artist who gained especial prestige for his work in the 1940s – 1960s, in what is considered the golden age of Hollywood filmmaking. Initially starting out as a theatre-projectionist – the cinema equivalent of a water boy – Howard would transition to Denham Studios, working under the tutelage of Alexandra Korda, a Hungarian film director who would have a profound impact on the evolution of Howard's career. Howard would become a key player in the production of many of Korda's films, including the perennial classic Lawrence of Arabia , dreaming up (alongside Lawrence Butler) the earliest innovations of impressive photographic effects that would eventually net him an Oscar for his work in David Lean's Blithe Spirit (1945). By 1945, his prestigious innovations would come to the attention of MGM, who would end up appointing him as Director of Visual Effects for their British Studios division, located in Borehamwood, a town in Southern Hertfordshire, UK. There, he would be responsible for many effects that are still celebrated as some of the most memorable work in the business today, demonstrating a pioneering eye for practical effects, use of space, and iconic visual imagery. His most notable works include the burning of Rome in Mervyn LeRoy's Quo Vadis and many of the effects shots that made Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey such a beloved film. His tenure at the British offices of MGM Entertainment would last 15 years. In 1958, Howard would win his sophomore Academy Award for his involvement with George Pal’s Tom Thumb at the 31st Academy Award ceremony, and continue to work on many films, including The Haunting , Where Eagles Dare , et al. A quiet, unassuming man, he made his home near the MGM studios in the village of Bushey where he and his wife, Dorothy, brought up their children, and the only sign of his illustrious film reputation were the doorstops to his study and the dining room which, on closer inspection, turned out to be his Oscars. By the time of his retirement, Howard would have touched as many as 150 motion pictures, and have accomplished work on 85 of them. Howard died in his home in Bushey, Hertfordshire, from a stroke on 30 August 1985, at the age of 75.
Tom Howard was known to have a consistent working relationship with the legendary Stanley Kubrick, regarded by many as one of the greatest original filmmakers of all time. He would serve as special effects advisor on Kubrick’s "2001: A Space Odyssey". Combining optical and mechanical effects, the special effects that Howard, Kubrick, and other experts refined and collaborated on *"multiplied technical innovations: the intensive use of front projection for the landscapes in "The Dawn of Man" or the invention of stepping motors servo-controlled by computer for moving the spaceships."
As an individual who was always behind the camera, Howard rarely gave televised interviews. However, in the late 1970s, he was featured in an extended two-part interview on the program Clapperboard , hosted by Chris Kelly, where he discussed his experiences in Hollywood and the magic of visual effects. Otherwise, the only other times he could be persuaded to talk about his work were to cine film clubs or to local youth groups; when speaking to the latter he would usually begin by saying "I'm very old so you probably won't have heard of any of the people I've worked with" before going on to name people like Rex Harrison, Richard Burton, Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, etc. At the end of such talks he might show off one of his Oscars, usually transported in a teatowel.
Tom Howard was also a "founding member of the British Society of Cinematographers and a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and Britain’s Cinematograph, Sound and Television Society." In 1967, he would invent a variation on Front Projection Composite Cinematography. This patent would be widely influential on the process of filmmaking.
Barry Lyndon is a 1975 period drama film written and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the 1844 novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray. It stars Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee, Leonard Rossiter and Hardy Krüger. The film recounts the early exploits and later unravelling of a fictional 18th-century Irish rogue and opportunist who marries a rich widow to climb the social ladder and assume her late husband's aristocratic position.
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is frequently cited as one of the most influential filmmakers in cinematic history. His films, which are mostly adaptations of novels or short stories, cover a wide range of genres, and are noted for their realism, dark humor, unique cinematography, extensive set designs, and evocative use of music.
The Academy Award for Best Visual Effects is an Academy Award given for the best achievement in visual effects.
Douglas Huntley Trumbull is an American film director, special effects supervisor, and inventor. He contributed to, or was responsible for, the special photographic effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner and The Tree of Life, and directed the movies Silent Running and Brainstorm.
Universe is a black-and-white short animated documentary made in 1960 by the National Film Board of Canada. It "creates on the screen a vast, awe-inspiring picture of the universe as it would appear to a voyager through space. Realistic animation takes you into far regions of space, beyond the reach of the strongest telescope, past Moon, Sun, and Milky Way into galaxies yet unfathomed."
2010: The Year We Make Contact is a 1984 science fiction film written, produced, shot and directed by Peter Hyams. It is a sequel to Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), and is based on Arthur C. Clarke's sequel novel 2010: Odyssey Two (1982).
Brian Johnson is a British designer and director of film and television special effects.
Geoffrey Gilyard Unsworth, OBE, BSC was a British cinematographer who worked on nearly 90 feature films spanning over more than 40 years. He is best known for his work on films such as Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Bob Fosse's Cabaret and Richard Donner's Superman.
MGM-British was a subsidiary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer initially established at Denham Film Studios in 1936. It was in limbo during the Second World War; however, following the end of hostilities, a facility was acquired in Borehamwood, which remained in use until it was closed in 1970.
2001: A Space Odyssey is the 1968 science fiction novel written by Arthur C. Clarke and the 1968 film directed by Stanley Kubrick. It is a part of Clarke's Space Odyssey series. Both the novel and the film are partially based on Clarke's 1948 short story "The Sentinel", an entry in a BBC short story competition, and "Encounter in the Dawn", published in 1953 in the magazine Amazing Stories.
The 41st Academy Awards were presented on April 14, 1969, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. It was the first Academy Awards ceremony to be staged at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. For the first time since the 11th Academy Awards, there was no host.
John Alcott, BSC was an English cinematographer known for his four collaborations with director Stanley Kubrick: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), for which he took over as lighting cameraman from Geoffrey Unsworth in mid-shoot, A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon (1975), the film for which he won his Oscar, and The Shining (1980). Alcott died from a heart attack in Cannes, France in July 1986; he was 55. He received a tribute at the end of his last film No Way Out starring Kevin Costner.
Tom Thumb is a 1958 fantasy-musical film directed by George Pal and released by MGM. The film, based on the fairy tale Thumbling by the Brothers Grimm, is about a tiny man who manages to outwit two thieves determined to make a fortune from him.
Andrew Timothy Birkin is an English screenwriter, director and occasional actor. He was born the only son of Lieutenant-Commander David Birkin and his wife, actress Judy Campbell. One of his sisters is the actress and singer Jane Birkin.
Ray Lovejoy was a British film editor with about thirty editing credits. He had a notable collaboration with director Peter Yates that extended over six films including The Dresser (1983), which was nominated for numerous BAFTA Awards and Academy Awards.
To The Moon and Beyond is the title of a special motion picture produced for and shown at the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair. It depicted traveling from Earth out to an overall view of the universe and back again, zooming down to the atomic scale. It was filmed in a Cinerama process using a camera with a single fisheye lens and projected onto a dome screen.
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, and was inspired by Clarke's short story "The Sentinel" and other short stories by Clarke. A novelisation of the film released after the film's premiere was in part written concurrently with the screenplay. The film, which follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient computer HAL after the discovery of a featureless alien Monolith affecting human evolution, deals with themes of existentialism, human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life.
2001: A Space Odyssey is a soundtrack album to the film of the same name, released in 1968. The soundtrack is known for its use of many classical and orchestral pieces, and credited for giving many classical pieces resurgences in popularity, such as Johann Strauss II's 1866 Blue Danube Waltz, Richard Strauss' symphonic poem Also sprach Zarathustra, and György Ligeti's Atmosphères. The soundtrack has been re-issued multiple times, including a 1996 version and a digitally remastered version in 2010.
Stanley Kubrick directed 13 feature films and three short documentaries over the course of his career, from Day of the Fight in 1951 to Eyes Wide Shut in 1999. Many of Kubrick's films were nominated for Academy Awards or Golden Globes, but his only personal win of an Academy Award was for his work as director of special effects on 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The personal life of Stanley Kubrick: