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Special effects expert Carlo Rambaldi passes away

Special effects expert Carlo Rambaldi passes away

TRIBUTES have been paid to the movie special effects expert Carlo Rambaldi who has passed away aged 86.

Mr. Rambaldi had a long and distinguised career during which he created many memorable special effects and was the winner of three Oscars.

Among his most successful was the figure of E.T. for the Steven Spielberg movie E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), for which he received an Oscar.

He was a master of mechatronics — combining mechanical and electronic engineering to produce special effects.

Born in Italy, Mr. Rambaldi did not move to Hollywood until the 1970s when producer Dino De Laurentiis recruited him to work on the remake of King Kong, which came out in 1976 and for which he won his first Academy Award.

Three years later he created the creature for the film Alien. It was his work on this movie which was to lead to his third Oscar. 

His other films included Close Encoounters of the Third Kind (1977), Dune (1984) and Cameron’s Closet (1988).

Despite the rise of CGI — computer generated imagery — in producing special effects for blockbuster movies, Mr. Rambaldi remained unimpressed by digital techniques. 

He stuck to his mechatronics, once pointing out that he believed CGI costs eight times as much as mechatronics. He added: “E.T. cost a million dollars and we created it in six months. If we wanted to do the same thing with computers it would have taken at least 200 people and many more months.”

Mr. Rambaldi passed away in Italy.

To view an interview in which Carlo Rambaldi discusses his work on E.T., click here.


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