My Life in Monsters Chronicles Star Wars and Jurassic Park Animator Phil Tippett’s Career
Oscar-winning animator Phil Tippett is the man behind many iconic monsters, beginning with the masks in the Star Wars Cantina scene, to designing various creatures (including Tauntauns, Rancor whom he calls “a cross between a bear and a potato,” and Jabba the Hutt) to working on Starship Troopers, Robocop, Jurassic Park, and more. The video focuses mainly on Tippet’s work in Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and a new project titled Mad God, but also provides a very personal portrait of Tippett who confesses that animating was a kind of therapy for him to manage his depression and anxiety.
I found it delightful to just watch Tippet talk about his love for dinosaurs and taking LSD during Return of the Jedi, which lends a whole new level of appreciation for these characters, but also emphasizes just how much visual effects have changed filmmaking in such a short time.
His describes Mad God as stop-motion film he’s not sure he’ll finish, and he calls the themes a “misanthropic note I’m attempting to play” about “the shame I feel for our privilege in this country that was built on the backs of destroying a lot of other people.” I definitely hope I’ll get a chance to see it. The video is only about 20 minutes long, give it a watch and let us know what you think!
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