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Linwood G. Dunn

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
Linwood G. Dunn shoots the 11-foot studio model

Linwood G. Dunn shoots the 11-foot studio model

Linwood G. Dunn (27 December 190415 May 1998; age 93) was a special effects photographer on Star Trek: The Original Series. In 1946, he formed his own effects house Film Effects of Hollywood, the company that was called in 1966 to help ease the workload in producing the special effects for Star Trek, in particular the filming of the 11-foot studio model of the USS Enterprise. He was the co-recipient in 1967 of an Emmy Award nomination for Individual Achievements in Cinematography for his work along with Howard A. Anderson Sr., Frank Van Der Veer, and Joseph Westheimer.

Outside of Star Trek, Dunn has shot special effects for a number of acclaimed, classic feature films, including the original 1933 version of King Kong, Orson Welles' 1941 drama Citizen Kane on which Robert Wise worked as editor, the Wise co-directed musical West Side Story (starring Richard Beymer), and Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (which starred Gary Lockwood and featured Ed Bishop). He was the recipient of two special Academy Awards for the development of the Acme-Dunn Optical Printer: the 1945 Technical Achievement Award and the 1981 Academy Award of Merit. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also awarded Dunn with a Medal of Commendation in 1979 and the Gordon E. Sawyer Award in 1985. Dunn also received an Academy Award nomination for his work on the 1966 film Hawaii (featuring Lou Antonio and Torin Thatcher, and Gil Perkins as stunt coordinator).

In addition to Citizen Kane, Dunn has worked on hundreds of other films for RKO Pictures, including the 1942 horror picture Cat People, the 1947 film noir Out of the Past (which featured Richard Webb), the original Mighty Joe Young (featuring William Schallert), the cult 1951 science fiction thriller The Thing from Another World (which starred Kenneth Tobey), and the infamous 1956 John Wayne adventure The Conquerer (which featured John Hoyt and cinematography by William E. Snyder). He was also the one who photographed the rotating radio tower used in RKO's famous logo.

Other films on which he has provided photographic effects include the 1963 comedy It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and the 1970 thriller Airport (featuring Michael Bell and Vic Perrin). He did EFX on a 1975 horror film The Devil's Rain, in which Star Trek star William Shatner has a supporting role. The film also features George Sawaya. He was subsequently elected president of the American Society of Cinematographers twice. He was also elected Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in two different branches and was instrumental in the formation of the Academy's Visual Effects branch. Later in his EFX career, he specialized in doing opticals in large film formats such as 70mm, Imax and World's Fair multi-image exhibits. He sold hjs EFX company and retired in the mid-80s, but remained active as a consultant and inventor. His last invention was a prototype for the Hi-Def 3-D video projection systems now widely used in many movie theaters. He died in Los Angeles, California, in 1998 at the age of 93.

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