“Citizen Kane” to Highlight Linwood Dunn’s Pioneering Visfx
Beverly Hills, CA (October 2, 2009) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present “Linwood Dunn: Celebrating a Visual Effects Pioneer,” a program exploring the contributions of Linwood Dunn and the techniques he used in creating optical effects for Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane,” on Friday, October 9, at 8 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. The evening also will feature a screening of a newly struck print of “Citizen Kane” from the Academy Film Archive. This event is sold out, but standby tickets may become available.
Presented by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council, “Linwood Dunn” will be hosted by Oscar®-winning visual effects artist and Academy governor Craig Barron and will feature an onstage discussion with Dunn’s daughter, Nancy Dunn; Paramount technology executive Garrett Smith, who was mentored by Dunn; and visual effects artists who were influenced by his work, including Jonathan Erland, Michael Fink and Bill Taylor. The evening also will feature rare recorded interviews with Dunn.
Long before computer-generated effects were possible, Dunn created some of the most astounding and indelible images in the history of film, working on “Cimarron” (1931), “King Kong” (1933), “Citizen Kane” (1941), “Mighty Joe Young” (1949), “West Side Story” (1961), “Hawaii” (1966), for which he earned a Special Visual Effects nomination, “The Exorcist” (1973), and many other movies.
Dunn was honored by the Academy in 1944 and again in 1980 for the Acme-Dunn Optical Printer he designed in the 1940s with machinist Cecil Love. In 1978 Dunn earned the Academy’s Medal of Commendation, and he received the Gordon E. Sawyer Award in 1984 for his lifetime of contributions to the art and technology of motion pictures. In 2004, six years after his death, the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood was dedicated in his honor.
Dunn introduced Welles to the optical printer during production of “Citizen Kane,” and under Welles’s direction the device was used “like a paintbrush” to help drive the visual narrative of the film. Instead of jarring cuts, optical dissolves were used to slip between scenes, and sometimes between shots within scenes; during post-production, new elements such as miniature effects and matte painting were added to previously photographed scenes on an unprecedented scale. These effects, together with Gregg Toland’s cinematography, made “Citizen Kane” a visual masterpiece.
Though “Linwood Dunn: Celebrating a Visual Effects Pioneer” is sold out, additional tickets typically become available at the last minute due to no-shows and cancellations. There will be a standby line at the west doors of the Pickford Center on October 9. Standby numbers will be given out at approximately 5:30 p.m. The number of standby tickets that can be sold will be determined shortly before the event’s 8 p.m. start time.
Tickets to “Citizen Kane” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID.
The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.
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