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Hollywood Takes to the Air: Illusions of Flight

Hollywood Takes to the Air: Illusions of Flight
 Illusions of Flight
Linwood Dunn Theater
1313 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90028


From the late 1920s through the 1950s, Hollywood produced many great aviation-themed classics, including Best Picture winner Wings (1927), Hell’s Angels (1930), The Dawn Patrol (1930), The Lost Squadron (1932), Flying Tigers (1942), Air Force (1943), Thirty Seconds over Tokyo (1944), Twelve O’Clock High (1949) and Chain Lightning (1950).

In those early days, stunt pilots flew their planes into the ground, intrepid cameramen filmed from open cockpits, special effects artists rigged full-scale and miniature planes for thrills and spills, and unique mechanical and optical technology was invented to create the illusion of flying. In later decades, Battle of Britain (1969), The Right Stuff (1983) and Top Gun (1986) built upon the original technical legacy, while recent films such as The Aviator (2004), Amelia (2009) and Red Tails (2012) have created similar flying action using completely new techniques.

Using newly unearthed stunt and crash footage collected by pioneering stunt pilot Dick Grace, along with Warner Bros. and MGM outtakes and vintage sound recordings, Craig Barron and Ben Burtt will relate the story of those early stunt fliers and filmmakers in ways never heard or seen before. See how mechanical gimbels, rear projection and matte paintings expanded the creative possibilities of the genre, and learn how sound effects were created and used to bring to life the visceral sensations of roaring engines and combat munitions.

CRAIG BARRON has contributed visual effects to more than 100 films including The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Hugo. He earned an Oscar® nomination for his work on Batman Returns and received an Oscar for Visual Effects for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

BEN BURTT's first two Oscars® were Special Achievement Awards for the creation of the alien, creature and robot voices featured in Star Wars and for Sound Effects Editing for Raiders of the Lost Ark. He has since earned Oscars for his work on E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and nominations for Return of the Jedi, Willow and WALL-E, among others.