Rick Baker to Retire

Written by Andrew Pollard Friday, 29 May 2015

Movie News

In some sad news, legendary FX artist Rick Baker has announced his plans to retire.

Ahead of a huge Prop Store auction selling off his personal collection of goodies, Baker revealed that he’s retiring and then gave his reasons for doing so. “First of all, the CG stuff definitely took away the animatronics part of what I do,” he said. “It’s also starting to take away the makeup part. The time is right, I am 64 years old, and the business is crazy right now. I would like to do things right, and they wanted cheap and fast. That is not what I want to do, so I just decided it is basically time to get out. I would consider designing and consulting on something, but I don’t think I will have a huge working studio anymore.”

Rick Baker is a true icon of genre cinema, with some of the most mind-blowing SFX work ever seen having his name on them. This is a man who won an Academy Award for his work on An American Werewolf in London, who blew masses away with his revolutionary work on Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and whose credits include monumental work on the likes of Star Wars, King Kong, Videodrome, The Howling, Bigfoot and the Hendersons, Gremlins 2, the Beauty and the Beast TV series, Gorillas in the Mist, Body Bags, Batman Forever, The Nutty Professor, Rocketeer, The Frighteners, Escape from L.A., Men in Black, Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, The Ring, X-Men: The Last Stand, Hellboy, TRON: Legacy and Tropic Thunder.

One of the key elements in Baker’s decision seems to stem back to 2010’s The Wolfman, in which Baker’s transformation effects were all cut in favour of going the digital route.

It’s a sad day to see a legend of his field decide to call it a day, but from all here at STARBURST, a huge thanks to Rick Baker for all of the brilliance that he shared with us over the decades.


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