Douglas Trumbull improved the techniques already used by Derek Meddings, thanks also to the help of  Meddings’ pupil, Brian Johnson.
He created the effects for “2001: a space odyssey”, the movie which led to a totally new way to produce science fiction cinema.
Trumbull matched the real life miniatures of Brian Johnson to a more advanced use of “matte shots”. Until then, matte-shots needed several filmings and developments, which resulted in lower quality images; Trumbull succeeded in filming all with the same film, which needed absolute precision and months of work to make all the necessary mattes. The result were more realistic and high quality images.
The incredible length of production caused the considerable discrepancy between the film and Arthur C. Clarke’s novel: in fact the movie ends on Jupiter’s orbit, while the novel talks about Saturn. Trumbull was preparing a great Saturn scene, but producers did not wait and, with a

faster and cheaper technique, the final background was Jupiter’s (forcing Clarke to give explanations to the readers of “2001” sequels).
The Saturn backgrounds were later used for the movie “Silent running”, which was also directed by Trumbull.
For the spaceships shots the “dynamation” technique was used.


1968: 2001: A space odissey
1970: The Andromeda Strain
1971: Silent running
1977: Close encounters of the third kind
1979: Star Trek the motion picture
1982: Blade runner