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Thomas Howard

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Oscar winning Special Effects expert Thomas William Howard was born in England in 1910 and was to become one of the most influential and pioneering men in movie making, taking the development of special visual effects to a new level through the golden age of the 40's 50's and 60's. Tom began his career at a young age working as a runner and theatre projectionist before joining the Special Effects department at 'Denham Studios' under 'Alexandra Korda'. Denham Studios was the largest facility of its type in the UK, developed by Korda in 1936 and spanning an area of 165 acres on the outskirts of Denham Village in Buckinghamshire. The site would later be merged with 'Pinewood Stuidios' before final closure in 1952. Tom Howard was to mastermind the special photographic effects on many of Korda's early productions including the magnificent 'The Thief of Bagdad' (1940) working closely with Lawrence Butler to create arguably the most spectacular movie of the time. By 1945 Tom had become a major force within the industry winning his first Academy Award for his special photographic effects in David Lean's 'Blithe Spirit'. His pioneering work had come to the attention of MGM and Tom was appointed Director of Special Effects for MGM British Studios in Borehamwood producing a number of movies still well loved today, from epics such as 'Ivanhoe' and 'Quo Vadis' featuring his spectacular effects of the burning of Rome, to the thrilling spectacles of 'Where Eagles Dare' and the legendary '2001 A Space Odyssey' working as a Special Effects Supervisor with 'Stanley Kubrick' and the multi talented team of 'Con Pederson', 'Douglas Trumbull' and 'Wally Veevers'. Tom Howard was in charge of special effects at the MGM Studios in Borehamwood for a total of 15 years, working closely with a number of fellow experts in their field, including the Cinematographer 'Freddie Young', expert matte artist 'Peter Ellenshaw' and close friend 'A W Watkins' a specialist in sound recording whom he had worked with since the early days of Korda. Tom Howard was in demand throughout the film industry and an example of this would be in 1958 when he was recruited by Director 'George Pal' to work on the special photographic effects for 'Tom Thumb' starring 'Russ Tamblyn' for which he was awarded his second Academy Award, with Oscar presented by 'Gary Cooper' and announced by a young 'Shirley MacLaine' and 'Peter Ustinov' at the 1958 (31st) Academy Awards. In 1967 Tom Howard invented and patented a version of Front Projection Composite Cinematography which would be utilized in movie making for years to come. Tom's later work included The Haunting, Where Eagles Dare, The Man Who Haunted Himself, Young Winston and The Little Prince. In total he was responsible for the special photographic effects in over 150 movies from the early 40's to the late 1970's. He also appeared in an extended two part episode of a TV series entitled 'Clapperboard' hosted by Chris Kelly and aired in the late 70's, this two part special featured Tom explaining the magic of Special Effects in the film industry. He was a founder member of the British Society of Cinematographers and a fellow of both the Royal Photographic Society and the British Kinematograph, Sound & Television Society. Thomas William Howard FRPS died at the age of 75 on the 30th August 1985 in Hertfordshire, England.  See full bio on IMDb »

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Thomas Howard – an NFL linebacker who was cut by the Falcons last week – killed himself and another person this morning when he slammed into a big rig truck at more than 100MPH ...… READ MORE >

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