Tuesday, 1 January 2013

CITIZEN KANE - a visual effects Xanadu

Pete’s Editorial:

Is this what we’ve come to?

I know this is an ‘entertainment blog’ and as such I tend not to introduce topics that fall outside of the sphere of the technical aspects of movie making and the artists therein, though I feel strongly enough about recent events in the United States that commentary is due.

The appalling events which took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14th 2012 have, yet again, left the world stunned in sheer disbelief, not only that an individual could carry out such acts of pure evil, but that a fanatical gun culture exists which freely and unashamedly facilitates such actions again and again and again without fear of consequence nor moral responsibility.
Crimes such as these are, thank goodness, relatively few and extremely rare in the rest of the civilised world – and even in the undeveloped world for that matter.  Only in the most extreme theatres of so called ‘civil war’ in strife torn regions of the world are such acts reported, and even then under the guise of ‘terror’ and genocide – so it begs the question, just what the hell is wrong in the United States of America that things have reached this stage?

As an observer from afar of global politics, the world collectively breathed a sigh of relief when Barrack Obama took office – a substantial leap forward from the buffoonery of recent administrations. Though to the grave disappointment of so many the Obama reaction to this sad event was itself even sadder – pathetic in fact.  It was downright embarrassing to see the leader of the free world hide in a veritable soft shoe shuffle behind a series of cautiously worded, non-committal PR ‘spin’ press conferences – engineered expressly to NOT offend that most American of institutions, the inexplicably popular National Rifle Association.
A great many of us in the international community have forever been at a loss to comprehend this patently absurd ‘right to bear arms’ nonsense, with each and every Sandy Hook, Colombine and the hundreds of other all too familiar atrocities seemingly a case of perverse one-upmanship where the real winners are the morally reprehensible, state sanctioned firearms industry and it’s insidious puppet master, the NRA. 

While it’s quite clear not all Americans are of the patently fanatical and highly questionable ‘survivalist’ mindset ,  the first victim of mass killer Adam Lanza, his own mother, was just such a devotee, who’s dedication to pseudo paramilitary flights of fantasy as a so called ‘Doomsday Prepper’ undoubtedly had a great deal to do with cementing notions of the ‘joys’ of rapid fire, high capacity mayhem in the mind of her own son, leading to the tragedy on that day.  It terrifies me to imagine how many more of these US orgies of killing are needed until someone in the highest office in the land has the balls to lay his reputation on the line and seriously restrict or ban firearm ownership.  Unless something radical is done, and promptly, I suspect future headlines will simply read:  “Here we go again”.  I strongly suspect it’s all been allowed to go too far for too damned long and all that will happen will be ever skyrocketing sales of some of mankinds most destructive tools of pure evil, none of which have a place in a civilised society.


Legacy matte art by Rocco Gioffre.

Want to own an original matte painting?

The opportunity to obtain a genuine traditional era matte painting doesn’t come along every day.  I was recently contacted by matte painter Rocco Gioffre who asked me to pass along to my readers his intentions to make his original matte paintings available to interested collectors.
Rocco has been a vital member of the visual effects community since 1977 when he started as an up and coming apprentice to the great Matthew Yuricich on Spielberg’s CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE 3rd KIND.  Rocco was a founding partner in the dynamic effects house, Dream Quest in the 1980’s – itself an intuitive and polished affair with many big credits to be proud of.  Over the years Rocco has provided many superb painted mattes for a vast number of films such as GREMLINS, PREDATOR 2, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION, HOOK, BLADERUNNER, DANCES WITH WOLVES, FIRST KNIGHT, CITY SLICKERS, the first two ROBOCOP pictures, many tv commercials, music videos and many more.

Robocop 2 matte art.
Rocco’s work is exemplary – with wonderful composition and handling of the paint, and best of all, when composited (often via the time honoured original negative method for maximum quality) they were always remarkably successful in the finished film, often being totally invisible such as this astonishing painting shown here from ROBOCOP 2 which until Rocco sent it to me I had not a clue it was a trick shot.  Beautiful work.

DREAMSCAPE matte art
Rocco is keen to talk with any interested matte fans who might be interested in these once in a lifetime pieces.  All of the mattes are painted on Masonite (hardboard to us non Yanks) and are generally 36 x 48” in size.  Rocco prefers to deal directly with the purchaser/collector rather than going through an auction house which is typically where this sort of artform  transits.
I'm told the prices range according to the film and painting, but I'll leave that aspect to those wishing to communicate directly with Rocco.

ROBOCOP matte art.
I’m hopeful myself to pick up one or two and I know at least one of my most faithful followers has earmarked two for himself.  Opportunities like this don’t present themselves every day, and while it’s sad for Rocco to part with his art I’m sure, it’s great to know genuine matte fans have the chance to own such a piece rather than the whole bulk lot disappearing into the bowels of an institution of some sort where they’d never see the light of day again – such is the control of those organisations, sadly.
Rocco may be contacted at: 

Tell him Pete sent you!

Who's That Girl?

CITIZEN KANE – Breathing matte painted life into Welles’ risky vision.

Well, I hope my initial editorial opinion piece didn’t scare off too many regular (or irregular for that matter) readers, but it’s important, it’s urgent and it is my blog so I can take a jab, off tangent should I so desire.  As Howard Beale once stated in the staggeringly brilliant Paddy Chayefsky-Sidney Lumet picture NETWORK:  “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”.

I was hoping to get this CITIZEN KANE article out a bit earlier but as usual got delayed by various summer things - yes, it is summer here… probably not where you are as most readers are from ‘up north’ and hardly anyone from this part of hemisphere reads this blog, which is quite sad.

CITIZEN KANE was one of the boldest mainstream films ever to come out of Hollywood, released in 1941, and the brainchild of director-star, the much maligned enfant terrible Orson Welles.  The mere fact that the film got the green light to begin with is amazing, what with the none too subtle ‘fictional’ character of Kane being a dangerously close facsimilie to mega media magnate William Randolph Hurst - the Rupert Murdoch of his day, and then some, who was none too impressed with RKO for giving Welles the proverbial ‘thumbs up’.

Welles with cinematographer Gregg Toland
The film is a staggering achievement on so many levels, with the special photographic effects being just one area of excellence.  Star Orson Welles has never bettered his performance here, nor did director Welles ever come close to such brilliance with the consequences being he’d forever live in the shadow of KANE and never top it.  The film was Welles’ first, which when you consider he was given almost carte blanche as a first timer is staggering.   Welles had for a time tried hard to get the Joseph Conrad story HEARTS OF DARKNESS off the ground with RKO, with no luck beyond pre-production and conceptual work.  Now that’s a film I’d have loved to see Orson make. Damn, that’d really be something.
Most of Welles’ cast were first timers to cinema, though experienced radio players.  The entire cast are superb and offer unique characterisations I believe mainly due to the fact that their faces were entirely fresh to the screen.  

 I’m a huge cinematography fan and as you’d correctly guess, I’d put Gregg Toland’s rule-breaking lighting and composition as the best American cinema had to offer at the time – and wouldn’t be eclipsed for quite some years after the fact.  Moody shadows, sequences photographed entirely as silhouette with the players acting against harsh high key back light where individual features are indistinguishable to the the audience – unthinkable, but Welles pulled it off and all the credit to him for standing by Toland, who remarkably shared Orson’s vision.  It must be noted that CITIZEN KANE must be the only feature film ever to have director credit and cameraman credit sharing the one title card for Welles and Toland.  

Vernon L.Walker,ASC
I love Bernard Herrmann and his score here is superb.  Musical motifs run the gamut from upbeat and jolly to melancholic through to the very darkest this side of Hitchcock’s PSYCHO.
Being a special effects blog we of course should take a look at the photographic effects, of which there are many.  Vernon Walker was head of department of RKO’s Camera Effects and would oversee all of the many illusions required on KANE.  Walker had a substantial background as a cinematographer on the old Mack Sennett comedies before becoming a special effects cameraman dating far back to the early days of Warner Bros-First National assisting Fred Jackman and worked with veteran  Hans Koenekamp.  Walker would come to RKO to work under Lloyd Knechtel in optical effects and would take over the special effects department in time for shows such as THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME and of course KING KONG.

Linwood Dunn and Vernon Walker with optical printer.
A key member of Walker’s staff was Linwood Dunn who in 1929 would be employed in the RKO effects department under Lloyd Knechtel.  In the early thirties Dunn would  build a somewhat crude optical printer with collaborators Cecil Love and Bill Leeds which would be continually refined over the coming years to become an industry standard trick photography tool that would be an essential component for optical compositing all the way through to the end of the photo-chemical era in the late eighties.

Mario Larrinaga
Matte art comes into it’s own in KANE quite significantly, with a trio of top artists engaged in the many matte shots.  Lead matte painter was Mario Larrinaga, an artist whose career dated back as far as 1916 with painted backings and cycloramas, a line of progression shared by many vintage matte men.  Larrinaga was most recognised for his ground breaking multi-sandwich glass paintings for the 1933 KING KONG which to this day remain some of the most organic and eerie shots of their type ever committed to celluloid.

Chesley Bonestell
In addition to Larrinaga, the large number of mattes would be shared among Chesley Bonestell and Fitch Fulton.   Bonestell was a relative newcomer to the matte shot art form having started on mattes two years previous on RKO’s HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME from which he’d have a career in both mattes and book illustration specialising in science fiction and astronomical paintings.  Some of Chesley’s best work in film would be during his tenure at Warner Brothers in the mid forties where he’d contribute amazing trick shots to films such as THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT and THE FOUNTAINHEAD.

Concept art for complicated matte combination sequence
Fitch Fulton was another former scenic backing artist from the theatre and vaudeville who became involved with mattes by way of Jack Cosgrove on the mammoth effects showcase GONE WITH THE WIND.  Fitch would paint mattes on a number of films throughout the forties with his most known work being the glorious glass shots in MIGHTY JOE YOUNG.  Fitch was the father of temperamental, though resourceful  effects expert, John P.Fulton and as an aside, it’s interesting to note that when Fulton senior’s film MIGHTY JOE YOUNG took the 1949 Oscar for best special effects while up against Fulton junior’s film TULSA a major family rift developed whereby John wouldn’t speak to Fitch for a time, even though the old man himself was merely a member of Willis O’Brien’s FX team, it didn’t sit well with John.  As usual, I digress.

Russell Cully (left) with Vernon Walker
Finally, just before embarking on our KANE tribute, mention should be made of one of RKO’s great unsung heroes, visual effects cinematographer Russell Cully.  Russell had been a key member of the Paramount effects department as a young man in the twenties  followed by a stint at MGM on SAN FRANCISCO and other shows, from which he would come to RKO in 1936.  Cully would shoot and composite the painted mattes and the miniatures on KANE and in an interview regarded CITIZEN KANE as his favourite project.  Following Vernon Walker’s death in 1948, Russell would become head of special photographic effects at RKO for several years.

So, with that pre-amble, let us take a journey down (or up, really) the road to Xanadu.

Special Photographic Effects:                             Vernon L.Walker,ASC
Special Effects Cameraman:                                Russell A.Cully
Process Cameraman:                                            Harold E.Wellman
Optical Cinematography:                                     Linwood G.Dunn
Matte Artists:                                                Mario Larrinaga, Chesley Bonestell & Fitch Fulton
Optical Printer Technicians:                                 Cecil Love & Bill Leeds
Montage Effects:                                                   Douglas Travers

Unique dual credit on the one title card.  Now there's respect for the cameraman!

The awe inspiring matte painting, either by Bonestell or Larrinaga, (pretty sure it's one of Mario's) for part of the complex multiple painting opening sequence with numerous opticals and gags added.  The beautiful artwork we see here unfortunately doesn't look quite this good in the final film due to too much tinkering with foreground miniatures and fast lap dissolves between paintings.

Close up architectural detail of Xanadu painting.  Love it!

More from same matte showing highly detailed foliage in what must surely have been an exhaustive process.

One more section from that stunning, though sadly under utilised Xanadu matte painting.  Wonder if it still exists?

And this is how it looked in the film.  Very hard to get a good frame for this article as there are long, slow dissolves from fx shot to fx shot with much overlapping.  Foreground gate is a miniature.

The same opening sequence with possibly the same painting though different foreground miniatures.

Now this shot, I love.  Same ongoing introductory sequence with what appears to be a miniature tank shot and a wonderfully rippled optical reflection doubled in of the Xanadu matte painting.  Beautiful and elegant.

More from same sequence.  Probably a new painting with miniature elements and mist opticals.

And on it goes.  I should make mention of Bernard Herrmann's ominous woodwind score here.  Works a treat.

Miniature set and what looks to me like a painted backing, all in camera.

Final FX shot of the opening montage, all supervised by Douglas Travers. 

The immortal words 'Rosebud' and the unforgettable image of the snow globe falling to the floor has a strangely deliberate trick shot feel to it, for I suppose, dramatic effect - and it's terrific!

Kane's nurse enters the room as seen through the broken snow globe in what I'm certain is a Linwood Dunn optical combination shot

A minor matte addition that tends to not be noticed, with the sign and maybe roof etc all painted in.

Now it's not a matte shot but this painting serves as an introduction to the flashback sequence and may well have been painted by one of the matte team.... so here it is.

Again, not a true matte shot, rather a substantially retouched still shot as part of a Doug Travers montage.  I'm guessing again that the matte team had input here with the whole view looking painted to me with pasted in character photo cutouts.

A quite important matte shot with animated news bulletin.  Most of the shot is painted with only the street level being real.

Now, this shot never really worked in my opinion.  The design is odd, the perspective is off and the painting is too 'drawy'.

Before and after for front of The Daily Inquirer.  Aside from the serious perspective flaw in the lower line of Inquirer signs the matte looks good, though in the final film is cropped in significantly closer than this, chopping off much of the skyscraper background.

Another glorious painted matte of Xanadu for a daytime shot showing the palace under construction.

Closer view of the above painting, I think by Chesley Bonestell.

An interesting concept - combining the painting with a miniature mountainside complete with dozens of stop motion trucks and machinery. This unfinished frame still lacks the foreground component, to be added during process projection.

The finished shot which unfortunately suffers through the rear screen process with uneven exposure and hot spot.

The rally scene - virtually all paint except for stage area.  Camera pushes in for added realism.

I've always loved this shot - a three part composite assembled by Linwood Dunn with foreground actor as one element, stage area and walking spectators as element two, with the remainder all painted including the big poster and all the audience.

A crudely assembled pastiche of a clever and well executed bit of trickery.  For this big tilt down and pull out the effects team built a model statue and atrium, from which Russ Cully made a tilt downward on the miniature.  A separate full sized plinth, or base of the monument was constructed on a stage and a similar downward tilt and dolly out made by the first unit.  Linwood Dunn then assembled both elements on his optical printer with a cleverly disguised soft wipe blending miniature to live action.
The El Rancho Cabaret special effects shot as drawn out on a storyboard.

A few frames from the El Rancho shot.  Camera moves up side of miniature nightclub exterior and over roof top, through neon sign (which in miniature was rigged to pull apart just as camera moves close), then over roof and down into club with actors (miniature set dissolves into live action set during optical lightning flash).  It looks better than I've attempted to describe it.
Before and after for the Florida procession. The road and sea were shot at Malibu in California and the matte artist removed hilly terrain to the right and painted in a flatter environment as well as adding in the distant scenery.  Love the sky.  A big blog of matte painted skies is due out soon...!

May be one of Mario Larrinaga's mattes as that 'jungle' looks distinctly Skull Island inspired to me.

One of the Gregg Toland innovations of exaggerated deep focus by means of well concealed soft split screen mattes to allow foreground and background to be shot separately in sharp focus.  I'm pretty sure this technique came from German silent films, but was very unusual in a Hollywood picture.

Another clever deep focus trick shot, with ultra close foreground props filmed against black velvet in a separate pass and flawlessly combined into the scene as an in camera matte shot.

A rather strange artifact appears in this multiple element optical effect.  The scenery in the distance is a rear projection plate by Harold Wellman, the midground is live action and the close foreground of the parrot has been introduced through a travelling matte process with the peculiarly transparent bird eye as a result of a flaw in the matting process.

A commonly utilised optical trick which was popular in the 1930's where we have an extreme 'crane up' shot in a theatre from the stage to the highest catwalks.  The camera move is a series of individual moves upon limited set with, in this case, at least three moving split screens tying the separate camera moves together as one uniform move.  One or two of the elements may be painted, such as bits of scenery and ropes etc, but I'm not sure.  This KANE shot was hard to demonstrate here, but you hopefully get the drift. 

An atmospheric full painting matte shot that's a great intro for the downbeat final act.

I'm surprised they got away with this.  The above then cuts to this closer view which is so close I'm sure those are brush strokes visible in the sky and elsewhere.

Apparently Welles loved this shot as it gave him the freedom to create a dramatic composition without building a set.

A slightly wider shot.  I think the foreground deep focus is another soft split screen within the overall matte shot.

CITIZEN KANE's best matte shot.  Almost all paint (even the reflection on the polished floor) with the two actors being the only 'live' component.  Sublime!

Subtle painted set extensions above staircase area that blends in very well.

Another one of those beautifully integrated painted set extensions.

I'm not sure here but I'd bet my cat that the shot at right has been extended somewhat by the matte department.  Now you know where RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK stole that idea from.
May be a miniature?  Not sure.

Spoiler alert:  'Rosebud' in the flesh!  If you know the legend behind the Hearst legacy you'll probably know that Rosebud wasn't no 'sleigh' (!) and W.R Hearst was none too pleased that Welles was bandying about his pride and joy for the world to laugh at.   I'll say no more.
Welles once proclaimed that shooting a film is like playing with a giant train set.  One study of the film estimated that as much as 50% of the film required special effects work of one sort or another.  Linwood Dunn once stated that in some reels the percentage of optically printed work is as high as 80%.

Apparently the Hearst empire tried desperately to buy the negative from RKO so as to destroy it and tried all sorts of dirty tactics to prevent the film's release, but to no avail.

Of note are the outstanding old age make up appliances which Welles and others appear in, and they look superb on screen.

Conceptual sketch and eventual matte painting of Xanadu (*no relation to the awful Olivia Newton John movie)
Xanadu interior on RKO stage prior to matte painted additions.


  1. One of my alltime favorites! I had the good fortune to meet and listen to Linwood Dunn show his reel of effects shots and explain the Kane tricks. Wonderful article! Your comments on the shooting are appreciated
    Nashville, TN

    1. Hi Mike

      Thanks for that. I'd love to hear your own memories from what I'm sure would have been an unforgettable evening with Linwood Dunn. Jim Aupperle once told me about the wonderful before and after clips from shows such as Androcles and The Lion and other RKO films. I'm keen to learn whatever you can recall on Kane.

      Have a Happy New Year

      Middle Earth

  2. Great article and images. Thank you and happy new year!

    1. Hi there Brian

      It is indeed an honour to have you stumble across my blogsite, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the article.

      All the best from Middle Earth


  3. Brilliant article; thanks so much!
    I read an interesting (perhaps apocryphal) story where Welles bumped into Hearst in a hotel elevator around the time of the film's premiere in that city. Welles offered the publisher a pair of tix, gratis, but Hearst stayed silent and stared ahead, ignoring Welles. The elevator ride ended in tense silence, but as Hearst left the elevator, Welles said, "Kane would have gone to see the film."
    Happy New Year, have a great 2013: can't see what you have planned!

    1. Hi Ivan

      I love that story! Better still, I'd love to hear Welles himself tell it, as only Orson could.
      There is a wonderful semi-fictionalised account of the making of KANE which I neglected to mention in the article, RKO 281 I think it was titled - with John Malkovich. Really fascinating and well worth the look. It even has some pseudo Larrinaga glass paintings of Xanadu (painted by Leigh Took) in the Welles character's production office, which are a real treat.


  4. Hello Pete,

    F.Y.I., The Peter Ellenshaw matte painting of Rome from Spartacus is now on display at the LA County Museum Of Art (LACMA)as part of the Kubrick exhibit, and photographs are allowed! The exhibit runs through July of 2013. If you have a friend with a good camera (Mine is not) please send them there!

    I will send you any good photographs I acquire (especially close-ups).

    And I would agree that you should keep the blog free from politics... I come here for a break from the world.


    -Earl Ellis
    Burbank, CA

    1. Hi Earl

      Yes, Harrison kept me up to date on that and I did find a great hi-rez pic of the matte on display on the net, though there were reflections and junk in the glass. I'd always welcome any good close ups as it's magnificent and probably Peter's best.

      All the best for 2013 (can't believe it's 2013 already.... everything I saw in sci-fi flicks that was supposed to happen - flying cars and the rest of it - never came to fruition!)


  5. RKO 281--I'll keep an eye out for it! So, how's next year?

  6. Ivan

    You want to know about 2014 already.... hey, lets get through 2013 first... unless of course it's still 2012 where you are??

    Coming up soon on MatteShot are: a long and really honest conversation with Harrison Ellenshaw where we cover everything imaginable from Percy Day, Peter and Walt, the Disney factory, Nicholas Roeg & John Milius, Black Holes, LucasFilm's Empire and Buena Vista Visual FX and more!

    Harrison's a great guy and can spin a fascinating tale or two of the people he's worked with and projects he's been assigned to.


  7. Hi, Pete - for those of us who might not be able to buy a wonderful matte painting from Rocco, would you be able to publish more great closeups of them on your blog ? Thanks.

  8. Hi Steve

    I'm planning on a tribute article on Rocco in the near future. I've got some interesting material and he's keen to be subject of the ole NZPete 'Q&A'

    BTW - it's a heck of a lot easier for you Stateside matte appreciation fans to obtain a Gioffre matte. Airfreight and customs duty to places as far a field as 'Middle Earth' are no joke. If you are in LA you could just stop by and pick one up.



  9. Love this blog. Thanks so much.

    As to the opening shots of Xanadu (with all the dissolves), it's pretty obvious that the same painting is used for all of the shots until the final one of the opening fx montage. The clouds are EXACTLY the same in all the preceding shots, as is the perspective and shadows.

  10. Happy and Peacefull New Year to you Pete and all the readers of this always great and informative blog.

  11. A Happy New Year to you and yours, and - as ever - a profound sense of awestruck gratitude for your continuing efforts!

    You say "May be one of Mario Larrinaga's mattes as that 'jungle' looks distinctly Skull Island inspired to me..."

    There is, in fact, a shot of Skull Island in Kane - it appears briefly as a background plate during the "beach picnic" sequence. Kane's lifestyle may have been extravagant and weird, but I was always surprised to see that he could lay on a distant pterodactyl for his guests.

    I read one biography of Welles in which he claimed that Kane held the record for the largest number of FX shots until Star Wars came along. I suspect that's Wellesian hyperbole, but there's certainly a lot - and using so many techniques that it's a massive achievement in itself.

    (As for your op-ed piece: Couldn't agree more.)

    1. Hi Andy

      Always good to hear from you. I never knew about that KONG process plate - how bizarre! Not sure about Welles' claim on effects numbers as I can think of other shows which way outsize KANE in number of FX shots, but what the hey.... Orson could sell saltwater to fish, such was his gift of the gab.

      I recall reading in Peter Sellers' bio that Peter felt so threatened by Orson on CASINO ROYALE that most of their scenes 'together' were shot as singles and sharp editing seemlessly tied their joint scenes together.

      Finally, last word on Orson - my favourite performance has got to be as General Dreedle in CATCH 22. Hilarious. Best line: "Major, why is this man out of uniform" uttered as a stark naked Alan Arkin salutes while on parade!


  12. Pete - from Deadline Hollywood - met Bill Taylor in 1976 at USC FX Class -my email dsnyguy@bellsouth.net (please don't publish) Mike Goldberg Nashville
    Film Academy To Bestow Service Award On VFX Veteran Bill Taylor
    By THE DEADLINE TEAM | Tuesday January 8, 2013 @ 3:00pm PST
    Tags: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Bill Taylor, Oscars, Sci-Tech

    inShare.0Comments (2) Bill Taylor, a longtime visual effects supervisor and director of photography, has been voted to receive the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation from the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The award, for service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy, will be presented at the annual Sci-Tech awards on February 9 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Taylor, a founding co-chair of the Science and Technology Council and an Academy member since 1972, is the co-founder of Illusion Arts, where he worked on the visual effects of more than 200 films including Lawless, Public Enemies, Milk and Bruce Almighty. He earned a Technical Achievement Award in 1981 for the concept and specifications for a Two-Format, Rotating Head, Aerial Image Optical Printer.

  13. Hello, NZ Pete. I'm the granddaughter of Mario Larrinaga. I don't have heaps of his stuff or heaps of information about his career (you seem to!) but I do have some things. I'd be happy to chat with you sometime. Jill McElmurry

    1. Hello Jill

      How wonderful to read you brief message. I'm so pleased you stumbled across my website, and YES, I'd definitely love to hear more and be in touch. It goes without saying that your grandfather was one of the icons of matte art and created so many unforgettable illusions. I'm very keen to learn more and see any imagery that you might still have.

      Looking forward to hearing from you.

      Kind regards