Johnny Caps 1941, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2010s, Academy Award, Academy Awards, Ace Venture: Pet Detective, Beetlejuice, Chopping Mall, E.T The Extra-Terrerstrial, E.T., Legion, Looney Tunes: Back In Action, Oscar, Oscars, Programmed To Kill, Punisher: War Zone, Robert Short, Splash, the flash, The Flash 1990, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, The Retaliator 1
In 2018, Beetlejuice celebrates its’ 30th anniversary. The movie won an Oscar for Best Makeup, and one of the winners of that award was my next interview subject, Robert Short. Robert Short is an acclaimed visual effects artist who has worked on a wide variety of projects, from the Spielberg movies 1941 and E.T The Extra-Terrestrial to Splash and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. We discussed those projects and many more on Wednesday, June 27th, and I hope you all enjoy getting to know him.
Say hello to Robert Short!
Robert: Right on time.
Johnny: Hello, Mr. Short. Johnny Caps here. How are you?
Robert: Hi. How are you? I’m doing fine.
Johnny: Alright. I have my questions ready to go.
Robert: Okay. I don’t know if I’ll have my answers ready to go, but I’ll give it a shot.
Johnny: Alright. What inspired you towards a career in the entertainment industry?
Robert: As a kid, I was a big monster fan. I was one of those classic monster kids, bought up on Famous Monsters Of Filmland and the Universal horror films that I’d watch on TV. I was always intrigued by the athleticism of The Wolfman, and from that, I kind of wanted to get into movies, being one of the guys that did stunts. Years later, watching the James Bond films, especially Goldfinger, and then watching the Man From U.N.C.L.E television show, I said I’d like to try and be a stuntman. That started me on the idea that I could actually make this a profession. Somewhere between the inspiration of the Universal Monsters, The Man From U.N.C.L.E and James Bond, I began to get interested in film as a profession. I tried my hand at learning how to be a stuntman, doing stunt fights and horse work and other stuff. When I was in college, I got a couple of jobs doing stunt work. I’d been trained by Hugh Hooker, who was one of the stuntmen behind The Man From U.N.C.L.E and Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, as well as several other Irwin Allen sci-fi shows. His initial training opened the door, and then I realized that stuntmen were crazy and it really wasn’t something for me. I also learned very quickly that I had a fear of heights, and that put a major restraint on going down that road. I decided that something else would be a bit more reasonable, so while trying to figure out what to do, I ended up getting hired by a company called Don Post Studios. They were making Halloween products, and Halloween was always a big thing in my past and still is, being enamored with Halloween and all the stuff that goes along with that. Don Post Studios has a special effects laboratory, doing outside work for film, so I segued because of that opportunity, building props and doing make-up. I segued into that area, and ended up making things for shows and working on the McDonalds commercials, helping to create giant talking hamburgers, and the masks for Captain Crook and Hamburglar, helping to create The) and stuff like that, as well as providing pieces of monster stuff for Kolchak: The Night Stalker. That kind of segued from that kind of work and into finally getting a break doing features, which started with working on a film called Hollywood Boulevard, and then going on to work on Piranha. That’s kind of the basics of what inspired me to get into film work, and how those initial steps happened.
Johnny: Alright. To my next question: You worked on 1941. You’re the third person I’ve interviewed who worked on that movie, the first two being editor Chuck Workman, who created the trailers, and Audrey Landers, who played a USO Girl. What would you have done with the movie if your role as Special Consultant had more power to it?
Robert: Well, you know what’s funny (laughing) is that my credit on the film is Special Consultant, which is very generic, but I had a great time making 1941. I wouldn’t have changed anything. I worked specifically with Greg Jein, who was the miniature supervisor on the show, so I was heavily involved in all the miniatures, so we had a great time. The kind of things I got involved with on 1941? I was responsible for creating the remote control cars that drove down Hollywood Boulevard, making miniature buildings for Greg, making the molds and casting of the Beechcraft airplane flying through the town, as well as doing landscapes. We had a great time. One of the side things was that I sculpted the illuminated Santa Claus that lined the Hollywood Boulevard miniature set. We just had tons of stuff we had to figure out, and I loved working with Greg. That was a great time. I was doing everything from supervising molds to casting, problem-solving for Greg throughout the whole project. There’s nothing I would’ve changed on that. The Special Consultant credit I had was a little misleading.
Johnny: Alright. A more successful Spielberg collaboration came with your work on E.T The Extra-Terrestrial. What was it like to work on that movie, and where can your work be seen in it?
Robert: I met Mitch Suskin working on 1941. Mitch would go on to be the visual effects supervisor on E.T.. When Carlo Rambaldi ran into a problem on what to do with the heart light concept and couldn’t quite figure out how to get it into the body or what it would look like, and everybody was running out of time, Mitch recommended for me to come in and take a look. Carl) had the heart light concept itself, but he wanted another pair of eyes to take a look at it and think outside the box. Mitch and I sat down and came up with a visual concept of what the heart light would look like, what it would operate like, what it would be based on, what would be the basic theory behind it as to why the heart light would look the way it did. I came up with a way, instead of integrating it into the body that Carlo had made, to create a whole new E.T. I used Carlo’s head, but I created a whole new body in order to get the heart light to work within the design(Initially, the heart light was only supposed to be in one scene, and that was the back of the van when they go to the park. Steven liked the whole concept of the look of the heart light so much that it got integrated into a lot more of the film after that. I also designed all the alien plant life in the spaceship, like the crystal mushrooms and stuff like that. Working on the film was actually pretty amazing, because it’s one of the only films I ever worked on that felt like something extremely special when we were making it, like “This is really going to be an extraordinary film”. Most of the time, when working on a film, you do the best you obviously can and you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. E.T was weird. It just felt like it was going to be something special. You never know until it’s all put together. We were sitting in the cast and crew screening, and we were actually crying. We watched the film for the first time, and were like “Oh my God, this is amazing. This is really, really hitting home”. It was an extraordinary experience, E.T., from beginning to end, because it felt like it was going to be a special film, and then it turned out to be a classic. It really deserved it.
Johnny: It certainly did. The movie was wonderful. To my next question: You created the mermaid effects for Splash. What did the creative process for those effects entail?
Robert: The main thing about Splash was coming up with the design, and everything followed after that. I originally approached it as kind of a realistic movie. I based it on a dolphin, gray skin, really slick, and trying to make it as sexy as possible, but definitely what real evolution would be like as a place to start. Ron Howard was the one who said, “Let’s keep it more fantasy” and “Can you give me something more like a goldfish?”. That set the tone for the rest of what I did, which was going to orange and more of a fantasy look. The look of the tail that the mermaid would have was key. The two key things were taking Ron’s suggestion of a goldfish, where I did color sketches of what it would look like and Ron okayed it, and again working with Mitch Suskin. He’s the one who bought me in because I had worked on Piranha, so I had previous underwater experience. The major thing design-wise, other than the coloration, was researching fish and looking at their tails, saying, “Hmm, they’re translucent. You can see through them”. No other mermaid tail, up to that time, had been made for a movie that was clear and translucent. They were all solid latex that you really couldn’t see through. The key was finding the material, which ended up being a urethane so that I could create a fluke that you could actually see light through. I think that was the key difference in Splash. We used a new urethane that had just been invented that people were experimenting with in the theme park industry called Skinlex. It was so new that even the manufacturers didn’t know what the proper balance of the components and main ingredient was, so we spent a lot of time just trying to figure out the proportions for the mix. Once we got it down, we actually gave it to the manufacturer. I have a tendency when I’m working on shows to try and stretch the envelope in some direction so I’m not just going with the status quo. I’m trying to find a different way of doing something that will hopefully help the industry evolve.
Johnny: Alright. A user on the website I used to write for, RetroJunk, had his own merman fin created. Have you ever created any mermaid or merman tails as special orders for friends?
Robert: No. The bottom line is I’ve never done anything outside doing stuff for film production.
Johnny: Oh, okay.
Robert: Nope (laughing).
Johnny: Another memorable project you worked on was Chopping Mall, where you created the Killbots. One of the most memorable of the many films you worked on with Roger Corman, what do you think has made that movie stand out after all these years?
Robert: It’s unabashedly true to itself. It just wanted to be a wild ride. It didn’t try to be anything other than what it was, which was originally a slasher film. A guy with a knife was replaced with robots, and then it just stayed true to itself. It was your basic “teenagers are trapped somewhere and they all get killed off one by one”, and there’s just a purity to the story, supported by an excellent cast and a really solid script that hit all the basic beats. We were lucky enough to come up with a design for the robots that worked as well. It’s basically a film that I think has stood the test of time because, at all levels, it didn’t try and be anything but what it wanted to be, and everything it did, it did well. From the design of the robots, to the action in it, to the setting, it’s just very true to itself in what it’s trying to do. It didn’t try to do more than it could, and it did it really well.
Johnny: It certainly did. Chopping Mall climaxes with Alison, played by a previous interview subject of mine, Kelli Maroney, destroying the remaining Killbots. This leads me to ask: When you’re developing effects for a movie, do you ever form a bond with your creations, and if so, how do you react when they get destroyed?
Robert: (Laughing) That’s pretty funny. You always feel bad, but I’ve never developed a bond with any of it. I feel bad when something has to be destroyed, because of all the work that went into it and all the workers involved, but I don’t feel like, “Oh gosh, that’s terrible! Oh, he should have lived!” (laughing).
Johnny: Alright. In 1987, you wrote and directed additional scenes in the movie Programmed To Kill. What was the inspiration for that movie?
Robert: Wow. The inspiration for doing Programmed To Kill, or The Retaliator, as it was also called. I was basically involved over at Trans World Entertainment on some other shows, and I had certainly been asking about them letting me direct for them. I had been writing the ninja films for Sho Kosugi at the time, and basically, Trans World said, “We’d like to do a female Terminator-kind of film. Is there something you could do with that?”. That was the inspiration. They said, “We want to do a female Terminator film”, so I set out to work developing a story that bounced off of that idea. I wanted to get away from time travel or anything that was Terminator-ish in regards to that, so I started making it just a secret agent show that had a bio-mechanical terrorist that goes haywire and goes after the people that reprogrammed her to send her after the terrorists. Actually, the impetus for that story, other than the female Terminator, was again all the secret agent stuff I’d been bought up on during the 60s. I approached it from wanting to do a secret agent story, and then I just overlaid the female Terminator idea onto that, so that’s where it came from.
Johnny: Alright. Programmed To Kill starred Sandahl Bergman, whom I would love to interview someday. With her physical abilities, she’s a special effect all by herself. What was it like to work with her?
Robert: Sandahl was very good to work with. She’s very professional. She got the story. She understood the character. She got into the character. She understood that I had created the character so she had two or three different kind of personalities rolled into it. She had the halfway personality, the terrorist personality, and the robot personality, so she was having fun with the different characters. Towards the end of the film, it got a little rough for Sandahl, because at one point she had a lot of Terminator-type make-up on her for a couple of sequences, which in and of itself was tough for her to take, looking in the mirror and seeing half of her face gone. That was something that was eventually pretty tough for her to deal with, but she got through it like a trouper. She was very good in the film, so she pulled it off well. I liked working with her.
Johnny: You mentioned deleted scenes. Do you happen to still have them, and if so…
Robert: I’ve got nothing from Programmed To Kill other than a couple of posters.
Johnny: Aah, okay. Well, we now come to 1988 and Beetlejuice, where you, Ve Neill and Steve La Porte, came up with creatures so amazing that you won Oscars for Best Make-Up the following year. What was your favorite part of working on that movie, and what designs are you most proud of having created?
Robert: Beetlejuice was a tough film because we had a limited budget overall for the film and we had a really tight schedule. Even though we had a tight schedule, we tried to be as creative as we possibly could. Ve Neill, assisted by Steve La Porte, was responsible for Beetlejuice himself as far as designing the make-up and putting that on every day, and then adding appliances. I created all the other stuff, working with Alan Munro, our visual effects supervisor, and Rick Heinrichs, who was the concept artist on the show. Rick’s gone on to be one of the top art directors in town. The main idea that Alan and I came up with was to do as much in-camera as possible and try and do magicians’ tricks. What you see in the film is what you get in the shot. There are opticals in the film, but not a lot. Most of them are practical effects and tricks on stage, so it’s one of the most extremely creative projects I’ve ever been on in how we proceeded to create the illusion of a lot of the gags. Character-wise, and he’s pretty simple, my favorite, and I think a lot of fan’s favorites, is Harry The Hunter in the waiting room. You don’t see him a lot, and he doesn’t do a lot, but he has just such an amazing personality in the way he looks and acts. I don’t know how he got that name, but he’s still my favorite character. It wasn’t because he was hard to do or anything, but because he’s just so memorable.
Johnny: Definitely. As mentioned, you won your Oscar at the 61st Annual Academy Awards. How nervous were you that night, and how did it feel when you won?
Robert: (Laughing) It’s kind of a stock answer that everybody has, but you never really think it’s going to happen. I personally had had a dream the night before, which was really funny, that I actually got up on stage and won the award. That was weird in itself. I was like, “This can’t really be happening”, but then you’re sitting there and when they call your name…For me, from the time that I got up out of my chair to the time I walked backstage, I don’t remember anything. It’s just a blank (laughing), and if it weren’t for video footage, I couldn’t even attest to having gone up on stage and talked at all. For me, it was just kind of going on completely automatic, and it wasn’t until I got backstage, and Cybill Shepherd asked if she could carry my Oscar around for the rest of the night, that I was like, “Oh, what? This really did happen!”. You then spend the next half hour going to different press rooms, giving interviews and stuff, and then you eventually get back to your seat. One of the things that I remember, a funny incident that was weird, was that the person who sat down beside me, with my wife on one side and him on the other, was completely 100% by chance, no set-up or anything else, was Michael Sloan. I knew Michael Sloan because I had worked with him on Return Of The Man From U.N.C.L.E as he was the producer of that project. It was just weird to be at the Oscars, waiting on word of whether I was going to win one or not, but coming full circle as I was inspired to get into the business by the original Man From U.N.C.L.E. From working on the Man From U.N.C.L.E special that Michael produced to having him sit right next to me, of all the people in the entire room that it could have been, it just happened to be someone with a Man From U.N.C.L.E connection that I worked with. It was just weird. Those are the things that I remember from that night.
Johnny: Speaking of weird, that Oscar ceremony was also infamous for the Beach Blanket Babylon-inspired opening number that Allan Carr conceived, with Eileen Bowman as Snow White, Rob Lowe as himself, and tables full of classic Hollywood actors who didn’t do much of anything. What did you think of that opening number?
Robert: Um (laughing), I’ll just say this: It just added to the weirdness.
Johnny: Alright. Moving into the 90s, you created the suit for the title character on the 1990 version of The Flash. Had you read the comic books, and if so, how did they inspire you?
Robert: I actually have quite a comic book collection, so the Flash comics with Barry Allen are kind of like second nature. When I got a call to come in and talk about the show, my initial reaction was, “I don’t know why you’re talking to me. You’re just going to make this out of spandex, and I don’t know what I’m bringing to the table. Also, whatever I make, I don’t know how it’s going to compress down into, and be able to pop out of, his ring” (laughing). In the end, basically the producers, Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo, said, “We don’t want a guy in spandex because that’s going to crush all of his muscles down. Nobody’s built that way. He can’t run, etc. etc. We want him to look just like Flash does in the comics, and we want you to build that look”. Dave Stevens, who created and designed The Rocketeer, had done a sketch that modified the cowl and made the boots red, and they said, “Here’s the basics. We’ve changed the color of the boots and the design of the cowl, but we want it to look like it does in the comics. Can you do it?”. I said, “Okay, give me some time to figure it out, but I’m sure I could”. The big thing was they wanted it without seams like the comics were being drawn. In today’s comics, people draw seams on Batman and The Flash and everything else to make it more realistic, like a suit of clothes would be made, but in those days, nobody had any seams. They just painted the suit on, so the main thing about working on The Flash was I knew I’d have to come up with a muscle suit, but I didn’t want to make it too outrageous. John Wesley Shipp was in really good shape, so we just had to pad it to John’s level, and then actually figure out a way to put the suit together. That was the big challenge. Of course, it was like wearing a Creature From The Black Lagoon suit, but not being in the water, so we had to integrate the cool suit underneath the costume so he wouldn’t sweat and pass out. We had a lot of fun on The Flash, and I’m actually very proud of it, due to how they wanted no seams and we didn’t have a cape like Batman to hide anything. The Batman suit being black and having a cape, at that time, could do all kinds of scenes and be patched together, and not have to worry if there was a zipper up the back or whatever. With The Flash, I didn’t have anything to hide behind. I was like, “Oh my God, everything’s just got to work”, so I was very happy with how The Flash turned out. I got a chuckle out of the fact that finally, this year, someone made an action figure of that particular suit. I’ve yet to pick it up, but I know it’s out there.
Johnny: Alright. Staying with Warner Brothers, according to the IMDB, you were a puppeteer on Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. What went into that puppeteering, and how difficult was it to keep up with the manic energy of a mid-90s Jim Carrey?
Robert: (Laughing) I loved working with Jim because he’s manic and crazy and just all over the place. Again, that was one of his first films, so he wasn’t the superstar. He was just being the wild and crazy Jim Carrey, but of course, Jim Carrey always plays a persona, being “Jim Carrey” on talk shows or anything else, so there’s the Jim Carrey that portrays characters, and then the Jim Carrey that everybody sees, which is kind of his persona, and then the Jim Carrey that’s a different Jim Carrey. There’s different kinds of levels of Jim Carrey, and it’s kind of the same working with Howie Mandel. There’s the Howie Mandel character everybody sees on talk shows, and then there’s the real Howie Mandel. Working with Howie Mandel and Jim Carrey was interesting because they have cool personas,. For Ace Ventura, I was puppeteering because puppeteering had to be done, but I created Snowflake, the dolphin that drives the film, and I created the great white shark that comes out of the tank and tries to bite him, which was a full-scale great white shark. I got credit for puppeteering (laughing), which was supporting the stuff we were doing for the show.
Johnny: Alright. I actually saw that movie in theaters when I went on a field trip with my student council class in 1994. It was pretty fun.
Robert: Yeah. Although I didn’t have a thing to do with it, my favorite scene in Ace Ventura, again because there’s no CGI in the movie, the most incredible scene is the shot where he’s standing in the apartment, and all the animals suddenly show up. They land on his arms and gather around him, and that was shot live with real animals. They were all trained for that. On that first take, they were like, “Ready, set, action! Is this really going to work?” (laughing). We were just all stunned. We couldn’t believe they did it, so the shot where all the animals come and fill up the room was all done live in one take. To me, that was the most amazing thing in the film.
Johnny: Alright. Moving into the 2000s, you’re uncredited for your work on Looney Tunes: Back In Action, according to the IMDB. Was that because of the movie’s troubled production impacting your work, or a different reason?
Robert: No no no. That’s because I was helping out friends and I didn’t do enough stuff to warrant a credit on it. I was just helping out on the Robby The Robot appearance because, for years in the 70s, I played Robby The Robot on TV shows like Mork And Mindy and Wonder Woman. As one of the retired operators of Robby The Robot, I was asked to come on down and help guide the crew. The fellow who was playing him at the time, Robert Parigi, was a good friend, and William Malone, the suit’s owner, asked me to come on board and help out on set to make sure it worked. It was just as simple as that, no politics involved.
Johnny: Alright. When it comes to Robby The Robot, I’ve noticed that Robby is on the Internet Movie Database, listed as himself in the actors section. Was that your idea to do that since you worked with the character in the 70s, or was it somebody else’s?
Robert: (Laughing) Somebody else. What people like to do with Robby is that they don’t like to admit there’s anybody in Robby, so he’s just playing himself.
Johnny: Alright. You mentioned The Man From U.N.C.L.E several times, and you worked as a compositor on the 2015 film adaptation of the series. What was it like to return to the franchise, having also worked on the reunion movie?
Robert: Well, The Man From U.N.C.L.E has always been a hobby for me, and I always try and get involved in whatever iteration of U.N.C.L.E. is going on. It’s always been a hobby, and a semi-professional kind of thing, that has been a part of my life. My sister, who’s 20 years older than I am, used to be an extra, and was an extra on the original Man From U.N.C.L.E series. I’d go down there and hang out on the set, and I actually appear in one episode of the original series. I just continue to try and be a part of whatever U.N.C.L.E thing is going on, and the U.N.C.L.E movie was in development for about 21 years before Warner Brothers gave it the green light. What happened was Skyfall had done so well at the box office that, all of a sudden, everybody was doing spy stuff. Warner, owning the franchise, decided to finally green-light U.N.C.L.E. I had been working with John Davis as a technical advisor on the show, always helping writers. There were 14 different scripts over that time period, always trying to get Warner Brothers interested in getting the show off the ground. Quentin Tarantino on board as director for a while, and so was Steven Soderbergh. George Clooney was on board at one point, and so were Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. The list just goes on and on and on, and then what happened after all that time was Warner Brothers turned it over to Guy Ritchie to make it. That basically became their own project from scratch. Because of my connection to the franchise, after all the years with John Davis was not going to help, I started looking for who was going to be doing the visual effects on the show, and basically put the word out that I was interested in working on it. I ended up working for BlueBolt in England on the show, and did compositing for them. That’s how I ended up doing work on that particular iteration of U.N.C.L.E. The Guy Ritchie team hasn’t gotten any traction yet, but they’re still talking about possibly doing a number two, so there will possibly be another iteration coming up.
Johnny: Okay. More recently, you’ve been working on the FX series Legion. A return to working with Marvel after having been visual effects supervisor on the 2008 movie Punisher: War Zone, what’s been the most rewarding part of working with Marvel?
Robert: The rewarding thing about Marvel is their success rate and their understanding of the characters they’re doing. Doing Punisher, and working for Lexi Alexander, the director on that particular film, I wanted to embrace the idea that Lexi wanted about taking a specific run of the graphic novel, and tailoring the entire film to reflect the style of that novel. We didn’t pull any punches. We worked with Kevin Feige, and although they may make changes here and there throughout, they have an honest approach to knowing what makes those characters work. Even though Punisher: War Zone was not a financial success, it was successful in the way that it captured the framing and the feel of a particular set of graphic novels that had been published. I honestly don’t remember right now whether they were the War Zone novels or another grouping of recent graphic novels, but we used basic panels from those graphic novels to lay out the shots and show just how graphic the violence was. With the graphic novels themselves, they just go completely over the top in their depiction of violence, which gave us a lot of freedom.
Robert: As for Legion, again that’s an interesting one because I would say Legion is the comic book-oriented project that changed more than anything else from its’ comic origins into being something much more original. Again, Mitch Suskin was the supervisor on Legion, and he bought me in as a co-supervisor and effects producer on that. The stuff that I worked on was mainly on set, getting the shots actually done with the actors. The sequences that I enjoyed were working with the actors in regards to what’s called the Delusion Monster, setting up all the Delusion Monster shots and making sure the actors were interfacing with the CGI creatures to make that more believable. My main involvement was in designing the giant Delusion Monster. I’m very happy, in a career this long, to still be able to do monster and creature creations.
Johnny: Alright. To a bigger question: Your contemporary Rick Baker retired a few years ago and sold off a lot of his work because of his feelings about the dominance of CGI in film-making. What are your feelings on CGI, and do you worry about it impacting your work, or have you utilized it to your advantage?
Robert: I’ve utilized it to my advantage. I mean, I walked out of Jurassic Park when it was originally released and said, “Oh God, we’re extinct”. A lot of people felt that way. The bulk of the work that I do now is computer-based, whether I’m designing, animating or supervising. I still occasionally do a creature or suit, which is still always fun to do. My basic feeling is you use the right tool for the right job. Sometimes it’s practical analogue creature effects, but these days even the best creatures use CGI, especially to create a non-humanoid shape. It would be very difficult to create a non-human creature and let it play through the entire film without some kind of CG help or shot somewhere along the line. I certainly feel the best thing to do is to embrace the new technology without losing the old, and finding the correct balance.
Johnny: Alright. Aside from CGI, what would you say has been the biggest change in the entertainment industry between the 1970s and 2018?
Robert: The biggest change in the entertainment industry is the fact that things get done so quickly now that people don’t really have the time to plan, the way they used to. The basic change in the industry is to keep things very loose on set and make it up as you go along. Again, a lot of this relates to CGI, unfortunately, and that is if something can be fixed in post, people don’t spend that much time on set during principal production to make a plan and stick to the plan. Now things are a lot more fluid, so how things and people operate on set, and how things are shot, are a lot different than it used to be. It used to be that you didn’t have an alternative. You used to plan very carefully and then stick to that plan. Now, because you can change almost anything later on, you go in with a big plan, shoot what’s interesting, and then figure out in post how to piece it together. The biggest change I’ve seen is that you used to have to plan your time more carefully than you do now.
Johnny: Alright, and now I come to my final question: What advice would you give to people looking to enter the field of visual effects work?
Robert: My advice has always been truly do something that you enjoy doing, and the money will follow, because it’s the passion that people bring to projects that makes their own work special and different than anybody else’s. If visual effects is what you’re interested in, or make-up, or screenwriting, or directing, it doesn’t matter. They all have pros and cons in the day-to-day grind and how you get it done, what you have to deal with, and the problems you have to solve. The key to making yourself happy, and to making your work stand out, is to do something that you have a passion about, but you have to have a point-of-view about it and know you can bring something to the party.
Johnny: Definitely good advice. That about does it for my questions. I again thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to speak to me.
Robert: It was my pleasure. I’m glad it all worked out. Now I’ve got to go down to my local city hall and see what our earthquake preparedness seminar is all about.
Johnny: Alright. Thank you very much for your time, and have a good afternoon.
Robert: Okay, Johnny. Alright. Talk to you later.
For more about Robert Short’s work, you can visit his official website, where the pictures in this article came from. I would like to thank Robert Short for taking the time out of his schedule to speak to me. He’s the 5th Oscar winner I’ve interviewed, and it was an honor to do so, as it is to do all my interviews. Thank you as always for reading. Who will I Flashback with next? Stay tuned.