Jurassic Punk (2022) Movie Script

[birds chirping]
[windmill creaking]
It's a medium, God damn it.
[gravel crunching]
It ain't gonna fit me.
-[windmill creaking]
-[gate lock clicking open]
-Look at that.
-[gate clicking shut]
Oh, it's exactly--
It's exactly what I have,
but it's a medium,
I don't think
it's gonna fit.
-[reporter] You need a large?
-Yeah, minimum.
I can't wear a shirt
unless it has a stain on it.
If you wear a shirt that
doesn't have a stain on it,
it's not a shirt.
One of the biggest problems
I have is my memory.
I just wanna forget everything.
Unfortunately, I can't.
-[woman] You raised her--
-[Steve] The past haunts me.
[TV announcer] Do these animals
deserve the same protections
given to other species?
Or should they just
be left to die?
[dinosaurs roars]
These creatures
were here before us.
[door slamming shut]
[Steve] I guess Netflix
is doing the thing on Jurassic.
They want to hear
the real story.
Not a revisionist history
We're in "C" Theater
at 3210 Kerner Boulevard,
San Rafael, California,
the old ILM facility.
In this theater
is where we projected
every single one of the shots
that we knew was gonna change
the entire film industry.
When the T-Rex took a step,
you had a secondary jiggle.
So, I had separate channels
of animation
of literally
a digital bladder
hung off
the hierarchy of the leg,
so it shook on the bone.
So, if the bladder shook,
the outside control vertices
shook as well.
So, every time
the Rex took a step,
you had to have
a massive amount of shake
of this muscle.
A lot of people
are always referring back to it
being the best
of all the Jurassics.
And now, what is it?
World domination
of everything--
I mean the "Giganotosaurus",
that's the latest one.
It was like three times
the size of the Rex.
"It is?
Oh, I better go see the sequel."
Why don't they just merge
Star Wars and Jurassic
and come up
with one big mega movie?
You know,
it's like dinosaurs in space
and everyone's shooting
each other, you know?
[somber music playing]
I'm naive, I guess,
when it comes
to a lot of stuff.
And you get burned, y'know.
You get burned.
Things are so simple now,
Looking back
at the ILM days,
it's almost like
it was a weird dream.
Even though I was using
machines as a tool back then,
I myself
was stuck in a machine.
And this whole thing
about blind curiosity,
trying to, A,
prove it yourself,
and B, you know,
prove it to the world,
you can do something.
Little did I know...
y'know, I created a monster.
[T-Rex roaring
and growling]
And joining me now
in the studio
is the chief animator
at Lucasfilm, Steve Williams.
George Lucas' Industrial Light
and Magic Company,
the folks who provided
special effects
for Star Wars,
is going commercial.
[narrator] These hummingbirds
are not real.
Animator Steve Williams
sketches out a line drawing
on a computer screen.
[woman] It was never
Steve's intention to combine
his classical animation
training with computers,
but now colleagues marvel,
they've never seen anyone
create life so realistically.
It was not biotechnology
that brought the dinosaurs
to life in Jurassic Park.
[reporter 2]
Animator Steve Williams
used a computer
to bring the T-Rex to life.
[reporter 3]
The Universal Studios picture
could generate as much
as $50 million this weekend.
[reporter 4] Other studios
in town will not open
any of their pictures
against it.
[reporter 5] Williams
is one of the hottest
computer animators
in Hollywood.
[reporter 5]
Spreading his message
that computer animation
is about art,
not technology.
I mean, is there anything
that worries you about this?
[Steve] Oh, yeah,
I-- I think it's pretty--
I-- I don't think
it's a good thing, but it's--
[host] Well, so, you're sort of
like Dr. Frankenstein.
[somber music playing]
-[rain pattering]
-[thunder rumbling]
[Steve] Everybody thinks that
chaos is completely random.
There is no such thing
as random.
Every single variable
is calculatable.
And math
is nothing but a language
to try and describe
what nature already knows.
We're so steeped
in the rules...
so when you think differently,
you're seen as a heretic.

I know I was different,
you know, I-- I knew it.
I've always been different.
I had visions about
how things are gonna be...
and not should be,
but just are going to be.
Especially about,
you know, synthetic imagery.
Here's a low-resolution data
of the T-Rex,
and most of these points here
where each one
of the bones were.
Jurassic Park storyboards.
"SS approved" means
Steven Spielberg approved.
Chase scene four.
75 frames. Took me four months
to animate this shot.
Here's somebody
that was fundamental
at that time,
in-- in, uh, the-- the,
um, progress of this
disruptive technology.
But, the way
that I know him now,
he mainly likes to blacksmith,
and we end up hanging out
in the shop
because he likes
to get his hands dirty,
just like I do.
We all called him Spaz.
Now, calling
Steve Williams "Spaz,"
was, uh, a nickname,
like, that giant guy
in high school
that everybody called Tiny.
[boy] Hey, Spaz,
my, how you doing, buddy?
[Bill] That character
with the pocket protector
and the thick glasses,
he was the opposite.
Here was a motorcycle-riding,
leather-jacket-wearing guy,
who's the first one
that I ever met,
that was an artist,
who had computer
and high-mathematical skills.
Like Michelangelo took corpses
and dissected them,
Spaz is a guy who kind of
dissected life a little bit.
[Steve] I was just amazed
by how things worked.
My whole life I was driven by
how things work.
Cartoons deviated
from the rules
of the way nature operates.
It was sort of
questioning convention.
-You're questioning reality.
Good he's got that
going for me.
Got that going at me.
[Steve] Sheridan College
in Toronto.
All of us are misfits.
We didn't think
We're these, like,
these strange artists.
I decided to take
classical animation.
Then, I took
computer engineering,
University of Toronto.
Then I joined a company
in Toronto called Alias,
using computers
to do animation.
No one really thought about it
that way.
They thought it
for data processing,
they didn't really
think about it
for actually animating.
I was attempting to try
and replicate the real world
in a synthetic environment.
There were very few people
in the world that knew Alias,
computer graphics back in 1988.
I was working on a system
called the "CIWS,"
it was a Gatling gun that,
for the most part,
sat on Iowa-class
The simulation
I was working,
had the fluorocarbon
cooling system.
Industrial Light Magic,
got wind
that there was somebody
that actually knew something
about fluid dynamics.
They're working on a movie
where there's a water creature.
[Howard] Now, you see
water doing things
all the time,
but back in the day,
you said, "Well, it's gonna be
water that comes alive,
and then the face
comes out of the water."
People would just blank out.
It was a big question mark
for everybody.
What Jim had seen
in computer graphics
up to that point,
was all the other
prior films
that had used
computer graphics,
like Last Starfighter,
and Tron,
and even
Young Sherlock Holmes.
CG had
an artificiality to it.
We were looking
for a photo-real thing.
His previous films,
Terminator and Aliens,
they were about
thrills and action.
They were not about just
a straight sense of wonder.
He really wanted to
show that he could do that.
We clearly needed
additional talent
and we found
Steve Williams.
The quality was paramount.
If we were gonna be successful,
this stuff had to be
not just good enough,
it had to be great,
it had to be convincing,
it had to be something
that ultimately
no one had ever seen before.
So I ended up
at Industrial Light Magic,
and I got hired
in October of 1988
to be Chief Animator
on The Abyss.
We had two machines,
Silicon Graphics GT60
and a GT80.
The first thing I had to do
was figure out
how to animate the spine
of the pseudopod.
"The Water Weenie"
was the nickname.
Everyone's looking at us.
If we fail,
it would have been
a tremendous setback.
[Mark] I was the first Ph.D.
at ILM
in the subject
of computer graphics.
We didn't have
a lot office space,
but I got put in this thing
called "The Pit,"
which was downstairs
and was a sound room.
And we turned it into this
kind of wild, wacky office.
Spaz was put down there too.
My first impression,
he walks in,
he's got, like,
a tight, white t-shirt,
crew cut,
Dudley Do-Right chin,
old school jeans
rolled up at the bottom,
and wearing engineer boots.
It-- it's, like,
a '50s biker thing
or, you know,
this kind of strange,
macho Canadian thing
or who knows what.
[Steve] There's this fucking
hippie and I'm thinking,
"Ah, God damned fucking hippie,
God damned Californian,"
you know?
And he's got his feet
on the desk
and playing on the stereo
Alice Cooper,
"Love it to Death."
That's the first fucking
album I ever had and he goes,
"That's the first album
I ever had."
And that was it. Game over.
We hit it off right away.
I mean, it's funny, even though
we're very different,
we like to have fun.
Have fun, be fun.
That was our motto.
We were outsiders,
only because we had this
technical animation solution,
but we hadn't really worked
on films.
My job, you know,
was to try and figure out
the nuance of the animation.
Mark had come up
with this code
that allowed us to put
little sine wave distributions
over the surface
to create a rippling effect.
[Mark] How to take surfaces
and make them undulate
like they're water,
even though they're tubes,
that was a big pain in the ass.
We had to just find solutions.
Jim sent us back scans
with the video we had
just drawing on it
with a marker, he faxed them.
we were able to accomplish
what Jim was looking for.
Cameron had said,
had that scene failed,
he would've just yanked it
from the entire film.
But it ended being
one of the premiere scenes.
Everybody looked at it
and went,
"How in blazes was that done?"
And that's
where the deal changed.
I knew darn well
this would be the best
that I would ever do.
I just knew
that there wasn't gonna be
any more creative hurdles,
there wouldn't be anything
like what we were doing at ILM.
When you grow up in Canada,
it's like...
you grow up
with eight colors, okay?
So, you have to learn
how to design and draw,
and paint
with these eight colors.
When you come to the States,
you're instantly,
across the border,
given 20 colors.
upbeat music playing]
It blows your bloody mind.
You can have a '65 Cadillac
without any rust on it.
Engines, gas,
bullets, beer, everything,
just like that, snap.
a half an hour away.
It's great.
It's like being in Disneyland.
One, one gun,
ah, ah, ah, ah.
In America,
anybody can do anything.
All you have to do
is put in the dedication
and the sweat,
and you can get
whatever you fucking want.
That concept
didn't exist in Canada.
Growing up in Toronto,
you're growing up
in suppression.
You're growing up
in bureaucracy.
You are not qualified
to do this.
The prime minister
at the time
was a guy named
Pierre Trudeau.
And Pierre Trudeau said,
"If you don't like it here
in Canada,
move somewhere else."
So, I said,
"Okay, fine. I'm gonna."
And I did.
So, this is
the original mousepad
that I used
to build Terminator 2.
I was there so much
I ended up wearing out the pad.
Pretty funny, eh?
[Van] The pseudopod sequence
was a validation
that this was a technique
that had a lot of promise.
But it took Jim Cameron
on his next film,
Terminator 2, to kind of
take it to the next step
of what you could do
with it.
The Abyss encouraged me
to take it a step further,
or many steps further.
He knew to try and push it.
And that was the good thing
about Cameron, he pushed it.
He believed in it,
even though he didn't know
the technology
or the technique
and he let myself and Spaz
and everyone run with it.
[Steve] Everyone's neck
was on the line, including his.
The biggest
technical challenge
was building a human in data,
it hadn't been done before.
[Mark] Robert Patrick
is the T-1000.
We're gonna study his body,
we're gonna watch
his movements,
we're gonna find a way
to capture his quality.
[Steve] There was
no motion capture back then.
So, Mark and I thought
"Okay, well, let's do
what Muybridge had done."
Put a grid,
but not on the background.
Put a grid on the guy.
The day I got cast,
I'm flown
to wherever the hell ILM is.
Spaz and Mark start to paint
these grids over me...
and I had no idea
what the fuck they were doing.
Pardon my language, but,
you know, they're animators,
I don't know
what they're doing, but they--
they seem real interested
in what I'm doing.
[Steve] All right,
oh, man, oh, man.
-I'm one of the biggest--
-[Steve] No, no, you're not.
Yes, I am.
I could have been a T-1000.
[Steve] You can only pray
to have lines like that.
I think
that's the only time
I ever seen you with a smile,
Robert, huh?
[Mark laughs]
He's out of character.
[Robert] Mark and Steve
were so inquisitive
about what was I thinking,
where was I getting
these ideas?
If you're my target now,
my left leg and my hip
would drop back,
my hip would lead me,
and then the target's there.
[Steve] Gotcha.
[Robert] Immediately,
it clicked with that.
We had, like,
our own theory,
our own T-1000 talk,
our own jargon.
And they were kinda close
to my age.
And I could tell
they were young and eager,
trying to make a name
for themselves as well.
We were all
pretty passionate.
And I remember thinking,
"T-2 man,
it's a whole 'nother level up."
The walk out of the fire,
the first unveiling
of the special powers
the T-1000 had.
[soft music playing]
The first take I did,
I went in there
and I could smell
my shirt burning.
And I could feel it
on the back of my ears.
My ears were getting singed.
The first shot I had to do
was CC1
walking out of the fire.
There was 375 frames long,
fully skin walking T-1000.
I remember shooting that,
and I remember
everybody being frustrated.
I remember me
being very frustrated,
because I thought
I was fucking it up
for everybody.
I think we did like 27 takes
or something, I don't know.
I do remember that day,
Jim and I sitting somewhere
in that canal,
off to the side
in the shade.
I think he could sense
at how frustrated I was
and he said, "Hey, man,
this has never been done.
We're making movie history.
This is history right now."
we shot all this
great reference material
of Robert Patrick walking.
I'd come up with a method
to actually build the T-1000.
Okay, ready to roll camera?
All right,
roll "B" camera.
I started with a set of bones.
[Robert] Spaz, he actually
animated my skeletal system.
[Steve] So it operates
like any standard puppet,
it's got 30 channels to it
that go from anywhere
from controlling
the speed of his legs
to the speed
of what his fingers are doing.
This is really
the first successful step
to adding real life
to an otherwise inanimate
piece of geometry.
We are destined to do that
or nothing.
We knew that other people
had come so far,
we wanted to go beyond that.
Once that shot happened,
that was it.
Everybody knew.
That was a new beginning.
[Van Vliet]
ILM was evolving.
If you're lucky,
you will find a place to go
where they will continue
to subsidize your insanity.
Stories that wanted to be told
ten years ago
couldn't really be told
because there was limitations
in the effects industry.
You know, so...
Every time we did something
that became better and digital,
more experts moved in,
that we'd never seen before.
More managers moved in.
More people to tell you
what you were doing wrong,
even though
they didn't even understand
what you were doing.
Many folks,
particularly in the beginning,
didn't embrace it,
nor did they feel, like,
they had the capability
to embrace it.
You didn't want
to lose your job
to anything that was new.
Right away, we knew,
"This is coming."
A lot of people
were terrified by it,
"It's gonna put model makers
out of work."
It was a live conversation
happening all the time
'cause it was a threat.
That's how we saw it.
So not only did they not want
to embrace them,
they actually
wanted to see them fail,
in my opinion.
But, this was the future.
And I just started
buying gear.
Throwing money into digital.
Now, we started hiring.
And we needed to hire people
to do Terminator 2.
On The Abyss,
there were probably
seven or eight, um,
computer graphics artists.
And by the time
we got to Terminator
it had grown to around 15.
We were kind of new
to this whole field.
We were inventing
it as we went along.
[Schlag] I went into ILM
my first day,
and they crack open a binder
full of storyboards,
and I'm turning
through the pages
and looking at one thing
and saying,
"Oh, well,
how are we gonna do that?"
And they said,
"Oh, we don't know yet."
I turn a few more pages
and look at something else
"Oh, how do we do that?"
"We don't know."
And I thought,
"You people are crazy."
[Michael] What I knew
was geometry and animation,
and a little bit
about lighting.
I didn't know anything
about compositing,
I certainly
didn't know anything
about traditional
special effects.
I wasn't even
a big movie buff, really.
[Stefen] I had no training
in film whatsoever.
Not a single day
of film school.
Every filmmaker who wanted
to do something new,
came to ILM.
But, doing traditional effects,
blowing things up
in camera,
and then optically
printing them
was very much
still the norm back then.
As the manager of the company,
what I really needed to do
is foster change,
so I needed to take some of
the computer graphics people
and put them in
with the old school masters.
And I carved out,
like, a week of time
of these people
to be together in a seminar
so that
they could teach each other.
It was like oil and water.
And this is, uh,
C-3PO, huh, you know.
The computer graphics people
that were being hired
had very little time,
nor interest,
in old school technology.
And let's see how
his vital signs are.
Well, after all these years
he still holds up.
It was like, you know,
your high school students
"Why do I have to study math?
I don't need to study.
I have this thing,
it's a calculator."
[Mark] We all loved ILM
and we loved George Lucas
and we loved all that stuff
'cause it had an impact
on our lives.
But, we weren't,
like, mad fanboys.
We believed in kind of
the irony of it all, you know?
So, it wasn't, like,
to be taken so seriously,
it wasn't, like, uh, uh,
we wanted to deify
or worship all these things.
So, we were-- First of all,
we were casual about it.
Hello, how are you?
My name's Dobbie,
Dobbie Dickwit.
[Bill] Steve Williams
was a combination
of brilliance, naivete,
some childishness,
all wrapped
into one package.
And I think, uh,
some of that rubbed management
the wrong way.
He drove me crazy.
He drove everybody crazy
in that marketing department
'cause he did not do
what we wanted him to do.
And he almost had,
like, a secret glee,
by not doing
what we wanted him to do.
[Bill] If you're gonna have
a successful company
with creative people in it,
you gotta give some leeway
to these unusual types.
They are young,
full of energy,
and some of them
are oddballs.
Well, hi there,
I am Hickory, I own this farm.
-Nice to meet you.
-[puppeteer] Ow!
Let go
you fucking asshole.
[puppeteer yelling]
There was a lot
of serious work there,
but there was also
a lot of nonsense.
And you have to have
a lot of nonsense
to actually get
creative stuff done.
It's part of the equation.
We would have these parties
called "pit parties."
[Steve] We hung up fliers
all around the company,
it said, "Nailed, an evening
of social penetration."
-[upbeat music playing]
-[crowd chattering]
We had two big bowls,
"Mystic Masonic Punch,"
and "Our Lady
of the Berry Wine."
There are people running around
drunk out of their heads.
There's really no guidelines
or no established standards
of how we were supposed
to behave
or what we're supposed to do
or not do.
So, there were certain drugs
were consumed,
and, well,
I took some mushrooms
and watched some black
and white movie in reverse.
[Scott] The fact
that they were down there
in the pit, they could let off
a lot of steam.
Steve would have a hockey stick
and he'd be bashing something.
I end up falling off the desk
and falling
into a pile of glass.
I didn't have any feeling
for a while.
I was suspended twice,
because we fucking
destroyed the place.
You needed to allow people
to make mistakes
and experiment.
You also needed to allow them
to understand
that it was a business.
[Steve] There was a lot
of politics at the time
because it was
a high-profile film.
In The Abyss,
you know,
there was a small sequence.
James Cameron
had basically said,
"If this does not get done
on schedule,
I can just cut it out."
Now, for Terminator 2,
it was pretty clear
that if computer graphics
didn't work out,
that would be a problem.
So, the pressure was on.
Somehow, everybody around us
just had to trust us.
[Steve] If the studio
was about to spend
five or six million dollars,
they want somebody
that's got some cred, right?
Not us young punks.
For a group
of computer graphics people
who are trying
to prove themselves,
you had to have a face for that,
and that was Dennis.
[John] Dennis Muren
looms big over everything.
He is Optimus Prime.
Dennis had all the experience
and such great credentials.
[Scott] He was the leader
of the pack.
He was the guy
with the most gold statues,
he was the guy that was still
standing in there the longest.
He was the guy.
Computer generated images
are a way of coming up
with new effects.
You're starting to see,
I think,
a lot of the limits
of traditional effects.
So, I've all the time,
been sort of pushing
for this stuff to work.
Dennis not only supported
digital technology,
but embraced it and pressed it.
[Mark] He always,
I think, is looking big picture
and understands
how all the elements fit.
He could look at an image,
"It's not working."
He's the kind of guy
that could say
what'll make it work.
And that's a big, big talent.
He's one of the best.
That's why
he's so well respected
and won so many awards.
[Tom] He had the vision
to see where it could go,
but the specifics
of making it go there,
as far as the actual doing,
fell, somewhat,
to other people.
You know, hierarchies
being what they are,
at some point you find yourself
now reporting to someone
who knows less than you do
about what it is
that you're doing.
Dennis comes
from a camera background.
He knows that area really well,
but he was relying,
certainly, on us computer geeks
to try
and bolt everything together
and get the shots through.
There's no one person
who can know or do everything
and, so, you have to rely
on people who have expertise.
If you're smart,
you get into that organization,
you play by the rules,
you make connections,
but you have to have
a bit of humility.
[man] The Spaz-Dipp
personality style
I don't think fit.
[Van] They had
more of a punk sensibility.
The way they liked to dress
and the way
they liked to do things
was not the norm at ILM.
There were several times
when they almost got fired
[Van] During the making
of Terminator 2
there was a dinner.
And it's at Skywalker Ranch.
The ranch was sort of verboten.
We were sort of,
like, the bastard step-children
that lived on Kerner
and ate at Foodles.
[Steve] Mark and I
are invited to the ranch.
[Mark] We ride our motorcycles
up Skywalker Ranch.
We park them on the front,
like, 25 motorcycles.
This office building
is a house.
[Howard] We went
into the executive dining room.
The food's being served.
These two guys get bored
and they decide
to get up and take a walk.
[Mark] We're just walkin'
around the house.
And then at the very end,
there's a little, like,
sunken den.
They found their way
to George's private sanctum,
the anteroom
to his actual office.
And they walk into the office
and they sit down--
[Tom] Smoking cigars,
into George's liquor cabinet,
feet up on the desk.
[Mark] Now, unbeknownst to us,
everything is alarmed.
They have pressure sensitive
carpets up there.
And all of a sudden,
out of nowhere,
the Skywalker police show up.
Skywalker had their own police
and fire department.
"What's going on here?
Who are you?"
"What are you doing?
You're in George Lucas' office."
They had done the unthinkable!
They had actually gone in
and defouled the chambers!
Spaz says,
"Well, my name is Scott Ross."
Dipp gave his name
as Lincoln Hu,
which caused
a certain amount of chagrin
for the real Lincoln Hu.
Lincoln Hu's one of
the only other Asian guys
I can think of, even though
I'm only half Asian.
And the security guy said,
"We know who Scott Ross is.
What's your name?"
And Spaz says, "You got me,
my name's Ed Jones."
So, the next morning
the call comes in.
"What the hell
did you guys do?"
"We didn't do anything,
we were screwing around!"
"Well, they think
you did something
and you're in deep shit."
I go, "Like what?"
"They want you fired."
Doug Norby.
Doug Norby was the head
of Lucas Film at the time.
My arch nemesis.
He calls me on the phone
and he says,
"George is beside himself
and I want you to fire
Lincoln Hu and Ed Jones."
I said, "Well, first of all,
it wasn't Lincoln Hu
and it wasn't Ed Jones,
it was Steve Williams
and it was Mark Dipp."
He says,
"George wants them fired."
I said,
"I can't fire them."
this is what George wants,
-he wants them fired."
Let me just put you
in the picture.
If I fire these two guys,
Jim Cameron
and the entire
Columbia Legal Department
is gonna be in your office
because these two guys
are what makes Terminator 2.
And if I fire the two of them,
the film doesn't get done
and you're gonna be sued.
let me get back to you."
-"Thanks, Doug." Click.
-Damn it! You know?
So, what they had to do
is they had to figure out
how to penalize us.
So, what happened
was we had to sit
on a tribunal.
Me and Mark on one side
and all the head brass
of Lucas Film.
They're asking us
the weirdest fucking questions
in the world,
they're going,
"If you're having a party
at your house,
and you see that people
have gone into your bedroom
during the party,
would you be offended?"
I said, "No!
Are you kidding me?"
They're-- I said,
"At my parties,
everyone's in the bedroom!"
This-- We-- we-- we--
This is ridiculous.
Mark and I go,
"Look, we'll quit right now."
We said we'll quit.
"Oh, no, no, no."
"They can stay,
but they are banned
from the ranch.
They are no longer allowed
on the ranch."
[man] From that moment on,
they were persona non grata
at the ranch.
[Scott] Lincoln Hu
winds up getting a phone call
and it's Doug Norby.
"I know it wasn't you,
I know it was the other guys
and I'm really sorry
that I used your name,
but I really wanna thank you
for the plate of cookies
that you sent me."
And Lincoln says, "Doug,
I wouldn't eat any of those
cookies if I was you."
I'm Roger Ebert
of the Chicago Sun Times.
And I'm Gene Siskel
of the Chicago Tribune
and our first film
is Terminator 2.
Thanks to some
truly spectacular
and mystifying
special effects,
this is one terrific
action picture.
I enjoyed it a lot more
than the original.
It hit the press big.
Tons of publicity and stuff.
No one had ever seen
anything like it before.
Mark Dipp and I,
we were like these superstars.
The press was crazy.
Dennis and I did
a Time magazine article
and the way it was shown
was like,
uh, the sorcerer
and his young apprentice.
I think Dennis was a supporter
of the idea, but...
you know, he's like--
A-- He was worried.
I didn't go into this show
relying on CG
to be able to do it.
I had a backup plan.
I was ready at any time
to start pulling out the--
To get the model shop going
and getting the foam beam,
you know,
whipped up, and castings
and everything like that
if we had to
and try, you know,
other techniques to do it.
[Steve] Those guys were working
with limitations.
Technical limitations.
When computer graphics
came along,
we're really trying
to do better
what the guy did before.
[Geoff] Steve really pushed
on everyone.
He knew what we could do
and that we could
push it further.
Maybe that's where
some of the friction came from.
It will be no secret
that Dennis
and Spaz's relationship...
was not always
the friendliest thing.
Oddly enough,
the biggest obstacles
I ran into
were the experts at ILM.
They were the obstacles.
It wasn't the technology.
They were the obstacles.
He was like having
the crazy grandfather
in the room
that was in World War II
and is mumbling stories
about World War II,
but you're supposed
to listen to him
because if you don't, you know,
it's considered
politically incorrect.
[reporter] The big shift
in your time, I guess,
was from optical to digital
and, so,
you went through, what,
a kind of crisis
or a period of learning?
The credit was given
to the person
that actually didn't even
understand how it was done.
The Abyss just looked amazing
and I thought,
"This is gonna work."
And I don't understand it.
This was such a new technology,
he wouldn't have had any clue.
I got that big van Dam
folly book on CG,
I read that just from front
to back over a period of weeks.
After The Abyss,
he got an Oscar for it.
And I'm here
for Industrial Light and Magic
and thanks everybody
who worked on the show
from up there,
John Knoll and, uh,
everyone in the computer
graphics department.
And thanks so much,
especially to Jim Cameron,
my wife, Zara, and Gregory.
Thank you!
[audience applauding]
[cameraman] No, I missed that,
uh, where-- What's this?
[cameraman] For The Abyss?
What-- It looks a little soft.
I think in any environment
like that,
you're gonna have some,
uh, jealousy.
Everybody is jockeying
for a position.
But I don't think,
uh, Steve Williams
was jockeying for anything.
He was not a ladder climber.
He just wanted to have fun
and do his art.
He was the one
actually hands-on creating.
He would work late nights
in the pit.
That's when he would focus
the most
and follow his own instincts.
[Steve] Politically,
you don't see this stuff coming
because you're so engrossed
in what you're doing.
There's always been bureaucracy
and red tape and politics
and there were politics at ILM
back in the day, too.
You know,
there was a big man on campus,
bigger than Steve.
Won numerous Oscars.
I'd like to thank my mom
and John Berg and Phil Tippett
and Ken
and all the camera department.
And thank you very much
to Mike McAllister, uh,
Mike Pangrazio,
and the math department.
I'd very much like to thank
Bruce Nicholson,
Mike McAllister,
Mike Owens.
thank you to the Academy,
and Steven Spielberg,
George Lucas,
Kathy Kennedy, Frank Marshall,
and Robert Watts.
This is a big thrill.
We'd really like to thank
the Academy,
Joe Dante for doing
his great direction,
Mike Finnell,
of course, Steven Spielberg-
His name was gonna be
at the top,
regardless of all the people
who were working underneath
and there were dozens
and dozens,
Steve was just one of 'em.
Secondly, there's the concept
of, you know,
there's your story,
there's my story,
and there's the story.
I think, you know...
history is written
for the victors.
The Oscar goes to
Dennis Muren,
Stan Winston,
Gene Warren, Jr.,
and Robert Skotak.
Terminator 2:
Judgement Day.
[audience cheering
and applauding]
Thanks to, uh, everyone
at Industrial Light and Magic,
and especially my incredible
computer graphic team.
To Janet Healy, Mark Dipp,
my wife, Zara, Gregory,
and Gwendolyn,
and especially Jim Cameron.
[tense music playing]
He didn't mention me.
I remember I was so mad,
I put my fist through a wall.
I never thought about,
how to play
this fuckin' chess game.
We were thinking about
creating the art, right?
Creating these ideas.
We weren't thinking about,
"What does
this mean for my future?"

[Adrienne] There's always
gonna be a bigger fish
who's gonna get
the credit.
That's how the game is played.
That's life.
If you wanna stay
in the industry,
you gotta play the game.
Steve didn't play that game.
He didn't know how to.
He didn't want to.
That's why he stood out.
You learn a lot
in an environment like that.
Not just about how to do,
what is, ostensibly, your job,
but how it fits with the rest.
Not everybody really fits
that environment
and you function
within this hierarchy.
This is the sort of
through to the bone moment
where you realize,
"Yes, the game is changing."
[Steve] In June of '91,
this meeting happened
at a place called
Yu Shang across from ILM.
So, Mark Dipp
and I are sitting there
and Dennis Muren's there,
John Schlag's there,
Mike Natkin is there,
Stefen Fangmeier's there.
Muren said Steven Spielberg
is coming up with this new film
based on
Michael Crighton's book
called Jurassic Park.
It's about a bunch of dinosaurs
in a park and it goes awry.
When Jurassic started,
there were three
different approaches
in companies
that were going to handle it.
Stan Winston's group would do
the physical creatures,
the close ups.
Phil Tippet's group
would do the medium shots
via stop-motion
where you could see
all the action
of a dinosaur.
And then ILM would do
the far away heard shots.
The long shots.
Oh, they're way over there
and they're only this big
in the frame
and we can get away
with all kinds of cheats.
These are the decisions we made.
Here's where we're going.
This is great.
So, Steve Williams,
Mark Dipp said,
"Why don't we just build
the whole thing
on computer graphics?
Let's just do
the whole thing."
Yeah, that's a tough one, um--
Sure. Yeah, um--
We're all like, uh, okay?
We're ready for this,
we can do this.
-We gotta fuckin' do it.
-Oh, no.
No, no, no, no, no.
Nope. Nope.
Muren, he's just blank.
Like, Orphan Annie eyes.
Fangmeier, he jumped in
right away and said no.
We're in the last stretches
of completing Terminator 2.
We're working 16-hour days,
we're all worn out.
So, I think
we were rather cautious.
The amount of work is so large
and unknowns, so many.
People were being negative.
Now, look,
you've done chrome,
you've done water,
but you've never done anything
living, breathing.
The liquid metal,
poly alloy Terminator
was simpler than a dinosaur.
[Mark] We knew
we'd never done it before.
Even The Abyss,
I'd never done that before,
but I said I could do it.
T2, same thing,
I'd never done it before,
but I said I could do it.
[Jody] Steve Williams
and Mark Dipp
knew that the time
was right.
They could just see it.
The opportunity was there,
they wanted to seize it.
And I think other people
was like "Whoa, that's--
No, we're not going
into this whole new realm."
[John] The powers that be
were just so concerned.
Phil was definitely a nay-sayer
in the beginning.
I kinda felt it was, like...
the Wild West.
These new guys were coming in.
The young gunslingers,
you know,
it was like, you know,
I can outdraw you. [laughing]
[Scott] Phil Tippett,
the enfant terrible
of stop motion visual effects.
He's the real deal.
Watching Phil Tippett work,
it was real apparent
real quick
that he was
one of those magic people.
When you have
that much talent
and you have
that much knowledge
and you have
that much work discipline,
it makes you
a sort of super,
uber effects geek.
And that was Phil.
[Jody] Phil Tippett
and Dennis Muren both worked
at Cascade at the early parts
of their careers.
They worked on Dragon Slayer
together in 1981.
They'd had a long relationship.
[man] Right from the start,
Dennis was in the position
of having people that he knew
that he wanted to make sure
they were a part of the mix.
Steve knew what we could do,
and that
we could push it further.
[Phil] I perceived
just a slight amount of,
you know,
competition on their side,
you know,
needing to prove themselves.
That's why Phil got mad.
Because we were trying
to do a stop-motion film
using computer graphics.
He led the camp that
that is the wrong road
to go down.
I think from
Dennis' point of view,
he was worried.
He's, like,
"Dude, this is a lot different
than liquid metal."
And then Phil was like,
"Computer animation,
that's the wrong approach."
The stop-motion footage
was the selected solution.
animatronics with Stan Winston.
That was the approach
that was agreed upon
and that was the road
they were going down.
Everything had been assigned.
Stan's doing this,
Phil's doing this,
Stan's doing this
and that's it.
This is the technology
we are using.
There is no room
for a new technology.
There was something
about being told no,
um, you know,
if you're rebellious,
you know, "no" is actually
really, um, a fuel for you.
[Douglas] He took it
upon himself to just prove it
and the only way
to prove that is to show it.
Steve, Spaz,
starts by making a skeleton.
[Steve] I literally did
exactly what I did
with the T-Rex
that I did with the T-1000.
I just built the bones.
I built the damn thing,
secretly, on my own time.
It was a complete act
of rebellion.
I think one of the reasons
they tried to stop
that type of innovation
is because
the visual effects gurus
who didn't theorize it,
would be seen
as having egg on their face.
I just believed we could do it.
But actually having to prove it,
that was the challenge.
Because it was all about proof.
I remember
Dennis Muren, actually,
he had heard a rumor
from one of his little
weaselly minions
that I was building
a set of T-Rex bones.
He told me, to my face,
"Don't bother trying to build
the T-Rex."
Phil's doing it.
[Dennis] I was saying,
"Guys, don't do this,
"you know,
Phil-- Phil's my buddy,
he's got the job
for everything else, you know?
And just let this play out."
That's what he said.
That's what he said.
And he hadn't seen
anything yet.
I don't worry
about hardly anything, ever.
you know, I've got this anxiety
that's like
the sword of Damocles
that's hanging over my head.
Sometimes, I just feel like
something terrible''s
gonna happen.
Steve Williams, uh,
on his own, put together
a Tyrannosaurus skeleton
and did a walk cycle.

I don't think
we fully realized...
that was going
to change everything.
[Steve] It was all secret,
no one knew about it.
There was a big meeting
that was going to happen.
Kathleen Kennedy,
Frank Marshall, Dennis Muren,
and Janet Healy.
Janet Healy is the producer,
Dennis Muren is the visual
effects supervisor.
I looked at it as, like,
"Oh, this is mom and dad."
They're in charge.
I didn''t know when the
was gonna come up,
but I knew
they were coming up eventually,
so I got wind of it.
Frank and Kathy had come in
because Steven couldn't come in.
[man] Kathleen Kennedy was
Steven Spielberg's producer.
[Steve] Kathleen Kennedy,
Frank Marshall,
they were gonna come walking in
on a Monday morning
in November in 1991.
[Geoff] And I guess
the hard part of that
was he had to find
a way to get that
in front of Kathleen Kennedy.
And he found a way to do that.
This was not supposed to happen.
Dennis and Janet, they didn't
know it was gonna happen.
I had a playing on a monitor,
and everyone came walking in.
She immediately
sees it right away.
and she goes, "What's this?"
I said,
"Well, I was just working on
this walking T-Rex bone thing."
Kathleen Kennedy pats me
on the back and goes,
"You have a very bright future."
And that was that.
That's the first
and only time I ever met her.
I never-- never saw her again.
That's where everything changed.
Dennis Muren said, "Okay,
this is really interesting.
[Dennis] I didn't know
how close we could get.
And then eventually
some of the guys did some tests
on a T-Rex
which came out really great
and surprised everybody
and then we skinned that.
All we had at this time was
a skeleton and we were going,
-"We can do it!"
-Stan Winston is gonna set up
a five-foot model.
Mark and I cut it up into bits
and we put it in a cyborg
scanner and scan all the pieces.
I have to reconstruct
all the data to have
the proper contour muscles.
I built the skin version
of the T-Rex.
It was all working.
[man] ILM, you know,
largely through Steve Williams,
Mark Dipp, and, uh,
Stefen Fangmeier
put together
the first dinosaur tests.
[Michael] The film couldn't
have happened without them.
It certainly
couldn't have happened
without Steve's
ability to model,
uh, first the Terminator
and then later the dinosaurs.
The film, at the same time,
also was very much
still on track
to do, uh, stop-motion.
Back then,
everything that we did
hadn't been done before.
I mean, certainly,
nobody attempted
to do dinosaurs before.
They made a convincing
computer graphic Tyrannosaurus.
The first fully skinned version.
And we had it walkin'.
In daylight.
Then Dennis and Janet
with Tippett went down
to Universal to show it
to Steven Spielberg,
but I wasn't
allowed to be there.
I got a call from Dennis Muren
at ILM,
who already had the job
of doing Jurassic Park
with Phil Tippett.
And Dennis said
that he thought
that he could
pull off a full-sized dinosaur
that would be authentic
to the eye.
Spielberg suddenly went
absolutely insane
and said everything was gonna
be computer graphics now.
That's the future.
That's the way
it's gonna be from now on.
[dinosaur roaring]
[Jurassic Park
theme song playing]
[dinosaur roaring]
[Jody] That first
shot of the Brachiosaurus...
my jaw dropped,
I had literally--
[dinosaur roaring]
And then that wide reveal
of them all out there
on the plain.

That's still the one
that gets my heart.
[Howard] I swear to God,
it looked like
National Geographic went back
in a time machine
and shot real dinosaurs,
and that's what I fucking saw.
Those things looked real
and what they were representing
was not some sci-fi thing.
As far as we know,
those things moved around
like that and that's what
they looked like,
that's what they did.
Jurassic Park took
everybody by surprise.
Nobody saw that one coming.
For almost 75 years,
the technology
and the techniques
were pretty much the same.
Jurassic, that's when
the computers came in.
That's when the tsunami hit.
Jurassic Park opened tonight
with predictions that it may be
the biggest hit in years and,
like any great event,
people are camped out
to be part of it.
We got here
about 11 o'clock this morning.
[reporter] 11:00
this morning for what show?
Uh, the 10:45 tomorrow morning.
[man] That was the turning
point of visual filmmaking.
People, especially kids,
- like dinosaurs.
-[announcer] Jurassic Park!
Where the giant dinosaurs
live again!
With all the excitement
-of the movie!
-[kid] Dino damage!
Only at Jurassic Park!
[Steve] The film was supposed
to be a stop-motion film.
Computer graphics came in
and completely deposed
all of it.
It destroyed one thing,
but it begat another.
I had come up
with this test that--
It seemed it revolutionized
The call came down--
Dennis called me at home
and said, "I'm afraid
I have some bad news.
Steven's decided
to do the whole show CG
and I-- You know,
like the Bombay doors just,
[makes crashing sound
& screams]
You know, I saw,
you know, like,
the-- the end and I--
"Oh, shit,
now what am I gonna do?
I thought, because
I was animation supervisor
on, um, Terminator 2,
which is very successful,
you know, I was gonna be
animation supervisor
on Jurassic.
I literally ambushed them
with the image.
I thought,
"How much more can I do
to actually to prove
that I came up with the idea?"
I thought for sure
it was a slam dunk.
There was no definition
about what the jobs were
on Jurassic Park.
So, I asked Janet Healy,
I said, "Well, you know,
what's goin' on?
What's my position?"
"You're just an animator
on the film."
"What? Who's
the animation supervisor?"
[Phil] Dennis,
in all of his brilliance,
he has a plan B. [laughs]
Phil Tippett wanted to actually
do storyboards
three dimensionally
with little figures
of dinosaurs and people
that would completely imitate
my storyboards,
but flesh out my storyboards
and give them dimension.
Storyboards don't show you
any of the-- the temporal
cadence, the sequence,
the timing of it and, uh,
the animatics allowed us
to-- to block out the entire,
you know, sequence.
[man] Phil was able
to turn himself
into the director
of the CGI dinosaurs.
He knew so much about dinosaurs
and the behavior of animals.
I go into dailies
at 8:00 AM
and there's Phil Tippett,
who's now functioning
as the animation director
for Jurassic Park.
Wow! And the Oscar goes to...
Dennis Muren, Stan Winston,
Phil Tippett,
and Michael Lantieri
for Jurassic Park !

Thanks, ILM.
Thanks, Tippet Studios.
Thanks, Steven Spielberg.
Thanks Mike--
[overlapping thanks]
I've always believed the people
that worked on the work
should be acknowledged for it.
Any time an individual
took an award
and took the award home
and took the accolades for it,
to me, it was theft.
ILM had won
14 Oscars at that time.
Not one of ''em were at ILM.
Not one!
So, these guys had
the audacity
to actually take this piece
of shit home with them
when it was representing
30 or 40 people.
Regardless of what they do...
this is what
their credit is on the film.
And if it wins an Oscar
for visual effects,
they get it.
That's the way it works.
If you point
to any one person
it couldn't have
been done without 'em,
it probably is Steve,
''cause I don't know
that anybody else could've
modeled those dinosaurs,
I don't know
that anybody else could've set
the standards
for animating them.
I don't know
that we would've even tried.
I'm not a diplomat.
I never have been.
To a fault,
I've been a very bad diplomat.
I'm not political,
I'm not political,
I've never been political.
Right? I'm not good at it.
You know, I-- Look at me,
for fuck's sakes,
man, I look like
fuckin' Popeye.
You know? Fuck.
After Jurassic,
I did a bunch of interviews
and stuff like that and I told
the truth about what happened.
The entire film
of Jurassic was--
This is Jurassic Park?
I was told not to do it
by my supervisors and I did it,
you know?
I built it.
Dennis Muren
got mad at me a few times.
He pulled me into
his office and he said,
"I don't know
why you're saying all this."
And then I said, "Well, Dennis,
this is what happened."
And he goes, "You're committing
political suicide."
That's what he told me.
[news anchor]
Steve Williams foresees the day
when it will be commonplace
for computer generated actors
to star alongside
real actors.
I think that you'll have
characters acting
with current famous people, um,
that are computer generated,
but you'll also be able
to introduce characters
that have been dead
for 50 or 60 years.
In the future, I mean, it's
quite obvious what'll happen.
It will actually scan the actor
in a polygonal data set
of computer generated data--
Are they worried
about this?
-If I was an actor I'd, uh--
-[Steve] Actually, SAG,
the Screen Actors Guild,
is very interested in it.
[man] Are actors right
to have concerns
that they'll eventually
be phased out all together?
This will be abused
and-- and--
and the trick is
for all of us to stand up
and say,
"No, that's wrong,
This is a violation,
this is not
what we should be doing.
Synthetic actors are inevitable,
there's no doubt.
We're talking about
the morals!
This is unfortunately
what's happening.
To be human is to bleed,
is to have a soul,
is to breathe.
See-- see, we're not trying
to duplicate human beings,
but what you're seeing
is subjective already.
How many times
have you met an actor
who's either shorter
or smaller in person?
So, what you're seeing
is already an "interpretation"
-of what they look like.
-[man] Absolutely.
-This is what we're trying--
-[host] We're down
-to our last two minutes.
-[Thomas] Good afternoon,
my name is Thomas White,
I handle Artists' Rights
Enforcement Matters
for the estate
of Fred Astaire,
the estate of Orson Welles,
and the director,
Stanley Kramer.
All uses from my clients
get licensed.
If they don't get licensed,
they get prosecuted.
-It's that simple.
-[man] Good.
And the damages--
the damages that we seek
and the attorney's fees
are extraordinarily high.
Thank you all very much
and I think we're done.
[Steve] They all denied
what we were doing.
And, to me, that's a fight.
You wanna fuckin'
get in a fight, man?
You wanna fuckin' drop
the gloves?
You wanna go? Let's go.
[rock music playing]
When it comes to
special effects
in the movies today,
the question really isn't
what can they do, the question
is what can't they do?
For the most part, I like having
fun and having a good laugh.
Cartoons are what
got me into this thing.
[anchor] Animation supervisor
Steve Williams,
whose credits include
The Abyss and Jurassic Park
has been a cartoon buff
all his life.
[Steve] After Jurassic,
I just didn't give a crap.
Everybody can go
fuck themselves.
These are the fuckin'
good days, man.
He was uncontrollable.
This masculine, tough guy
that could not be harnessed.
That was kinda my first
experience working with him.
When you are in Steve's orbit,
it was like you were
in the spotlight with him.
You knew if you were
gonna be in his company
that you were gonna feel like
the queen of the world.
We grew to fall in love
with each other.
We started a relationship
that was very intense.
We wanted to start a family
and I moved up to Marin
from the city and it was like
boom, boom, boom.
[Steve] I'm starting the clock.
It's supposed to be--
I'm totally shaking.
[Steve] It's supposed
to be two minutes.
[Adrienne] Okay,
I just peed on that thing.
It's fucking pink!
I know, I don't believe it!
I think you did it.
You big stud!
You big stud!
You did it!
We never got married.
We're gonna be
like hippies, man.
Not get married and have a kid,
and it was great, you know?
Hannah came along
and that was a new world,
that's for sure.
You think you know it all,
but this door gets opened.
What do you got, Hannah?
Tell me about your new car.
Um, I don't want to.
[Steve] Okay, are you gonna
take it for a drive now?
It's really easy to hold on
to those perfect experiences
or a perfect time
in your life
or when
"everything was better."
The movie making world changed.
He was right there, you know?
He was on the frontlines
of doing that.
[Steve] Dipp and me
in a meat locker!
"The revolution is them."
[chuckling & sighing]
Jurassic opened
the doors for all movies,
so it transformed filmmaking.
Everybody wanted digital.
Computer graphics
was the hot, new thing.
After Jurassic Park,
filmmaking went off the rails.
Computers allowed them to--
to make these spectacles.
Producers are always looking
for the magic ticket,
the secret button,
and they suddenly said
if it's got digital effects,
that's the button you press
that makes a gazillion bucks.
They think
the more of this little thing
that's great, you know,
and by increasing it
in these films, it's gonna
make the film better,
and it hasn't, it's actually
destroyed filmmaking.
More junk,
more junk, more junk,
faster, more junk,
more junk--
[monkeys screeching]
A successful movie is built
on a triangle.
You have art, on another point
you have technology,
and the other part
you have business.
And if any side gets
too big or too small,
the motion picture will suffer.
[Jabba screaming]
And it became more about
style over substance.
We saw all kinds
of horrible movies
with lots of visual effects.
You know
what we got rewarded for?
For fuckin' Jurassic Park?
Casper the Friendly Ghost.
I hated Casper when it was 2D.
Uh, Hi?
The concept became, "Let's redo
everything digitally,"
right, that was done
in a two-dimensional medium.
I mean, if you look at
something like Scooby Doo,
this ridiculously
stupid-looking cartoon dog,
it's like, "No! That thing
does not exist in our world!
I refuse to believe it!
Take it away!"
[Flintstones theme playing]
Let's ride with the family
down the street
Through the
This was the period when
motion pictures stopped
being director-controlled
and started becoming
And this was
the beginning of the end.
[gunshots blasting]
The corporations have
just kind of
taken everything over.
And fucked everything up.
But they can still sell,
you know,
lots of Coca-Cola, you know?
crummy superhero movies.
Because of the success of Mask
we ended up producing
a very popular comic
at the time called Spawn.
[dramatic music playing]
[creature screeching]
That was Mark and my foray
to getting into
making our own films.
So, we leave ILM, boom.
Gone, you know?
Then we end up
hiring back the company
to do the visual effects.
The itsy-bitsy spider
climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain
and washed the spider out
Out came the sun
After Spawn, I don't have a
No job.
[Adrienne screams]
[Steve] So, I was asked
to do the visual effects
on The Hulk at ILM.
and then that article comes out
about pencil neck geeks.

Dennis Muren basically said,
"How much more of this
do we have to take?"
Gone from ILM, kicked out.
I was done with them,
they were done with me.
After all these years...
I'll never forget it.
What made him brilliant
and a maverick
and a magnetic draw
for many of us
soon became something
that I felt
he needed to outgrow.
[violin piece playing]
She just didn't like my antics.
She didn't like the drinking.
Everybody who's with me changes,
But they have to understand
that I don't change.
I'm always the fucking same.
Always. Right or wrong.
-Hm? What keeps me from--
-[man] From changing.
What keeps me from changing?
Stupidity. [laughs]
I know nothin' else.
He was really good
in the therapy sessions and...
the moment
we got home he was like,
"Oh, fuck that shit, you know,
I'm not gonna change, you know,
this is who I am,
this is who I am,
this is what people love,
this is what people expect,
I'm Spaz, you know."
And I kind of naively thought,
"Well, let's give it some time
and maybe he will change."
Give me a smile, honey.
I'm just kind of in a rush
right now, as usual.
And as soon as
Hannah discovers I'm gone,
then I will have
no extra hands--
[Steve] I figure
it's a good thing if I have
the camera on,
then you won't yell at me.
[Adrienne sighs]
I don't yell that much.
Excuse me.
Steve, please, okay?
[Steve] Hi!
-[baby babbling]
-Where are we going, sweetie?
Hey, look!
Visual effects supervisors
strapped to the fence!
Isn't that funny?
What? I'm sorry.
-What-- what did I say?
-[Adrienne] [indistinct].
What am I not allowed
to do now?
[Hannah] My parents split up
when I was three.
It kind of just became normal
that my parents
weren't together?
You know, my mom moved
to San Rafael,
my dad still had the house.
[Adrienne] Steve decided to take
his career in a new direction,
so he was off feature films
and he was starting
to direct commercials.
Blockbuster campaign.
It was very successful.
We get approached by Disney,
who has a film called
The Wild, and so we end up
working on this movie.
[Ellen] 2003, I was working
as an assistant editor
for the movie, The Wild.
Hello, Spaz!
I was just so in love
with Steve.
I really felt
like he was my soulmate.
And we made
a fantastic home together.
Okay, Christmas! 2005!
[Hannah] Christmas!
[Steve] 2005!
-Here, look, Hannah.
-[Hannah] Hi!
He put a lot of love
and craftsmanship
into that house.
It was warm and cozy,
unique, fun,
creative place to be.
We decided to get married
in the backyard.
[dramatic music playing]
Oh, yeah, baby!

[Ellen] When we got back
from Toronto after The Wild,
it was really hard
for those of us
on the film to get work
because the film
was so poorly received.
It was a drag. It was a drag.
And then, so, I went back
to commercials again.
[commercial customer]
Which one would be better,
to knock a guy
off of a motorcycle?
Road Rash 3D.
[Steve] You know, either you're
the flavor of the month
or you're not.
It's just
a very fickle business.
Things just stalled for me.
[Hannah] The commercials,
those dried up.
Nothing was really coming in
that was substantial enough.
The world had changed.
Sometimes, you're rewarded by,
uh, your longevity in--
in doing things
and, you know, those guys were
relatively new to the game.
And, uh,
they moved on very quickly
to wanting to direct
their own stuff.
So, they moved into
a whole 'nother zone
and then they kind of
didn't come back.
The problem
with this racket is that
if you're not...
in it, you--
Then you're not in it.
And he hadn't been
in the game for a long time.
You know,
you just get forgotten.
I reapplied to ILM.
They shut me down.
They don't want me back there
and I don't blame ''em.
I don't blame ''em at all.
If I'd been more political...
I wouldn't be struggling
right now
to pay my God damn mortgage.
[wind whooshing]
[Steve sighs]
That rejection on a big stage...
I don't think I'll ever know
the true effects of what
that feels like for him.
All of those feelings, like,
just completely resurfaced
and he didn't know
how to handle it.
It was a snowball of...
bad memories, guilt,
lack of clarity
about certain things.
He just started drinking more.
It's a way to cover up
all the things
you feel shitty about.
We were down at the pub
every single day,
drinking for about three hours
every night and then
that sort of grew into drinking
before we went to the pub,
and, um, just getting into,
just the worst knock down,
awful fights when we got home.
So, I finally
worked up the courage
to walk into an AA meeting.
You go, you keep going back,
and I got sober,
I stayed sober and, I'm gonna
sound like an AA thumper,
but by the grace of God
I'm still sober
and my marriage fell apart.
I knew
that if I didn't move out,
I wouldn't stay sober.
It's common where...
two alcoholics, one gets sober
and the other doesn't.
Well, I thought
we were doin' okay.
[Ellen on phone]
Ellen, please, I--
[Ellen sobbing]
She left to light a fire
under my dad's ass, like, "Hey,
you gotta clean up your act
or I'm gone for good."
[Ellen] The train was goin'
200 miles an hour.
I was either gonna go
into the wall with it,
or I was gonna get off
and hope that Steve could get
off before it-- it killed him.
So, I think she wanted
to scare him a little bit.
And it only made it worse.
[somber music playing]
Boredom is destructive.
[can hisses open]
I'm just waiting
for another mission.
I don't have a mission anymore.
He completely isolated himself.
Lost a bunch of weight.
You know, he just looked sick.
It was awful.
He was waking up at noon.
Passing out at 4:00.
Waking up again at 7:00.
Passing out at midnight,
waking up at 4 AM to drink.
To see him...
like, headfirst...
into the deep end...
that was one
of the hardest things
to ever deal with.

[Steve] I don't think
it's gonna end well for me.
God damn it.
I think it's gonna end bad.
[metal clanging]
-[object clattering on floor]
-[Steve] Fuck you!
I've never been an adult.
I've never been an adult,
I've only been, um...
I've been a child, right,
that kind of...
grew up, but, you know...
loves Saturday morning cartoons
and I-- I kind of wish
that every day
was a Saturday morning cartoon,
but it's not.
You know?
I'm an alcoholic.
And... I lost my family.
I lost them all.
I just need a mission.
I have to invent
the mission.
And what is the mission?
To sober up.
Hopefully, that'll--
You know, resolve
and some of it works out.

It's Diane.
She's a sweetheart. Hi, Di.
Diane's a nurse,
she's an RN, yeah.
She knows I'm a mess.
[Diane] Ready?
What''re you drinking there?
-[Steve] A cider.
-[Diane] Hard cider?
[Steve] Yeah.
Can you not drink that, please?
-You're on the property.
-[Steve] I'm sorry.
-All right.
-[Diane] Don't drink that!
Gimme that!
No, you-- you can't.
-[Diane] Give it to him.
-[Steve] I'm sorry.
Okay. That's all right.
We gotta get you in nursing
and get your intake done.
So, you can, uh,
grab your stuff.
[Steve] You have
to leave your camera in here.
Yeah, I got it.
Just a couple of these...

So, it was time to smarten up.
Time to grow up.
I wouldn't be standing here
if I had not made
that decision eight months ago.
It's a lot quieter.
I've sort of shut down
all the old ways,
all the old places,
all the old people.
You know?
Now, I'm just stuck with me.
Which is good and bad.
I have to be very careful
because beer was used
to run away from myself
and I have myself only
and I have to be
very, very careful.
You know, I always occupy
my mind with things to do.
That''s the most important
Even if it includes something
so simple as doing the dishes.
Being an adult
is a very strange thing.
But looking in the mirror,
you're not frightened
of yourself anymore.
So, where the journey's gonna
take me now,
I don't know.
At 57, that's a good question.
This is kind of like
being at a bus depot
and the next bus
that comes along,
you don't know where it's going.
But, while you're at the depot,
you get to pick up
some of your old hobbies
that you enjoyed
and not have the threat
of taking your finger off
''cause you've had a six-pack.
[upbeat electronica playing]
He's a lot more self-aware now.
And he's a lot more aware
of I'd say,
people and their needs.
I think the pain
of certain things in his life
will never go away.
But he still has
so much to give.
Welcome to the expert series.
We have, uh, Steve Williams,
he's here to share
with you his expertise.
[crowd cheering]
You guys are gonna have
a good time, he's a lot of fun.
[Steve] The thing
about being an artist
I want you guys to remember
is that everytime
there's plotted out path
for you and rules,
-fuckin' break ''em, right?
-[crowd laughing]
-[woman shouting] Yes!
-And remember,
art is always about
questioning established systems.
To continue to be relevant,
that's what we all want.
Is to have some kind of
body of experience
that's going to educate
and inspire other people.
That's the gift
of getting older.
You allow yourself
to make mistakes,
like, really big mistakes.
Going to the wrong door
and finding your way out.
That's where the gold is.
[Robert] When you say pioneers,
it makes you think of
a certain spirit of a person
that's willing to go out
and risk it all
and-- and go for it.
Face whatever dangers
they're gonna face
and be willing to try to fail
at things and, uh,
take it to the next level.
I don't know
when there's going to be
another breakthrough
that is as transformative
as making the transition
from old-school effects
to digital effects.
Is new ground
being broken today?
Yeah, but experimentation
is left to scrappier,
upstart maverick people.
[Mark] We're all believers
in our point of view.
Even though you have
a lot of talent
and you're very passionate
it's still not easy to survive
or to succeed in this world.
In some ways,
talented people are talented
because they are able
to stay in touch with sort of
a childish nature in them.
Your ability to touch
pure reactions to things
are kind of like seeing
the world for the first time.
Anyone who can draw
on that kind of
childish thinking
has the opportunity
for greatness in them.