Visual effects pioneer Howard A. Anderson Jr. has been tapped to receive the American Society of Cinematographers Presidents Award.
Kudos are presented annually for extraordinary contributions to advancing the art of filmmaking. Anderson will be feted at the 18th annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards Feb. 8 at the Century Plaza Hotel.
Previous winners include actor Robert Duvall; visual effects pioneers Linwood Dunn, Hans Koenekampand Douglas Trumbull; Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown; camera designers “Tak” Miyagishima and Albert Mayer Jr., among others.
Anderson’s credits include visual effects for hundreds of films, including “Tobruk,” “Blazing Saddles,” “The Body Snatchers,” “Superman” and the 1960 version of “Godzilla.” He created titles and visual f/x for TV series “I Love Lucy,” “My Favorite Martian,” “The Untouchables,” “The Fugitive” and the original “Star Trek,” among others.
“Howard is an unsung hero who has worked behind the scenes making countless contributions to advancing the art and craft of filmmaking,” said ASC president Richard Crudo.
Anderson’s father, Howard A. Anderson, broke into the business after WWI as a photographer and cameraman at Culver City Studios. He created lightning, storm and flood effects for “The King of Kings” and founded the Howard Anderson Special Photographic Effects Co. in 1927.
The younger Anderson joined his father’s company as an optical camera operator during the late 1940s and earned Oscar noms for visual effects for “Tobruk” and “Jack the Giant Killer.”
He and his brother Darrell began working with Gene Roddenberry two years before the first episode of “Star Trek” aired, creating starfields and inventing a photographic technique that enhanced the illusion of people being “beamed” onto and off the starship.