Milton Altman, f/x whiz behind the creation of the “blue screen” technique and other special effect devices and techniques, died July 6 in L.A. He was 83.
Hungary-born Altman studied art in his native country and moved to the U.S. in 1936, settling briefly in Gotham to continue his studies. He moved to Hollywood in 1941 but left to serve in the U.S. Air Force before returning in 1946 to work as a specialist in visual effects and graphic design at various motion picture studios.
He earned an Emmy nom for his role in the development of the chroma key (“blue screen”) special effects technique, which earned him an Emmy nomination. He was also instrumental in the development of color television, working on experiments and development programs with RCA-NBC.
Altman, who joined NBC in 1948, was named manager of design and creative operations for the Peacock web in 1960 and director of studio operations to head the Sunset Gower Studios in 1983. He retired from NBC in 1987.
He was a member of numerous art and film institutions such as the Directors Guild of America, Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, NATAS, L.A. World Affairs Council and the L.A. County Museum of Art. He lectured on color television and special effects around the globe.
Altman is survived by a son, sister, and brother.
Contributions can be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc., 1250 Hylan Blvd. Suite 4B, Staten Island, NY 10305.