You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Howard Anderson

Credits include 'Some Like It Hot,' original 'Star Trek' series

Scotty never would have been beamed up were it not for the work of Howard Anderson Jr., a pioneer of visual effects who’s receiving this year’s ASC Presidents Award.

“That’s a fun thing,” says the 83-year-old veteran of film and television, whose credits range from Billy Wilder’s “Some Like It Hot” to the original “Star Trek” series. “There were essentially many passes before we created those star backgrounds the Enterprise cruised through,” recalls Anderson. “I never thought the show would be a hit. I thought ‘My Favorite Martian’ would last a lot longer.”

Anderson Jr. grew up in the business, the son of Howard A. Anderson, who created visual effects for Cecil B. DeMille’s “The King of Kings.” In the 1930s, Anderson Jr. shot industrial films for Douglas Aircraft and documented the construction of the first B-19 airplane. By the 1940s, he joined his father’s company as an optical camera operator, working on projects as diverse the “I Love Lucy” and “Fugitive” TV skeins to such pics as “Tobruk,” which scored him an Oscar nom for his visual-effects work.

To date, four generations of Anderson’s family have worked in the film industry. Anderson Jr.’s son Howard III became president of the company in 1993, which now produces trailers for Par, Col, U and Fox. Granddaughter Valerie also works for the company in management.

“For the movie ‘Superman,’ my three daughters were in the train sequence when the earthquake shakes it up,” he says proudly. “And my son photographed part of it.”

In addition to keeping his business in the family, Anderson has been proud to call the ASC a second home, having been a member since 1962 and served on their board for 15 years in various posts.

“It’s a fun business to be in,” says Anderson Jr. “Particularly our end of it where you get a chance to work with a lot of people who are just as excited to be there as you are. The stuff lasts. You can look back 80 years later and it’s still there. And people still want to look at it.”

More Film

  • Roman Polanski extradition

    Academy Responds to Roman Polanski: 'Procedures Were Fair and Reasonable'

    UPDATE: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has responded to a lawsuit from expelled director Roman Polanski that claimed he was unfairly expelled from the industry organizaton. “The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate,” a spokesperson said. Film director Roman Polanski [...]

  • Lorraine Warren dead

    Lorraine Warren, Paranormal Investigator Who Inspired 'The Conjuring,' Dies at 92

    Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigator and demonologist whose life inspired franchises like “The Conjuring” and “The Amityville Horror,” has died. She was 92. Warren’s son-in-law Tony Spera confirmed the news. Spera said on Facebook, “She died peacefully in her sleep at home.” He continued, “She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul. To quote Will [...]


    'Exorcist' Star Max Von Sydow Doesn't Let Age Define His Roles

    Max von Sydow turned 90 this month, which is a milestone for most people, but age has always seemed incidental to the actor. When he played the elderly, frail Father Merrin in “The Exorcist,” von Sydow was 44 — meaning he was the same age Bradley Cooper is today. In the 1950s, von Sydow had [...]

  • 'Changing the Game' Documentary

    Watch the First Trailer for Trans Documentary 'Changing the Game' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Another hurdle for trans rights could quite literally be the track and field hurdle. Transgender student athletes are put in the spotlight in the forthcoming documentary “Changing the Game,” set to premiere at 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Variety has the world premiere of the doc’s first teaser trailer, which gives an in-depth look into the [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Box Office

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Conjures $2.8 Million on Thursday Night

    “The Curse of La Llorona,” the latest entry in Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Conjuring” universe, conjured $2.75 million from Thursday preview showings, while “Breakthrough,” a faith-based offering from Fox-Disney, brought in $1.5 million from its second day of screenings. “La Llorona’s” haul tops recent horror counterparts “Pet Sematary” and “Escape Room,” which each took [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content