Virgil Mirano, a VES member for more than 20 years, passed away in January of 2018. From the mid-1970's through the 1990's, Virgil manned the stills photo lab of three of the large VFX houses in L.A. - first with Robert Abel & Associates, then with Doug Trumbull, VES over at Future General/EEG, and finally with Richard Edlund, VES at BOSS Film. Anyone who read a Cinefex covering such films as STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, BLADE RUNNER, GHOSTBUSTERS, 2010 (amongst many others) was familiar with his behind the scenes photos. He documented the people and the techniques of those films - images that would serve as an inspiration for a whole new corps of artists who are now working in the industry.
Virgil did more than just take snapshots of the crew. He was a master of the camera and printer. That Polaroid of Zhora that Deckard's Esper machine prints out for him in BLADE RUNNER? Virgil made it. Somehow, Virgil managed to figure how to take a photo originally shot on 35mm, distort it and add grain to the image and then convert it to a Polaroid print. All done in a darkroom with nary a computer in sight. Many of the matte paintings in BLADE RUNNER and GHOSTBUSTERS started out as large format photographs Virgil shot and printed out - using portable insecticide sprayers filled with the developing chemicals to process the 4-foot wide print.
He worked with Charles and Ray Eames. He taught photography. He was a docent at the Getty Museum (in the photography gallery of course). He gave back to the industry and the VES by serving on the VES's Archive and Annual Membership Meeting Committees, manning camera #1 for all our meetings at the Dunn. He was always ready to tell a story and explain what was going on behind the camera. His meticulous attention to detail and note taking has allowed his photos to appear in recent books on GHOSTBUSTERS, STAR TREK and BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA..
He is survived by his wife Carolyn, his daughter Cerce, and with his two grandsons.