Visionary Filmmaker, Innovator and Entrepreneur

Visionary filmmaker, innovator and entrepreneur, Douglas Trumbull has enjoyed a long and prestigious technological and creative career in filmmaking and entertainment technologies. Following his breakthrough pioneering work as one of four photographic effects supervisors on 2001: A Space Odyssey, his name rapidly became synonymous with some of the greatest effects work of its era on titles such as The Andromeda Strain, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Blade Runner.

Trumbull directed Silent Running and Brainstorm, and he has also directed numerous Expo and special venue films, videos and attractions. Along the way he has been awarded more than twenty patents, including one for the first entertainment simulator ride (Back To The Future The Ride at Universal Studios) and another for the Academy Award-winning Showscan® process for high speed 70 mm cinematography. He was recently awarded the coveted Gordon E. Sawyer Academy Award for his contributions to cinema technology.

In 1994 Trumbull merged his company Ridefilm Corporation with IMAX and helped launch the successful IMAX IPO that brought IMAX into the commercial feature film marketplace around the world.

While continuing to write and direct, Trumbull has continued to be fascinated with the challenges of making movies using advanced production technologies, while also developing an immersive cinematic language. He has set up Trumbull Studios in Western Massachusetts and continues to experiment and push the boundaries of giant screen, high frame-rate, extreme brightness 3D and virtual digital production, recently producing an experimental demonstration movie titled UFOTOG, shot and projected in his new MAGI process of 4K 3D at 120 frames per second.

Trumbull’s most recent developments include a new Magi screening concept, called the Magi Pod. It offers an extremely immersive “Giant Screen” experience in a small 70-seat prefabricated theater at a fraction of conventional theater costs. The Magi process allows unlimited camera movement and fast action, and is the first time in cinema history that virtually everything that occurs before the camera is captured and delivered to the ultra-wide screen in perfect clarity and deep 3D without any strobing, judder, or blur. This “hyper-reality” effect is now being explored creatively by Trumbull to create a new form of immersive cinema that uses a single-camera/single projector “lens-to-lens” system. Applications include cinemas, theme parks, location based entertainment centers, destination attractions, educational and training applications, and Mixed Reality.

Trumbull is developing several feature projects for production at Trumbull Studios, where he has been installing advanced virtual production technologies, now fully developed via the UFOTOG demo movie. He plans to direct one of these projects soon, and do so at his studio and in the Magi process.

Speaker years: 
2017