Watch: Behind-the-Scenes of the Special FX in Tim Burton’s ‘Big Fish’
by Alex Billington
January 31, 2024
“It was that night I discovered that most things you consider evil or wicked are simply lonely, and lacking in the social niceties.” One of my personal favorite Tim Burton movies is Big Fish, the 2003 story of a man and his father and a fish. Among many other creatures. The legendary Stan Winston and his team at Stan Winston Studio were once again hired by Tim Burton to create a handful of special effects for Big Fish (we also posted their video on creating The Penguin for Burton’s Batman Returns). As everyone knows, Winston is one of the best in the business, and his work is always exciting to see. The S.W. School of Character Arts website has posted another interesting making of look at their behind-the-scenes process, featuring many photos & videos of their creature creations. The video covers the werewolf, the lion, Helena Bonham Carter’s Swamp Witch, and the titular Big Fish from the end, plus a few other glimpses. This takes me way back as I remember being obsessed with this movie, watching it many times. Another fascinating video for SFX geeks.
Found directly from the Stan Winston School of Character Arts online. Here’s their intro: “While working on Terminator 3 and Wrong Turn, Stan Winston Studio also provided practical effects and makeups for Tim Burton’s Big Fish (2003). The movie concerns an aging raconteur of fanciful tales, Ed Bloom — portrayed by Albert Finney in present-day, and by Ewan McGregor in flashbacks — and his strained relationship with his grown son, Will. Stan Winston Studio created a variety of makeup effects and puppets on Big Fish. J. Alan Scott and Lindsay MacGowan were the effects supervisors. Shane Mahan and John Rosengrant were the key artists. Aaron Sims was responsible for designing Helena Bonham Carte’s Swamp Witch makeup.” Burton’s Big Fish originally opened in theaters in late 2003 after a limited opening in NY & LA. The film ended up earning around $67 million at the box office after playing for months in early 2004. One of my fave Burton films, I love it so much. For the full making of head to Stan Winston School’s website. The best effect in this?