Art Cruickshank – Director of Miniature Effects Photography
From blood cells to cosmic empires encom passing all of space, Art Cruickshank has spent several decades creating illusions on film to delight audiences everywhere. As special photographic effects supervisor with Eustace Lycett on The Black Hole, Cruickshank works with production designer and special effects director Peter Ellenshaw. He is department manager for the studio's photographic process laboratory and does special optical work on any film or television production that needs it.
His plans to become an insurance underwriter were washed away with the Depression, when no one had the money to buy such a luxury. So, instead, he came to Disney Studio in 1939, where he worked as a cartoon cameraman for five years. During World War II, he joined the Air Transport Command, returning to Disney when peace came. He then moved to scene planning for the multiplane camera, which gave special dimension and depth to animated film, and stayed there until 1953, when he moved to the photographic process lab and became an optical printer operator. In 1964, he left Disney to go to 20th Century-Fox. Cruickshank realized early that special photographic effects concerned the mathematics of camera moves. Through equations, he can figure how much wind the ocean needs, for example, to produce certain size waves, and the amount of reduction needed if the storm to be filmed is supposed to occur in a harbor. In 1967, he won an Academy Award for his special visual effects for Fantastic Voyage. In 1971 he returned to Disney and has managed the process lab since.