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The whole bag of cinemagic tricks-including blue screen, sodium light, miniatures and triple-head optical printing-was called upon to give screen credibility to this very special dragon

In "PETE'S DRAGON", Eustace Lycett, head of the special film effects department at Walt Disney Productions, faced a formidable challenge - bringing Elliot, a somewhat unusual dragon, to life.

Lycett, a 40-year veteran at the Disney Studio, played a crucial role in the birth of Elliot, the animated star of the $10 million feature film. Lycett's job was to help make the now you see him - now you don't - dragon spring to life in the film's live-action sequences.

"Special effects is the discipline called upon when the writers' imaginations demand 'impractical' or 'impossible' feats," Lycett explains. Sometimes the necessary miracles are performed mechanically. Lycett believes that mechanical special effects supervisor Danny Lee produced some outstanding results for the new film. Some of Lee's trickery is described in the accompanying interview with Frank Phillips, ASC.

Lycett performed the special effects feats that could best be achieved optically. For "PETE'S DRAGON", his wizardry included blue screen and sodium light process photography, a miniature sea storm sequence and a great deal of compositing using two three-head optical printers.