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FX legend and Oscar winner Rick Baker is retiring from the movie business

05.28.2015

As Hollywood moves more and more towards CGI for all special effects needs, the use of practical make-up and animatronics has become as out-dated as cassette tapes and video stores. While directors like J.J. Abrams champion the practical for movies like STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, the prevalence of digital continues to hammer the nail in the traditional FX coffin. With that being the case, the legendary Rick Baker is packing it up and retiring from making movie magic.

In an interview with 89.33 KPCC, Baker explained why his illustrious career is coming to an end.

I said the time is right, I am 64 years old, and the business is crazy right now. I like to do things right, and they wanted cheap and fast. That is not what I want to do, so I just decided it is basically time to get out. I would consider designing and consulting on something, but I don't think I will have a huge working studio anymore.

Baker has been nominated for a dozen Academy Awards and raised the bar for make-up effects. He was part of making the iconic Michael Jackson "Thriller" video as well as working on the amazing effects in movies like AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, THE HOWLING, WOLF, THE ROCKETEER, MEN IN BLACK, THE RING, and most recently MALEFICENT. He got his start working with legends like William Friedkin on THE EXORCIST and George Lucas on the first STAR WARS.

While Baker is retiring to make art on his own terms, he will be auctioning off items he has saved throughout his career. The auction will take place May 29th at the Universal City Hilton and will include memorabilia from his 60,000 square foot studio. You can find more details at their official website.

It will be sad to see such an amazing legend disappear from future films, but it is a product of the changing times and technology. Younger movie fans may never get the chance to enjoy new work by Baker, but he leaves behind an amazing filmography that literally changed the way we look at movies.

Source: 89.33 KPCC

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