Richard Landon: Robot Eyes to ScissorHands to Ironman – The Business of FX

I promised that as the host of The Profit Ability Show, I would bring you unique and interesting guests who also happen to be at the top of their game. This episode, I may have outdone myself!

Richard Landon is the multiple Academy Award winning Mechanical Effects Supervisor for Legacy Effects (formerly known as Stan Winston Studio). He has held this position for an unprecedented 30+ years, and is responsible for creating and contributing to some of the most iconic moments in film history.

From his first assignment in mechanical effects – creating the Terminator’s glowing, red eye revealed in this memorable scene…

…to his many other achievements, including creating the original, metal “scissorhands” used in the film by Johnny Depp, constructing Iron Man’s suit, building the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and creating the Alien queen, and her nemesis, the Predator.

But Richard didn’t set out to be an effects artist, or an expert in robotics. He started out as a film school graduate, with a focus on cinematography and hopes to become the next Vilmos Zsigmond. But keeping an open mind to opportunities, and always looking to bring more to the set than just what he was asked for, he discovered and excelled in a new passion he might never had realized.

Today, Richard stands in a class of his own in the film industry, and has worked with many of the greatest directors of all time, including Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis, Ang Lee and Jon Favreau.

A partial filmography of Richard’s work:

  • THE TERMINATOR – James Cameron/ Orion –1984 
    • Terminator effects construction team / puppeteer
  • TERMINATOR II JUDGMENT DAY – James Cameron / TriStar -1991
    • Robot, T-1000, Nightmare dream construction team / puppeteer
  • TERMINATOR 3: THE RISE OF THE MACHINES – Jonathan Mostow / Warner bros. – 2003
    • T-X construction team / puppeteer
  • TERMINATOR SALVATION – McG/Halcyon – 2009
    • Endoskeleton construction team / puppeteer
  • ALIENS – James Cameron/ Fox -1986
    • Alien Queen, Warrior, Facehugger construction team / puppeteer
  • PREDATOR – John McTiernan / Warner Bros. -1987
    • Predator construction team / puppeteer
  • PREDATOR II – Stephen Hopkins / Fox -1990
    • Predator effects construction team / puppeteer
  • EDWARD SCISSORHANDS -Tim Burton / Fox -1990
    • Scissorhand construction team
  • BATMAN RETURNS – Tim Burton / Warner Bros. -1992
    • Emperor Penguin construction team
  • BIG FISH – Tim Burton / Columbia Pictures – 2003
    • Animatronic animal construction team / puppeteer
  • JURASSIC PARK – Steven Spielberg / Universal -1993
    • Dinosaur construction teams / puppeteer
  • JURASSIC PARK: THE LOST WORLD – Steven Spielberg / Universal -1996
    • Baby T-rex construction team / puppeteer
  • IRONMAN – Jon Favreau/Marvel Studios – 2008
    • Ironman suit construction
  • IRONMAN 2 – Jon Favreau/Marvel Studios – 2010
    • Whiplash PowerSuit Construction
  • COWBOYS AND ALIENS – Jon Favreau/DreamWorks – 2011
    • Alien construction team
  • THE GHOST & THE DARKNESS  – Stephen Hopkins / Paramount -1996
    • Lion construction team / puppeteer
  • CONGO – Frank Marshall / Paramount  -1995
    • Amy Gorilla construction team / puppeteer
  • INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE – Neil Jordan / Warner Bros. -1994
    • Vampire effect construction team / puppeteer
  • THE TIME MACHINE – Simon Wells / Warner bros. – 2001
    • Morlock construction team / puppeteer
  • A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE – Steven Spielberg / DreamWorks – 2001
    • Teddy construction team / puppeteer
  • WHAT LIES BENEATH – Robert Zemeckis / DreamWorks – 2000
    • Hideous Madison construction team / underwater puppeteer
  • GALAXY QUEST – Dean Parisot / DreamWorks – 1999
    • Thermian construction team / puppeteer
  • LAKE PLACID – Steve Miner / Phoenix Pictures – 1999
    • 30’ Crocodile construction team / underwater puppeteer
  • LIFE OF PI – Ang Lee/Fox 2000 – 2012
    • Animatronics effects construction / puppeteer
  • INVADERS FROM MARS -Tobe Hooper/ Cannon -1986
    • Supreme Intelligence, Drone construction team / puppeteer

In this episode, Richard shares his journey, the choices he made that led to his career, and gives us a glimpse into what it’s like to create movies that inspire generations.

Connect with Richard:

Richard’s Website

Richard Landon on IMDB

Richard’s courses on Stan Winston School of Character Arts

About Author: Nick Night
Nick Night is CEO and Co-Founder of Revizzit, the platform for Connected Online Learning products. After experiencing difficulties with piracy, unauthorized sharing, and ineffective digital distribution methods, Nick was inspired to build the platform that would finally allow creators and entrepreneurs to have a viable, flexible, and most importantly, profitable way to sell enhanced e-books, videos, e-courses and software. As a milestone toward that goal, Revizzit was recently named one of the top 100 companies in the digital content industry. Nick also consults on digital product strategies for many top business leaders, industry experts, and hall of fame speakers, and is the author of the book, Synced: Supercharge Your Business With The Power Of Connected Products. As a software developer and entrepreneur, Nick Night has created unique digital products for niche audiences, including his renowned BeatNik line of ukulele software products. Formerly, Nick was an executive in television animation and online games - and if you Google “Nicholas Night and Kinga”, you'll also discover that he was once a world famous magician, appearing with his wife, Kinga, on stage and television in over 30 countries.

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