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Movie Matte Painting to Shine at Academy Event


Beverly Hills, CA — Making stops at King Kong’s Skull Island and Darth Vader’s Death Star, the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will take audiences on a movie matte painting journey on Monday, December 10, at 8 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.

“Fantastic Reality: The Magic and Mystery of Movie Matte Painting,” hosted by Oscar® nominee and Academy Visual Effects Branch governor Craig Barron, will explore the long history of the traditional method of creating “virtual sets,” in which oil paints are brushed and daubed onto a few square feet of glass or wood to be composited later with live action footage. The recent transition into the new frontiers of software and pixels will also be examined.

In conjunction with “Fantastic Reality,” the Academy will open a new exhibition, “Playing God: The Art and Artists of Matte Painting,” in the foyer of the Linwood Dunn Theater. Profiling the life and work of Peter Ellenshaw, Albert Whitlock, Matthew Yuricich and others, the exhibition will display the artists’ cinematic “tools of the trade” and feature several of the matte paintings created for such films as “The Wizard of Oz” (1939), “Spartacus” (1960) and “The Birds” (1963).

Established in 2003 by the Academy’s Board of Governors, the Science and Technology Council provides a forum for the exchange of information, promotes cooperation among diverse technological interests within the industry, sponsors publications, fosters educational activities and preserves the history of science and technology of motion pictures.

Tickets to “Fantastic Reality” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets are available for purchase by mail, at the Academy box office, or online at Doors open at 7 p.m. All seating is unreserved.

“Playing God” is open during Academy events at the Dunn Theater only. No ticket purchase is required. Admission is free.

The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. For additional information, visit or call (310) 247-3600.


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