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Hero image for Sandy Houston: Dinosaurs, dalmatians and a cat called Koko...

Sandy Houston: Dinosaurs, dalmatians and a cat called Koko...

Interview – 2017

The globetrotting Sandy Houston began her career in animation and visual effects, after she left New Zealand for London. In the 90s she joined powerhouse American effects company ILM and Walt Disney Pictures, then Weta Digital in 2003. En route, she worked on a number of landmark films in modern visual effects, including Jurassic Park, the Oscar-winning Avatar, and Peter Jackson's remake of King Kong.

In this ScreenTalk, Houston talks about:

  • Working in London, California and back in hometown Wellington
  • How animated rabbit tale Watership Down helped get her a job in San Francisco
  • How plans changed for bringing the dinosaurs to life, on 1993's Jurassic Park
  • New effects techniques being created on the run for Forrest Gump
  • The powerful art of combining images, via rotoscoping
  • Removing spots from dalmatian puppies, for movie 102 Dalmations
  • The challenges of rotoscoping horsemen, when the green screen isn't big enough
  • How her Siamese cat became a movie star on The Adventures of Tintin
  • Women working in the visual effects industry
  • Looking back at her time in visual effects
This video was first uploaded on 30 June 2017, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Camera and Editing – Jess Charlton