American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 111

In Memoriam

Photo courtesy of the ASC archives.

Howard A. Anderson Jr., ASC, 1920-2015

Visual-effects legend Howard A.
Anderson Jr., ASC - who contributed
effects work to such projects as the
features Jack the Giant Killer (1962),
Blazing Saddles and Superman: The
Movie, and the series I Love Lucy, Star
Trek and The A-Team - died on Sept.
27. He was 95.
Anderson was born on March 31,
1920, in Los Angeles, where his father,
Howard Sr., worked as an early pioneer
in visual effects. Howard Sr. had served in
the U.S. Navy during World War I, and
Howard Jr. followed in his footsteps, joining the Navy Reserve while still in high
school and participating in the Navy
ROTC program at UCLA, where he spent
two years as a math major. He left school
in 1940, applied for a film-loader permit,
and then began assisting with the
photography of inserts, titles, mattes,
miniatures, opticals and location work.
The next year, Anderson married
his high-school sweetheart, LaVonne
Mason; together, they would have four
children. In 1942, Anderson began shooting
industrial films, including training and information films for Douglas Aircraft. He shot 18
films before going into active duty with the
Navy in 1943, serving as a photographic
specialist and eventually being assigned to
the Photo Service Depot in Hollywood.
In 1946, after his discharge from the
Navy following the conclusion of World War
II, Anderson joined his brother Darrell and
their father to form the Howard A. Anderson Co., the successor to the Howard A.
Anderson Special Photographic Effects Co.,
which the senior Anderson had established
in 1927. In working at the company,
Howard Jr. told AC in a profile for the March
2004 issue, "I was blessed to have an opportunity to work with a lot of creative people."
A particular highlight was the company's
collaboration with Desilu Productions. "We
did all of the opticals for I Love Lucy in 1951,
including titles, mattes and second-unit
work," Anderson said.
The collaboration with Desilu contin-

ued on the original Star Trek television
series. In the October 1967 issue of AC,
Anderson - who was then serving as president of the Howard A. Anderson Co. -
detailed the work that his company put into
the show. (The Westheimer Co. and Film
Effects of Hollywood also contributed to the
series' effects.) Anderson wrote, "Our
contributions to the photographic special
effects for Star Trek ... fall into three principal areas: 1. The design and building of the
miniature of the spaceship, the U.S.S. Enterprise. 2. The creation of the effect of traveling through space at speeds beyond
comprehension. 3. The de-materialization
and re-materialization effects in the transport chamber of the Enterprise.
"For the transporter effect," he
went on to detail, "we added another
element [to the mattes and dissolves]: a glitter effect in the de-materialization and rematerialization. To obtain the glitter effect,
we used aluminum dust falling through a
beam of high-intensity light. This was
www.theasc.com

photographed on one of our stages at
our Fairfax Avenue plant."
Anderson received an Emmy nomination for his company's work on Star
Trek, as well as an Emmy nomination for
his contributions to the series My World
and Welcome to It. He was also nominated for an Oscar for the feature
Tobruk. In 1993, Howard Jr.'s son,
Howard A. Anderson III - who has since
also become an ASC member - took
the reins as president of the Howard A.
Anderson Co.
Howard Jr. officially joined the ranks
of ASC membership on Jan. 10, 1962,
after being proposed by Society
members Arthur C. Miller and Robert de
Grasse. He went on to participate on a
number of committees in addition to
serving as treasurer, secretary and an
alternate member of the Board of Governors. In 2004, the Society presented
Anderson with its Presidents Award,
given in recognition of his "extraordinary
and enduring contributions to the art of
filmmaking."
"I remember my father telling me he
had the world's best life," Anderson told
AC. "He saw the advent of the electric light,
the locomotive and the airplane, the
cinema, radio and television. I believe the
future will bring challenges and opportunities that are beyond the scope of our imagination today. That's the way it has always
been.
"The secret is that you have to love
what you do," he concluded, "and you
must strive to do it the best that it possibly
can be done."
Anderson is survived by three children, 12 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
- Jon D. Witmer
‚óŹ

December 2015

111


http://www.theasc.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Cinematographer - December 2015

Contents
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover1
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - Cover2
American Cinematographer - December 2015 - 1
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