MENU

TOUCHSTONE
HOME

BORN IN EAST LA
MENTOR'S BIOGRAPHY

MENTOR HUEBNER
FINE ART & FILM ART
FOR SALE

OCCULT STUFF
FOR SALE

MENTOR'S FINE ARTS
POST IMPRESSIONIST PAINTINGS

LANDSCAPES
SEASCAPES
CITYSCAPES

PORTRAITS
WATER COLORS
FILM PAINTINGS

"MENTOR HUEBNER -
ONE ARTIST EXHIBIT"
12 PAINTINGS
12 INTIMATE STORIES

PRINTS & GICLEES

MENTOR'S FILM ART
DRAWINGS
MINI MENU

RARE ROUGHS
CHOUINARD SKETCH
FIREHOUSE FIVE PLUS TWO

FILM PRODUCTION DESIGNS
SOME WITH GOSSIP
OR TRUE STORIES

BEN HUR
BILL AND TED'S
EXCELLENT ADVENTURE

BLADE RUNNER
BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA
DINOTOPIA
FLASH GORDON
FORBIDDEN PLANET
FUNNY GIRL - FUNNY LADY
HARLEM NIGHTS
KING KONG
LORD OF THE RINGS
NORTH BY NORTHWEST
PRIME CUT
SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER

THE GREAT RACE
THE LONGEST DAY
THE THING

SRF FLYERS
POLITICAL SATIRE

MENTOR'S FILMS
& FILM ASSOCIATES

FILMOGRAPHY
STUDIOS
PRODUCERS
DIRECTORS

ACTORS' PHOTOS

AFFILIATIONS
SCREEN CREDITS
ACADEMY AWARDS-
BEST PICTURE

MENTOR'S DESIGNS
THEME PARKS
ARCHITECTURAL RENDERINGS
ENTITIES

MENTOR'S MASTERS
MASTER MENTOR
PAIRED ART WORKS

MENTOR'S HONORS
CALIFORNIA ~
STATE ARCHIVES

MENTOR HUEBNER ~
MEMORIAL ART FUND

MENTOR HUEBNER ~
EXHIBITS

MENTOR HUEBNER ~
ACADEMICIAN

MENTOR HUEBNER ~
ART AWARDS

MENTOR'S BIBLIOGRAPHY
MENTOR'S MUSEUMS
MENTOR'S BOOKS

PHOTOS

MENTOR'S STUDIO
MENTOR IN ACTION
MOVIE LOCATIONS

THE FAMILY

PETS

THE FIRE

SCHWARZENEGGER
& JAMES CAMERON

TWO MAYORS CALLED SAM
YORTY & ZOLL

PUBLICATIONS
BOOKS * MAGAZINES
FUTURE BOOK RESEARCH

QUOTES & STORIES
3 MAGIC WISHES
FRIENDS
FUN QUOTES
COFFEE BREAK TIDBITS
TRIVIAL STUFF

MENTOR HUEBNER ART
COLLECTORS INFORMATION

ART BUYER BEWARE
FREE ADVICE

MEDFORD INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT GALLERY

WITCHY STUFF
LOUISE HUEBNER ~
OFFICIAL WITCH OF LA:
THE DE-SPELLING OF LA
& A POLITICAL MISHAP

LOUISE'S NEW BOOK :
POWER THROUGH
WITCHCRAFT 2

LOUISE'S BOOKS & RECORDS

MIRACLE CIRCLE ~
A PSYCHIC EXPERIMENT

VISIONARIES

POEMS FOR MENTOR

OCCULT STUFF
FOR SALE

MENTOR HUEBNER
FINE ART & FILM ART
FOR SALE

FEATURED GUESTS
FILM MAKERS
YOUNG ARTISTS
CREATIVE OTHERS

DANCING NAKED
BOOKS & STUFF
TO THINK ABOUT

PUBLICITY - PR
MENTOR & LOUISE
PAST & PRESENT
ARTICLES & STORIES

WEBSITE CONTACT
PUBLISHING EDITOR
EDITORIALS & COLUMNS
WEBSITE TEXT --
LOUISE HUEBNER

COMMENTS
OPINIONS INVITED

FRIENDLY TIES -
LINKS
PERSONAL CHOICES

HAITI
Disaster
Help!

National Association to PROTECT Children - www.protect.org



National Endowment
for the Arts

FEATURED GUESTS

FILM MAKERS

VISUAL EFFECTS ARTISTS

THE SKOTAK BROTHERS

ROBERT SKOTAK

DENNIS SKOTAK

ROBERT SKOTAK AND DENNIS SKOTAK ~ BROTHERS: Extremely talented Award wining Visual Effects Artists, the brothers have worked together since their late teens and between them, the duo have accumulated an extensive and impressive resume that includes, besides multiple artistic projects, many major feature films, TV productions and commercials.

Robert Skotak, is a Visual Effects Supervisor, who was awarded an Oscar for his work on ALIENS. A dynamo of creativity he is multi talented and has functioned as a Designer, Film Historian, Writer, Author, Editor and Publisher of Special Limited Edition Film Magazines.

Currently Robert is preparing the return of one of his earlier magazines -- FANTASCENE, newly titled, RETROSPECT. This version of the magazine is a series of eight special editions. It's designed to explore amazing areas of film production and visual effects that have until now, remained virtually unknown.

Concurrently, he is also in production of a much-anticipated documentary entitled RED FANTASIES which deals with the dramatic behind-the-scenes story of the struggle of creative artists in SCI FI films during the Stalin-era Russians.

Dennis Skotak, an exceptional award winning Cinematographer and incredibly talented sensitive Lighting and Color Expert, has also received an Academy Award for his visual effects work on THE ABYSS and a nomination for BATMAN RETURNS.

Dennis is an award-winning artistic still photographer and has in recent years concentrated on translating his photographic talents into the area of CG imaging. He is a highly skilled expert in the areas of lighting and color, with an extensive technical knowledge in all areas related to capturing, altering and generating new aesthetic "realities"

It was inevitable that their artistic natures, sensitivity to color and light, and various design skills coupled with a passion for perfection, would lead each to a career in films. It's obviously a 'genetic' thing and may in fact be located in their DNA as creativity runs in their family. Their sister Sue is a computer programing expert and she and their younger brother Jeff are both skilled musicians.

If there was, at most, a half dozen films the brothers worked on alone, one thing is certain ~ they would have nevertheless still enjoyed creative and stimulating discussions about each other's projects.

Robert Skotak has one other comparatively unknown talent; In a split second, upon seeing just a tiny scrap of a production drawing, Robert is able to recognize the SCI FI film it represents. Even if he hadn't worked on the production, he can tell from a mere glance -- the film it depicts and the particular scene that was being developed. Even if just a small section shows from beneath a huge stack of production drawings from an assortment of unrelated films, he can from the opposite side of a studio workshop, immediately identify it. "Oh that's from METEOR".

He doesn't stop there. He is, many times, able to accurately determine the year the film was released and relate some of the even obscure production details. It's an expertise that he has developed through over 30 years of exploring the evolution of film and film art. It's given Robert a unique perspective: "Much of what is touted as 'new and revolutionary' are frequently ideas thought of long ago."

The brothers are broth perfectionists. Dennis, explains, "I like to work in my stocking feet so I can 'feel' even a slight vibration, however subtle, that could affect the timing of a shot." He adjusts the lighting accordingly. Shooting with 'feeling'.

Dennis carried his love of SCI FI one step further. His wife is Dorothy C. Fontana. She was the story editor on the original STAR TREK. She was also the story-editor and associate producer on the first season of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION series.

"D.C." as Dorothy is known throughout the industry and has written many other popular series. Not all of them have been connected with SCI FI. She wrote for HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE and STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO. Robert told me, DESTINATION MOON and WAR OF THE WORLDS were probably the two main films that sparked the brothers' interest in the business.

He said, "In particular, our interest in space travel films, visual effects was sparked by such legendary people as LB Melchior (writer/director), Karel Zeman (Czech filmmaker), George Pal (producer/director: THE TIME MACHINE, SEVEN FACES OF DR. LAO etc.), Al Nozaki (art director of WAR OF THE WORLDS and TEN COMMANDMENTS), and the ingenious 'creature creators' Paul Blaisdell and Bob Burns.

"Dennis and I were also very much under the spell of astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell from when we were wee folk. We doted on his paintings in his classic book, THE CONQUEST OF SPACE. We checked that book out of the library so often the pages started to fall out.

"Of course, later -- once we got to know films better and could look more into the 'behind-the-scenes' of film making -- we discovered the work of sometimes even uncredited people who made huge contributions to the look and feel of some of our favorite films.

"Mentor Huebner, of course, was a big creative force behind a couple of the classics from our formative years: His designs on THE TIME MACHINE, FORBIDDEN PLANET, and later, his work on another couple of major, visually iconic films; BLADERUNNER and John Carpenter's THE THING inspired us immensely."

"The work we do is exciting. We're both very interested in speculative thinking, the kind of ideas that turn up in SCI FI novels. Often, SCI FI is the first place where major problems we will eventually have to face on this planet are brought into the light. The salvation of human life on the planet will require creative, resourceful solutions.

"How will we survive when our support systems -- the air, water and natural resources we require with every breath -- are depleted? Will we forever have poverty? Is there a way to eventually free ourselves from this planet if faced with extinction? -- or from the limits of our own frail biology? From time itself?

"The more we exercise our 'imagination muscles' the stronger we'll be in dealing with the obstacles to progress. Creating visual effects is hard work but also fun and stimulating. We get to work with film industry Icons like Woody Allen, Francis Ford Copolla, John Carpenter, Ken Russell, Jim Cameron and Ridley Scott, people who challenge and stretch your abilities -- the same abilities that are needed for surviving in this world.

"To get into this field, you really need to know a lot about a lot of things, including mechanics, art history, computer technology, fluid dynamics, acting, writing, puppetry, sculpture and -- most importantly -- basic, good story-telling.

"We get to communicate ideas with the best people in the field; those with a well-rounded education, who can grasp not only the technology, but the vital ideas that make all the work worthwhile. "

I remarked to Robert that along with the exciting work and the interesting people he and Dennis got to meet and to collaborate with, the pay scale for their movie work is extraordinarily high. Especially, when compared to national 'standards' for 'regular' jobs. The general public would see a film job as a dream job.

Robert smiled and said, "Often there is no pay at all, and the business is a struggle to get into, especially if you don't have connections. In fact, I'd discourage anyone from trying unless they were truly devoted and passionate about making films. The heartache and disappointment are just too much otherwise. Although this is often described as a "technical" field, it really isn't entirely. It's always about art. About what makes people think. About what makes people feel."

Robert is modest and neglected to state that enormous 'talent' is essential. Talent that he and Dennis have in great abundance. About the pay: Sometimes dedicated visionaries work around the clock ~ 24 X 7. I guess when you consider that a dedicated visionary works morning, noon and night on a project, they may at times be underpaid for their time. It appears to me that successful and long surviving Film Makers: Cinematographers though 'sensitive' (to design and light) are a very sturdy group.

THE SKOTAK BROTHERS SCREEN CREDITS

Visual Effects Supervisor ~ Visual Effects Designer ~ Visual Effects Supervisor ~ Visual Effects Consultant ~ Cinematographer

 

THE SKOTAK BROTHERS FILMS & DOCUMENTARIES

Alien
Titanic
T2 3D Battle Across Time
Ghost
Dracula
Terminator 2 Judgement Day
Failure to Launch
Young MacGyver
The Tuxedo
Joe and Max
The Skys the Limit
House on Haunted Hill
Hard Rain
Stepford Wives
Mousehunt
Mars Attacks!
The Arrival
Tank Girl
No Escape
Clifford
Mad House
Heart and Souls
Captain Ron
Honey I Blew Up The Kid
Batman Returns
Cast a Deadly Spell
Darkman
Tremors
Syngenor
The Abyss
Space Rage
The Lords of the Deep
City Limits
Creature
To Be or Not to Be
Jaws 3 D
Forbidden World
The Aftermath
Galaxy of Terror
Escape from New York
Battle Beyond the Stars
The Sky is Falling: The Making of 'The War of the Worlds'
The Alien Legacy
Batman Returns
Strange Invaders
The Demon Lover
Baby Killer
Superior Firepower: The Making of 'Aliens'
The Making of Tremors
Movie Magic - Action Miniatures - Fast and Furious
Shadows of the Bat
The Naked Monster
Bio-Dome
Tremors 4: The Legend Begins
Trapped Ashes



ROBERT SKOTAK PUBLICATIONS

BOOKS: IB MELCHOIR MAN OF IMAGINATION (See Dancing Naked Book Page)
MAGAZINES: FANTASCENE (Limited Editions)
RETROSPECT (Release date: Spring 2007)

 

TITANIC
4-Ward Productions

Robert Skotak, seen adding detail to a large-scale photo cutout of the Titanic at dockside. His company 4-Ward Productions used a combination of live action plates and a mix of matte art, cut-outs and 3-dimensional models all digitally com-posited.

 

ALIENS

Robert Skotak lining up the Drop-Ship for the big crash sequence for ALIENS.

*

ROBERT AND DENNIS
INSIDE THE MINIATURES

WICKED STEP MOTHER

*

MARS ATTACK

*

ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK

*

TREMORS

*

SUSAN SKOTAK
*
Computer Programmer & Artistic Designer
Susan owns a Fantasy Creature Prosthetics Company

*

JEFF SKOTAK

*
Guitarist and 'Re-Programmer of Hi-Tech Assembler Robots'

*

CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS:
RobertSkotak@MentorHuebnerArt.com
DennisSkotak@MentorHuebnerArt.com

* * *

 


The Internet Movie Database
www.imdb.com
www.moviedatabase.com

 

RETURN TO TOP

RETURN TO FEATURED GUESTS: Film Makers

 


Louise Huebner. (c) 2003

Website Design by Wolfden Creations