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Erland, Jonathan

Jonathan Erland

Jonathan Erland was born on June 19, 1939, in Esher, England, UK. He studied theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London in 1954, and starting in 1956 (the year the school was established) was trained at the London International Film School (now known as London School of Film Technique). Erland studied at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago then moved to Canada to work with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) TV.
Erland then moved to Los Angeles, CA where he worked in entertainment and industrial/exhibit design and also where he first started working with ILM and then with Apogee, Inc.

Erland was one of the groups formed by John Dykstra that worked on the visual effects for Star Wars in 1976 then became the Director of Research and Development for Apogee Productions. It was at Apogee that he got patents and Academy Awards for his Reverse Bluescreen, Blue-Max.

He is the creator of the first new Academy Branch (Visual Effects) in over forty years, fellow Star Wars alum Richard Edlund also helped with the process and is still a member.  Erland has written over 15 papers for the SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture Television Engineers) and earned the SMPTE Journal Award for his work.

Erland is known as the Father of Modern Blue Screen.

Erland is married to Kay Beving Erland (owner Composite Components Company).

Film Actor
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi~1983 - Death Star Controller (same scene that was in Star Wars)  (Thanks to Tom!)
Star Wars~1977 - Death Star Controller at laser beam shaft leaning into controls (with Joe Johnston)

Film Effects
Spaceballs~1987 (visual effects matte technician: Apogee, Inc.)
Lifeforce~1985 (special visual effects crew)
Firefox~1982 (special technical development: Apogee, Inc.)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture~1979 (effects props and miniatures)
Avalanche Express~1979 (model construction crew: Apogee, Inc.)
Battlestar Galactica~1978 (model builder: miniature and optical effects unit)
Star Wars~1977 (model builder: ILM)
Brief Armistice~195? (student film)

Film Production
Descent~1998 (provided green screen)

TV Actor
Vista: The New Magicians~1985 - Himself
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.~1965 - Pilot in The Tigers Are Coming Affair
Festival~1960-1963 (CBC) -
     Walpole's Assistant in The Doctor's Dilemma
     Refugee in The Gambler
     Roberts in The Queen and the Rebels
     Lieutenant Glinkov in The Three Sisters
     ? in Julius Caesar
Playdate~1963 - Guerilla in You Can't Win 'Em All
On the Road~1962 - Bob Verner
Encounter~1960 -
     Clete in Substitute Soldier
     O'Donnel in The Man Who Stole the Blarney Stone
     Pole in Sun in My Eyes
     Tony in How to Make More Money Than Men
     Radio Operator in Rehearsal for Invasion
The Unforeseen~1959-1960 -
     Frederick Driver in When Greek Meets Greek
     Young Detective in The Late Departed
Folio~1958-1959 -
     Gendarme in Crossing Paris
     Don Enrique de Letemendi in The Master of Santiago
     Fry in The Hostage

TV Effects
Battlestar Galactica~1978 (model builder)

Awards, Honors, and Nominations
Academy Awards:
Rec'd 2012 Medal of Commendation
Rec'd 1997 Scientific and Engineering Award for the development of the Digital Series Traveling Matte Backing System used for composite photography in motion pictures (shared with Kay Beving Erland)
Rec'd 1985 Technical Achievement Award for an innovative design for front projection screens and an improved method for their construction. (shared)
Rec'd 1985 Technical Achievement Award for the design and development of the 'Blue Max/ high-power, blue-flux projector for traveling matte composite photography.
Rec'd 1984 Scientific and Engineering Award for the engineering and development of a reverse bluescreen traveling matte process for special effects photography (shared)
Fuji Gold Medal:
SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture Television Engineers):
Rec'd 1987 Journal Award
Visual Effects Society Awards:
Rec'd 2010 VES Fellow
Rec'd 2006 Founders Award

Books and Papers
Report from the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences~2012 (with Joblove and Anderson)
Report from the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences~2010 (with Taylor and Anderson)
The "Esmeralda" Stage: An Analytical Test Laboratory for Image Acquisition~2008
Technirama Revisited (Apogee Productions, Inc.)~1991

Process for composite photography~1983
Matte process for composite photography~2001
Projection screen~1985
Flux projector for use with composite photography~1986 (with Douglas Trumbull, Fog, and Burke)
Travelling mat backing~1999
Reverse or Negative Bluescreen Traveling Matte Process~1983
Floating segmented conglomerate traveling matte backing~1999
Blue-Max high-power blue flux projector for large scale bluescreen composite photography~1985
Front projection: tessellation the screen~1986

Academy (Oscars) -  VFX Branch Founder, serves on the Board of Governors, the Executive Committee and the Scientific and Engineering Awards Committee

American Society of Cinematographers - member

Apogee - original member

BKSTS (The British Kinematograph Sound and Television Society) - member

Motion Picture and Television Industries - founder of the Technology Council

Visual Effects Society - Director

1964 - Helped build the I.B.M. Pavillion at the 1964 New York Worlds Fair

Composite Components - founder (1993)
Composite Components' credits are as follows:
A Time to Kill
Ace Ventura II
Air Force One
Alien Resurrection
Barb Wire
Barney's Great Adventure
Batman and Robin
Batman Forever
Bride of Chucky
Cable Guy
Carrie II
Con Air
Dante's Peak
Desperate Measures
Die Hard with a Vengeance
Down Periscope
Dr. Dolittle
Dunston Checks In
Eight Heads in a Dufflebag
Escape from LA
Executive Decision
Flubber/The Absent Minded Professor
George of the Jungle
Glimmer Man
High School High
Honey We Shrunk Ourselves
Hope Floats
Independence Day
Jane Austen's Mafia!
Judge Dredd
Kull the Conqueror
Last Action HeroLiar, Liar
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Mortal Kombat
My Favorite Martian
My Fellow Americans
Paris Match
Patch Adams
Private Parts
Richie Rich
Species II
Spy Hard
Starship Troopers
Steal Big, Steal Little
The Brady Bunch Movie
The Cable Guy
The Chamber
The Devil's Advocate
The Horse Whisperer
The Jackal
The Nutty Professor
The Out of Towners
The Postman
The Santa Clause
The Shadow
The Tie That Binds
The X-Files
Three Wishes
US Marshalls

Another World
Bedford Falls
Boy Meets World
Buddy Faro
The Drew Carey Show
Family Matters
Fantasy Island
The Love Boat
Mad About You
Murphy Brown
Saturday Night Live
Sesame Street
Sister, Sister
Storm of the Century
Teen Angel
The Tracy Ullman Show
The Visitor
You Wish

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