ABOUT BILL TAYLOR
Visual effects supervisor and director of photography BILL TAYLOR, A.S.C. began his career as an optical cameraman specializing in blue screen compositing.
In 1974 he created optical effects (and title song lyrics) for John Carpenter and Dan O'Bannon's ultra-low-budget DARK STAR; in the same year he began work at Universal Studios under matte artist Albert Whitlock, a longtime mentor. THE HINDENBURG (1975), Taylor's first film as Whitlock's cameraman, received the Oscar for visual effects. When Whitlock retired in 1985, Taylor and his matte artist colleague Syd Dutton founded Illusion Arts, where they have earned credits on nearly 200 films.
Taylor served as visual effects supervisor on THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS (2001), BRUCE ALMIGHTY (2003), and CASANOVA (2005). More recently Bill and Syd Dutton co-supervised MILK (2008) for which they created more than 150 “invisible” shots. As Illusion Arts wound up its 26 year run, the company completed dozens of shots for Michael Mann's PUBLIC ENEMIES (2009) for supervisor Robert Stadd and some key environments for GI JOE (2009).
Most recently, he was visual effects supervisor on FIRST IN FLIGHT (2012) and LAWLESS (2012), a Cannes Film Festival contender.
Bill has also worked as second unit or models unit cinematographer for SERENITY (2005), THE NANNY DIARIES (2007), RAMBO (2008), and SOUL MEN (2008).
He is the co-author (with another mentor, Petro Vlahos) of the chapters on blue-screen and green-screen compositing in both the “American Cinematographer Manual” and the forthcoming “Visual Effects Society Handbook”.
Taylor is currently co-chair of the Motion Picture Academy Science and Technology Council, and recently completed his fifth term as Academy Governor representing the Visual Effects Branch, where he chaired the Executive Committee. He is the most recent recipient of the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation “in appreciation for outstanding service and dedication in upholding the high standards of the Academy.”
Taylor has received a Saturn, an Emmy and a Motion Picture Academy Technical Achievement Award. He is a Life Member of the Visual Effects Society, and the recipient of the Society's 2009 Founder's Award. Bill is also the recipient of the 2011 Art Directors Guild Award for Contribution to Cinematic Imagery.
Taylor's speaking engagements have included many appearances at the USC and UCLA film schools, the American Film Institute, the Society of Optical Engineers, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, the National Film Board of Canada, the Entertainment Imaging Conference in Kanazawa, Japan, and duties as Host of the Visual Effects Theater at ShowBiz Expo.
Bill will always be grateful to his mentors Petro Vlahos, the late Lin Dunn ASC and to the late Al Whitlock.