Dennis Muren

Special effects director, Director of photography (visual effects), Camera operator
From building miniatures of the Millennium Falcon for the first "Star Wars" film (1977), to using computer graphics to create the shape-shifting cyborg in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991), to bringing to life the ... Read more »
Born: 11/01/1946 in Glendale, California, USA


Visual Effects & Animation (16)

Super 8 2011 (Movie)

(Visual Effects Supervisor)

War of the Worlds 2005 (Movie)

(Visual Effects Supervisor)

The Hulk 2003 (Movie)

(Visual Effects Supervisor)

Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones 2002 (Movie)

(Visual Effects Supervisor)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence 2001 (Movie)

(Visual Effects Supervisor)

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 1999 (Movie)

(Visual Effects Supervisor)

Casper 1995 (Movie)

digital character supervision (Visual Effects)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 (Movie)

Industrial Light & Magic visual effects supervisor (Visual Effects Supervisor)

Ghostbusters II 1989 (Movie)

(Visual Effects Supervisor)

Willow 1988 (Movie)

special visual effects (Special Effects)

Innerspace 1987 (Movie)

(Visual Effects Supervisor)

Young Sherlock Holmes 1985 (Movie)

(Visual Effects Supervisor)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 1984 (Movie)

(Visual Effects Supervisor)

Return of the Jedi 1983 (Movie)

(Visual Effects)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982 (Movie)

(Visual Effects Supervisor)

Dragonslayer 1980 (Movie)

miniature effects supervisor (Effects Supervisor)
Actor (7)

Secrets of the Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey 2015 - 2016 (TV Show)


Side by Side 2012 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Hulk: The Lowdown 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)


Cinema Secrets 1999 - 2002 (TV Show)


Masters of Fantasy: Industrial Light & Magic 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)


George Lucas: Heroes, Myths and Magic 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)


The Pixar Story (TV Show)

Camera, Film, & Tape (3)

The Empire Strikes Back 1980 (Movie)

miniature effects photography (Photography)

Battlestar Galactica 1978 (Movie)

special effects photography (Photography)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977 (Movie)

Mother Ship photography (Photography)
Producer (1)

Equinox 1969 (Movie)

(Special Photographic Effects) (Associate Producer)
Executive (1)

The Abyss 1989 (Movie)

wave composites supervisor(("Special Edition" restoration ILM)) (Supervisor)
Physical Effects (1)

Jurassic Park 1993 (Movie)

full-motion dinosaur creator (Puppets Design)
Other (7)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015 (Movie)

Visual Effects Creative Consultant(Industrial Light & Magic) (Creative Consultant)

The Last Airbender 2010 (Movie)

(ILM) (Creative Consultant)

WALL-E 2008 (Movie)

Visual Consultant (Consultant)

Deconstructing Harry 1997 (Movie)

special visual effects creative advisor (Advisor)

The Lost World: Jurassic Park 1997 (Movie)

full motion dinosaurs (Other)

Mission: Impossible 1996 (Movie)

creative advisor (Advisor)

Twister 1996 (Movie)

creative advisor (Advisor)


From building miniatures of the Millennium Falcon for the first "Star Wars" film (1977), to using computer graphics to create the shape-shifting cyborg in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991), to bringing to life the most realistic dinosaurs ever before seen onscreen in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (1997), Dennis Muren used both models and computers to create cinematic fantasy for more than a generation. In fact, Muren's Oscar-winning work bridged the gap between the stiff, rubbery B-movie creatures of the past to the slick, stylized computer-generated imagery that later saturated multiplexes. Having won more than 13 Academy Awards for special effects - mostly through his work at Industrial Light & Magic - Muren led the pack in cutting edge visual effects techniques. Despite his pioneering work in CGI, however, Muren remained a critic of soulless effects work, insisting that artistry must always triumph over technology.


Elmer Ernest Muren


Charline Louise Muren


Gwendolen Muren


Gregory Muren


Zara Muren

married on August 29, 1981


Pasadena City College

Pasadena , California 1966

California State University

Los Angeles , California



Served as special effects supervisor on "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace"; shared an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects


Recieved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (June 3)


Oversaw creation of the dinosaurs in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park"


Was effects advisor on the box office hits "Twister" and "Mission: Impossible"


Credited as "full-motion dinosaur creator" on "Jurassic Park"


Set up the satelite link that allowed Spielberg to edit the dailies for "Jurassic Park" while on location shooting "Schindler's List"


Worked on the "Captain Eo" and "Star Tours" attractions at the Disney theme parks


First TV credit, visual effects for "The Ewok Adventure", a Lucas-produced ABC children's special


First credit as visual effects supervisor, Spielberg's "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial"


Credited for miniature and optical effects photography for "Dragonslayer"


Visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic


First notable feature credit, special effects photographer on Lucas' "Star Wars"


Joined George Lucas' then new Industrial Light and Magic as a special effects photographer under John Dykstra


Freelance special effect expert


Began making his own films at age ten with a $10 Keystone 8mm movie camera


First became interested in visual effects at age six (date approximate)

Left ILM briefly to work for Douglas Trumbull on special photography segments of the Mothership in Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (a fall 1977 release);

Returned to ILM as work began on "The Empire Strikes Back" (released 1980)

Camera operator, Cascade of California in Hollywood

Completed "The Equinox" which was then picked up by a small distributor who added 40 minutes, had it blown up to 35mm and released in 1970; credited as producer and for special effects; recouped initial investment

Convinced an initially skeptical Spielberg that the dinosaurs for "Jurassic Park" could be computer-generated by overseeing the creation of a walk cycle for the T-Rex

As a teen, obtained a better camera and began experimenting with stop motion and rear projection

Green-lighted by Amblin Entertainment to create several additional shots including a dinosaur stampede and several wide-angle sequences of dino herds against a sweeping vista

Provided special effects photography under Dykstra (who had left ILM) for the theatrical release of "Battlestar Galactica" (released 1978)

Impressed Amblin with a computer-generated sequence of the T-Rex walking in daylight

Began work on "The Equinox", a 16mm sci-fi adventure film, during his first year at Pasadena City College; invested $8000 in the project

Bonus Trivia


As of 2000, Muren has received 13 Academy Award nominations and won eight statuettes.