|Jim Nelson with the ILM crew in 1976/77. Image: Dave Berry.|
AFICIONADO was sad to hear of the news yesterday of the passing of an early ILM legend, and respected Hollywood TV and film-making chief, Jim Nelson- one of the key behind the scenes personnel responsible for setting up the now premiere effects facility (originally in its Van Nuys garage/warehouse facility), in the process leaving his own successful company to help, recommending and hiring some of its key staff (notably later Academy Award winner John Dykstra), and oversee its original day to day running, especially from the heavy workload Summer of 1976 onwards. Nelson, sadly, left ILM as the original 1977 STAR WARS was nearing completion, unhappy with Lucas that he was not getting an Associate Producer credit for his long hours of work and overall contributions, though he was fully convinced that the film was going to be a major hit, and certainly not afraid to support Lucas in those fraught, often troubled days dealing with a disbelieving 20TH CENTURY FOX, who thought it would be a financially ruinous turkey.
RIP, Jim Nelson, and thank you for that belief...
Jim Nelson Dead: 'Star Wars' Contributor Was 81 - Hollywood Reporter
Dave Berry's wonderful ILM behind the scenes footage featuring Nelson and those pioneering effects greats: 5757 on Vimeo