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STEVE "SPAZ” WILLIAMS (Director) brings his vast experience as one of the pioneers of computer animation to his feature-film directing debut on this film. Among his many accomplishments, he created the first animated test of the T-Rex in "Jurassic Park,” the water tentacle in "The Abyss,” the liquid metal T-1000 character in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” and the wolf-whistle scene in "The Mask” (which earned him an Oscar® nomination). He also provided his expertise on the phenomenally successful re-release of George Lucas' "Star Wars” trilogy. Additionally, he served as the second unit director/visual effects supervisor for the 1997 feature film "Spawn.”

A native of Toronto, Canada, Williams received his degree in the Disney animation program from Sheridan College in 1984. He began his professional career working solely as an animator, doing comedic cartoons. Fascinated with visual effects, Williams soon joined Alias Research, who, at the time, was just getting its feet wet in character animation. Williams' ability to create characters while also understanding computers caught the attention of Industrial Light & Magic, then just beginning to set up animation workstations. In 1988, Williams became the first animator at the company animating solely on a computer.

Eventually, he was instrumental in increasing the department to more than 400 members. Credits for features such as "The Abyss,” "Terminator 2,” and "Jurassic Park” soon followed. Arguably his greatest work at ILM came while sharing an Academy Award® nomination for his contribution to the feature "The Mask,” which remains a benchmark film for its augmentation of live action with animation.

Due to the success of these films, visual effects became the industry's "holy grail,” a belief Williams soon rebelled against. "Too many features started to rely on computer graphics for the sake of showing off technology, not to tell the story or send a message,” Williams says. "The medium should never be the driving force.”

Williams turned his attention to directing, joining a talented creative crew doing commercials and "some real odd projects.” He met success quickly at his new roost, Complete Pandemonium, taking his background in visual effects and applying it to live-action spots. The transition to live action was not difficult for Williams, who had shot plate photography for ILM and made commercials in between feature projects. So impressive were his spots for Nintendo, Lexus, Electronic Arts, Accolade, and Intel that Williams' body of work was selected to be screened at the 1998 Cannes New Director Showcase.

Filmmaking, for Williams, remains an exciting prospect simply from the fun that comes from operating over a variety of disciplines. "It's a lot easier to work on projects you feel passionate about than to spend the day at the computer putting skin on a dinosaur,” he says. "I get a real charge out of what we can do.”


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