Douglas Trumbull (born 1942) is a film director and special effects supervisor. Trumbull's early work with NASA and the science film maker Con Pederson caught the attention of Stanley Kubrick who employed him to work on 2001: A Space Odyssey. Trumbull's outstanding contribution was the film's "Stargate" sequence which used a revolutionary camera design.
Trumbull next directed the film Silent Running in 1971, which utilised a number of special effects techniques developed for "2001," but not used. The film was a critical success, but flop at the box office due to poor advertising, and during the rest of the early 1970s Trumbull worked on a number of film projects that failed to get backing.
In 1975 Trumbull turned down the offer to provide the effects for Star Wars but in 1978 contributed effects to Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In 1981 Trumbull directed the special effects for the film Blade Runner. In 1983 Trumbull finally got to direct a second major film, Brainstorm, as a showcase for a new film projection system, Showscan. The film was compromised by the death during production of star Natalie Wood. Since then Trumbull has concentrated on developing technology for the exhibition industry and theme-park rides.
Trumbull today is held in reverence as a pioneer of the optical and digital effects industry. He has been nominated for Oscar awards on five occasions and has received a life-time achievement Oscar. The majority of the completed cinema projects that Trumbull has been associated with have come to be recognised as classics, gaining audiences over time. His most conspicuous cinematic flop, Brainstorm, predicts the fascination of virtual reality while '"Silent Running" reflected the emerging ecology movement of the early 1970s, and is regarded as a science fiction classic today.