Who is Ed Kramer?
Our spotlight of the month is shining on Ed Kramer, the visual effects expert who is attached to The Awakeners team and who is currently at work on the visual effects for one of our promotional trailers.
Who is Ed Kramer?
Ed Kramer has his fingerprints all over the visual effects industry; his credentials could fill an entire page! After all, Kramer worked for George Lucas for twelve years.
Let’s go through some of his high points in the business:
- He contributed CGI work on five movies nominated for Visual Effects OSCARs, including the 2006 OSCAR-winner Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
- Created CGI shots for all three Star Wars prequels, and supervised many of the Droid Factory and End Battle shots in Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones
- Supervised the team that create the Scarab beetle shots in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns (the ones with Brendan Fraser)
- Supervised and developed techniques for creating the Rock Monster from Galaxy Quest
- Contributed to dozens of other films, including Jumanji, Twister, The Perfect Storm, Harry Potter 2, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Stargate, Deep Impact, Herbie Fully Loaded, 101 Dalmatians, Van Helsing, and many other seminal visual effects blockbusters from 1992 through 2006.
- At the beginning of each Columbia Pictures film, there’s the iconic "Lady with a Torch" logo. Kramer helped animate that logo, guided by visual effects pioneers Joel Hynek and Jeff Kleiser.
Start in Freelance
“Being present as a father while my kids were growing up was really important to me.”
Movie work required long evening hours and weekends, so when his kids were old enough to notice he wasn't around much, Kramer made the hard decision to leave the movie business. He moved his family to Denver, and started doing freelance work through his company edk/3d. Here he has created animations for the Starz Network, Lockheed-Martin and The Discovery Channel, while also designing a logo for one of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper's initiatives, which won a Platinum Pixie award in 2015. He also spent a year creating interactive CGI effects for futuristic medical simulators for surgeons to use while practicing complex medical procedures.
What’s Ed Doing Now?
Currently, Ed is writing a book and creating a documentary titled The Wizards of Hollywood: Movie Magic Secrets from the Artists who Invented CGI. This project features interviews with the artists behind the most famous CGI shots in the history of cinema, to tell the untold "backstory" behind those magic silver screen moments. He also has a YouTube channel called "Ed Kramer The Basement Tapes" where he shares the story behind many of his animated logos and show openings from the 1980's and 90's.
He’s also a full-time Professor at the Art Institute of Colorado, teaching Colorado's future CGI artists his approach to computer-generated Modeling, Lighting and Dynamics techniques.
We’re honored to have Ed on the Awakeners team!
If you’d like more information about what Ed Kramer does, here’s what you can do: