It is difficult not to think, when evoking Douglas Trumbull, of an artist who thought of his medium at the same time as his subject. He who always had one foot in the future by taking care of some of the greatest science fiction films of the last century revolutionized the way of approaching material and concrete techniques. From 2001, the Space Odyssey (1968) to Blade Runner (1982), Trumbull secretly reigned over the seventh art, leaving an indelible mark despite the many obstacles faced by the majors in the face of his innovations. He, who was 79 years old when he left us on February 7 following a brain tumor, was certainly adored by all aficionados of the genre, but too little known to the rest of moviegoers. Yet he deserves much more global recognition for the immense impact of his work on the film industry.An engineer too far ahead of his timeSon of Donald Trumbull, to whom we owe, among other things, the visual effects of the cult film Wizard of Oz (1939), the young Douglas was spotted by Kubrick with the film To the Moon and Beyond, broadcast on a dome in Cinerama 360. He worked on the latter for the 1964 New York International Fair, and also does animations for NASA, just that. Stanley Kubrick, accompanied by writer Arthur C. Clark, decides to contact Douglas Trumbull to work on the hallucinatory scenes at the end of 2001, the space by experimenting and trying new methods of capturing light. He succeeded in convincing Universal to finance his first feature, while he was working on Robert Wise’s The Andromeda Mystery (1971). On paper, Silent Running has it all: Trumbull behind the camera, a post-apocalyptic script co-signed by a certain Michael Cimino, and Bruce Dern in the cast. Unfortunately, the studio did not believe in the film, gave it a ridiculous budget and quietly released it, without success despite very good reviews. Trumbull tried to launch other projects, but all fell through and he was forced to back to special effects. He nevertheless transforms this obligation into strength, since he will see it, he whose father was an engineer at the start, a real playground. After an uncredited passage on the blue backgrounds of La Tour infernale (1974), he refuses to working on Star Wars to be on the Spielberg film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). While he prefers to work on a new technology – Showscan, which captures 60 images per second – which he finances thanks to Paramount, as well as on a new production, he refuses to participate in Star Trek, which falls during Spielberg’s post-production. Paramount, visibly upset by Trumbull’s decision, cut Showscan’s funding and recruited someone else – the studio Robert Abel & Associates. The man, left behind, will take over the reins of the project a few months later after RA&A is finally put aside. He has little time, a huge workload since he has to review all the spatial imagery of the film, and works with the team relentlessly. He will even have an ulcer because of the lack of sleep and the overflow of stress. After this traumatic experience, he no longer wants to work. Until a certain Ridley Scott approached him for Blade Runner. He agrees, explaining that at least it’s not a space movie anymore. From sets to flying cars, he designed everything with Richard Yuricich, before having to leave the ship. It’s hard to blame him: he’s just been offered the opportunity, finally, to finance his second feature. Brainstorm is an opportunity for him to use Showscan, since it will be an SF film in scientists have created technology to see and feel other people’s emotions. To illustrate the sequences where a person sees the life of another, Douglas Trumbull precisely wanted to use these sequences filmed in 70 mm at 60 frames per second. Unfortunately, the MGM is backtracking and the film will be broadcast normally. In question: the death by drowning of the main actress, Natalie Wood, while the film is not finished, and the fact that the rooms do not want to change the material of diffusion. After a long battle, the film was released in theaters in 1983, once again shunned by the public despite very good reviews. This will be Trumbull’s last film. He was a true pioneer whose talent was wasted throughout his career. In addition to having innovated on the Showcan, he had, with the same foundation financed by Paramount, tried to develop LaserDisc technology – which more or less allows the design of a video game –, which fell through. because Paramount refuses the prototype. The idea was taken up by Cinematronics for the game Dragon’s Lair ten years later. Similarly, after the failure of Brainstorm, Douglas Trumbull and his team designed the first cinema platform that could physically move according to the image. The project will be refused, before being used years later for attractions, Back to the future in Universal Studios parks and Star Tour in Disneyland. This misunderstood genius, who worked to make the image more immersive and l he more impressive theatrical experience is gradually disappearing from the radar. We will see him briefly at the direction of IMAX Corporation in 1994. It is Terrence Malick who will give him his last letters of nobility. A big fan of Trumbull, he asked him to be a special effects consultant for The Tree of Life, Palme d’or at Cannes in 2011. For his part, he worked on a whole host of projects, from a film to 120 frames per second to a photo-realistic miniature film project. He will die before he can go back behind the camera one last time, leaving a monstrous and frustrating legacy, that of a revolutionary artist whose progress has been restricted and his ideas. The least we could do now would be to respect his immense talent, as generations of filmmakers have been able to do in recent years.