SXSW Review: Spaz (2022)

Steve ‘Spaz’ Williams is a little-known pioneer in computer animation. This intimate account examines his life story and events surrounding the historical moment when his digital dinosaurs walked onto the silver screen in JURASSIC PARK. Steve and a chorus of expert witnesses recount a dramatic tale of rebellion and revolution at Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic in the early 1990s–a time when creating realistic creatures with a computer was considered impossible. As the industry changes at breakneck speed, Steve’s longing for acknowledgement triggers a humble reckoning with his chaotic past.

Spaz is a very straightforward documentary about the pioneer of computer effects Steve ‘Spaz’ Williams, this is the man who gave us iconic moments from Jurassic World, Star Wars, Terminator 2 and many others. It’s very refreshing to see computer effects artists get praised for their work as it often does feel like they are put on the sidelines, there’s a lot of great archival footage and interviews in the documentary that really show how beautifully made Williams’s work was and still is. Plus Williams is a great speaker he’s the type of person where you could just listen to him talk to you forever and not get tired of it. The documentary does struggle when it comes to the last half, as it does struggle to to keep both conversations of Williams success and his career’s fall balanced. There’s a lot of one conversation talking over the other, however that doesn’t stop it from being a very interesting piece about someone who gave us some of the most iconic moments in film history.

Spaz currently has no release date.

7/10 B

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