Stephen Rosenbaum

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Stephen Rosenbaum
Rosenbaum visiting Vietnam in 2016

Stephen Rosenbaum is an American visual effects artist and supervisor, and has worked for more than 25 years on numerous movie and commercial productions, including six that have won Academy Awards. He received two Academy Awards[1][2] and two BAFTA Awards[3][4] for his contributions on Forrest Gump and Avatar, and has played an integral role on such pioneering films as Jurassic Park, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Abyss, X2: X-Men United, Death Becomes Her, Contact and The Perfect Storm.

Personal life[edit]

Rosenbaum was raised in West Los Angeles and graduated from Palisades Charter High School where he met and eventually married his high school sweetheart. He graduated from University of California, Berkeley, and remains a Bay Area, California resident along with his wife and their two girls.


Rosenbaum began his career in visual effects at the reconstructed Computer Graphics Department of Lucasfilm's effects division Industrial Light & Magic in 1989. The previous members of this department moved to the building next door and formed the company Pixar. This new group of artists received their first chance to make a computer generated character when James Cameron asked them to create the Pseudopod water creature for The Abyss. Cameron followed with Terminator 2 and the group expanded the artist base and created one of the first digital manipulations of a human character. The artists continued to thrive with opportunities to animate and render the seminal dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Rosenbaum then oversaw the removal of Lt. Dan's legs, rephrasing the words of presidents, and the fanciful feather animation in Forrest Gump. These movies help spark the rapid transition of traditional film-processed visual effects and inspired a complete paradigm shift in visual effects and filmmaking methodologies[5] and commercial digital imagery manipulation.

Rosenbaum spent several years working on various projects at Weta Digital, and in 2007, he began work on Avatar. For two years, Rosenbaum worked with Cameron in Los Angeles during performance capture and in New Zealand during live action photography. For the third year of the project he returned to New Zealand to help complete the CGI on the movie.[6]

In 2010, Rosenbaum was hired[7] by Digital Domain to start a character animation development group. He brought together some of the best computer graphics artists and technicians, and they built a modernized approach to creating physically and behaviorally realistic digital humans and creatures.

In 2014, Rosenbaum directed the creation of a virtual Michael Jackson posthumously performing a previously unreleased song live at 2014 Billboard Music Awards.[8] He then spent the next two years creating the reimagined King Kong for the movie Kong: Skull Island.


Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Award[edit]


Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films[edit]


  1. ^ "The 67th Academy Awards (1995)".
  2. ^ "Nominees & Winners for the 82nd Academy Awards".
  3. ^ "Achievement in Special Effects 1994".
  4. ^ "Special Visual Effects 2009".
  5. ^ Vince, John A. (2002). Handbook of Computer Animation. Springer. p. 99. ISBN 1852335645.
  6. ^ Robertson, Barbara. "CG In Another World". Retrieved Dec 2009. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ "Two-Time Academy Award Winner Stephen Rosenbaum Joins Digital Domain".
  8. ^ "Michael Jackson – Slave To The Rhythm".

External links[edit]