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The Monster MGM Special FX
Unpublished Archive.

The Curator's grandfather, on his mother's side, was Warren A. Newcombe, the celebrated head of the Special Effects Department at MGM during the golden era of cinema. Warren A. Newcombe worked on hundreds of A-list films from all genres, from 1922 to 1957, including The Wizard of Oz, Singing In The Rain, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo and Forbidden Planet, and winning two Academy Awards. and numerous Academy Award nominations. Prior to MGM, Mr. Newcombe served as D.W. Griffith's special effects man and worked on the movie, America.

Mr. Newcombe is best known for having invented the "Newcombe Shot" which is now known as the "matte shot" where paintings, or other virtual backgrounds, are used for parts of a movie scene, in place of actual sets. For many years the process was top secret and one of MGM's most closely guarded secrets from the other major studios. The principle behind the process forms the basis for all modern computer assisted special effects. Mr. Newcombe's original designs for the Newcombe Shot, earliest movie production scrapbooks and vast photo archive, are parts of this archive and will be published here and made available to the public for the very first time. 

Warren Newcombe was also an amateur photographer and close friends with legendary photographer Edward Weston.

The Curator's monster unpublished photo archive, personal letter archive, scrapbooks, etc., of Mr. Newcombe will be of significant historical interest to scholars of cinema and the arts.

Academy Award winners in the industry (including Craig Barron) have reached out to the Curator to help make this extraordinary Newcombe archive available to scholars.

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Tel: 610-737-9021

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