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Ernest D. Farino Poster

Biography

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Mini Bio (1)

Two-time Emmy Award-winning Ernest Farino's professional motion picture career has spanned over 25 years, first as a Designer and Animator of visual effects (ranging from the Pillsbury Doughboy to The Terminator (1984) to Children of Dune (2003)), then as a director for feature films, television and the stage (Steel and Lace (1991), Land of the Lost (1991)), and now as a publisher of high-quality books (starting with the 3-volume comprehensive career biography, "Ray Harryhausen - Master of the Majicks").

It all started in the 8th grade with The Curse of Dracula, a 3-minute Super-8 film shot and edited entirely "in-camera." By high school Farino was directing industrial films and local (Texas) TV commercials for clients such as Frozen Food Express and Pepsi Cola. Farino was elected president of the Drama Club and, as an actor, performed leading roles in Inherit the Wind and The Importance of Being Earnest, among others, winning a statewide Best Supporting Actor award as "The Devil" in The Devil and Daniel Webster. This experience has lately proven invaluable as a director in creatively working with actors.

In 1976 Farino became head of the animation department for the Dallas, Texas-based Century Studios, and designed and directed several elaborate visual effects commercials.

Farino moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1979 and was quickly hired by Coast Productions to animate the Pillsbury Doughboy and supervise and direct effects for other national advertising accounts such as AMC Trucks and Armour Hot Dogs, as well as such features as ABC's Mayflower: The Pilgrims' Adventure (1979) and Hell of the Living Dead (1980). Later freelancing, he created effects for The Howling (1981), Caveman (1981), Creepshow (1982), and The Thing (1982), among others, then headed the Animation/Rotoscope department for Roger Corman's Galaxy of Terror (1981) and Saturday the 14th (1981).

Farino formed Kinetic Image Productions and provided animation as part of the Emmy Award-winning visual effects for ABC's The Winds of War (1983). His elaborate James Bond-style main title for Tag: The Assassination Game (1982) won the Silver Medal at the 25th International Film & TV Festival of New York.

James Cameron had been art director for Galaxy of Terror (1981) and when it came time to put The Terminator (1984) before the cameras, Farino was called on as Visual Effects Coordinator and designed/supervised all animation, rotoscope and lightning effects, and designed and created the Main Title sequence.

Numerous visual effects projects followed including 2nd Unit Director (Kauai) and visual effects supervisor for Lady in White (1988). After designing the Main Title For The Abyss (1989), Farino was asked by Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd to join the post-production team as visual effects coordinator and liaison to DreamQuest Images and to supervise VistaVision compositing at Pacific Title.

Simultaneous to his effects work, Farino had been writing screenplays, including his own Hitchcock-style mystery/thriller "Blood White" and assignments such as the comedy Beverly Hills Vamp (1989). His action/thriller script "First Strike" placed 11th out of over 1,000 entries in the annual Writer's Digest magazine national screenwriting competition.

When the syndicated series Monsters (1989-1991) needed stop motion animation for an episode that still lacked a director, Farino was given the opportunity to combine his skills and direct Mannikins of Horror (1989). The result was touted as the top episode of the premiere season. Consequently, Farino was asked to direct the premiere episode of the the second season, A Bond of Silk (1989) with Lydia Cornell and Marc McClure, and became the only director to return within the same season for his third episode, The Offering (1990) with Orson Bean.

The Monsters episodes lead Farino to directing his first feature film, Steel and Lace (1991), for Fries Entertainment, starring Bruce Davison (Oscar nominee for Longtime Companion (1989)), Clare Wren (The Young Riders (1989)), David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London (1981)) and Michael Cerveris (Tony nominee as Tommy in The Who's Tommy on Broadway) and written by Emmy winner Joseph Dougherty.

For network television Farino directed 7 episodes of ABC's top-rated Land of the Lost (1991-1992) starring Timothy Bottoms, including the premiere episodes for both seasons.

The summer of 1993 saw Farino directing his first stage play, the comedy Dub by Henry Slesar, voted Best-of-the-Fest at the Attic Theater's One Act Play Festival in Hollywood.

Still applying his visual effects expertise to select projects, Farino supervised the Main Title sequence and certain opticals for Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), designed and directed visual effects for HBO's feature Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) and designed the Main Titles for HBO's Citizen Cohn (1992), Brian De Palma 's Raising Cain (1992), and HBO's Truman (1995). He served as Visual Effects Supervisor/2nd Unit Director on Columbia's sci-fi spectacle Screamers (1995), filmed in Montreal and starring Peter Weller, and supervised Visual Effects for Interscope's Snow White: A Tale of Terror (1997), starring Sigourney Weaver and Sam Neill.

Farino also directed two feature-length installments in the new family sci-fi film series Josh Kirby... Time Warrior: Chapter 1, Planet of the Dino-Knights (1995) for Kushner-Locke/Paramount, filmed in Bucharest, Romania.

Farino directed 2nd Unit and also received his first Emmy nomination as Visual Effects Supervisor for the Tom Hanks/HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon (1998), and later won consecutive Emmy awards for the New Amsterdam/Sci Fi Channel miniseries Dune (2000) and Children of Dune (2003).

Like many in the visual effects field, Farino was sharply influenced by stop motion animation master Ray Harryhausen and from 1971-1974 co-published a "fanzine" about Harryhausen called "FXRH," now considered a collector's item among fans. In 2008 Farino returned to publishing by forming his own company, Archive Editions, publishing the first installment of British author Mike Hankin's comprehensive 3-volume career biography, "Ray Harryhausen - Master of the Majicks."

In 2008 Farino has also completed a longtime pet project, the screenplay adaptation of the 1965 novel, "The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread" by Don Robertson.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: ArchiveEditions

Trivia (2)

Ernest D. Farino was the editor and publisher of "FXRH," a magazine devoted to special effects creator Ray Harryhausen.
Won second place in a James Bond trivia contest sponsored by AMC Theaters in 1983.

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