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Fulton, John P

Entry updated 4 April 2017. Tagged: Film, People.

(1902-1966) Pioneering special effects photographer. Moving from Nebraska to California in 1914, Fulton worked for a time as a land surveyor due to his father's strong opposition to his becoming involved with the Cinema industry. He started work for D W Griffith as an assistant cameraman in the 1920s, then moved to Universal Pictures after more experience learning the basics of optical composition, and traveling matte photography. His first genre credit was Frankenstein (1931), soon after which Fulton became head of the special effects department for Universal Pictures. There he did the effects for several classic sf or horror films of the 1930s, including the The Invisible Man (1933) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Fulton remained with Universal until moving to Paramount Pictures in 1953 following the death of effects head Gordon Jennings. While there, Fulton collaborated several times with Alfred Hitchcock; this included working on the suspense classics Rear Window (1954) and Vertigo (1958). Nominated for several Academy Awards (Oscars), Fulton won three times for his effects work, the final one being for the religious epic The Ten Commandments (1956), in which (among other requirements) he parted the Red Sea. Leaving Paramount in the early 1960s, Fulton continued working in film until his death. While in Spain for Battle of Britain (1969), he contracted an unusual infection, and died soon afterwards.

Overall, Fulton worked on 250 feature films including over thirty in the sf, fantasy, or horror genres. Some selected additional titles are House of Frankenstein (1944) (see Frankenstein), Conquest of Space (1955), and I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958). A solitary screenwriting credit was for The Bamboo Saucer (1968; vt Collision Course). [GSt]

John P Fulton

born Beatrice, Nebraska: 2 November 1902

died Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire: 5 July 1966


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