Alec Gillis was born in 1959 in Phoenix, Arizona, and a short time later moved to Orange County, California. By age ten, he was an avid fan of fantasy and science fiction movies. Influenced by films such as PLANET OF THE APES, KING KONG, and JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, Alec began making his own amateur movies, and by age thirteen had decided that creating creatures for Hollywood was to be his career.Having spent much of his teen years experimenting and tinkering in his mother’s garage, Alec’s first professional job was on Roger Corman’s low budget space-epic, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS (1980). There he worked with many other talented industry newcomers, most notably director James Cameron (ALIENS, THE ABYSS), and producer Gale Anne Hurd (ALIENS, THE ABYSS, TREMORS). The next eight years were spent first attending U.C.L.A.’s film school, then working for some of the industry’s top names in make-up effects, most notably Stan Winston (ALIENS, LEVIATHAN, ALIEN NATION).
As one of Winston’s closest associates, Alec has the opportunity to hone his skills as a creature designer, sculptor, and supervisor. It was during his years with Winston that Alec met his future business partner, Tom Woodruff, Jr. In 1988, with their mentor’s blessings, Alec and Tom left Stan Winston Studio and formed Amalgamated Dynamics, Incorporated. Dedicated to the high standards of quality they helped set on films like ALIENS, ALIEN NATION, and TERMINATOR, Alec and Tom have most recently shown their expertise on Gale Anne Hurd’s TREMORS (Universal 1990), and the upcoming ALIEN 3 (20th Century Fox).
In addition to managing a successful Make-up and Creature effects studio, Gillis and Woodruff actively develop original scripts, both individually and as a team. The duo strive to incorporate their story and directing skills into their creature effects work, whether it is by contributing script ideas (as in TREMORS and ALIEN 3), or by second unit directing (LEVIATHAN).
To date, the culmination of Gillis and Woodruff’s talents as writers-directors is the screenplay and teaser reel of THE DEMON WITH THREE TALES co-produced, co-written and co-directed by Alec and Tom, the short film was shot on a shoestring budget and demonstrates not only the freshness and originality of the script, but also the team’s ability to design and direct visually stylish projects on a modest budget.
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