John P. Fulton

John P. Fulton . Special effects technician, born in Beatrice ( Nebraska ), on November 4 , 1902 , and died in Iverheath ( England ), on July 24 , 1966 .


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  • 1 Life
    • 1 Trucajes of the Universal
    • 2 Science-fiction
  • 2 Filmography
  • 3 Academy Awards
    • 1 Special photographic effects
  • 4 Sources


His father, Fitch Fulton, painter and visual effects specialist, introduced him from a young age to the world of tricks. After studying at the Beatrice Polytechnic School , his hometown, and collaborating for a time on the premises of the Edison Company, in Los Angeles , he began working at the Universal production company as a cameraman. Photographer Frank Williams hired him in 1925 to take over his labs. He returned to the cinema in 1928 , on the occasion of the filming of The Michigan Kid, Fulton’s first job in the field of photography special effects.

Trucajes de la Universal

In 1931 , with the help of the truquista Charlie Baker , he created the department of tricks of the Universal. That same year, he met filmmaker James Whale , who counted on him to perform the tricks of Dr. Frankenstein, one of the most significant films of Fulton’s career. The sequel to this feature film, Frankenstein’s Girlfriend, whose special effects are also her work, was even more spectacular in that field, with sequences as technically complex as the one featuring a group of small homunculi, moving before the face of its creator, Dr. Praetorius, played by actor Ernest Thesiger .

Fulton completely renewed the photo trick procedures during this stage at Universal. Directed by Whale, he filmed the effects of The Invisible Man in 1933 , with which he managed to simulate with great skill the invisibility of the protagonist. Using cables to hold the clothes up or covering the actor with black tights, he resorted to tricks of concealment and overprinting to get viewers to believe they saw a transparent figure that, nevertheless, wore clothes and moved naturally. Up to 64,000 images retouched to achieve this illusion, one of the most remarkable in the history of special effects.

Science fiction

In the science fiction genre, in the mid-1930s Fulton produced the spectacular sequences that take place beyond the solar system in The Invisible Power. Around the same time, he made the optical effects of Stuart Walker’s The Human Wolf , which he later perfected in George Waggner’s The Wolf Man , a film in which he collaborated with makeup artist Jack Pierce . The trick to offering the protagonist’s conversion into a lycanthrope on screen is similar to frame-by-frame animation, since it consists of filming shots of various phases of makeup, to give the impression that the face of the protagonist, Lon Chaney Jr., full of hair as her fangs grow.

In 1958 , Fulton perfected filming of scale models for the film From the Dead by Alfred Hitchcock , a filmmaker with whom he collaborated repeatedly. In the 1950s, he also participated in the trick teams of director Cecil B. De Mille , highlighting his work in the competent effects of The Ten Commandments, for which he had various apprentices and assistants who were the ones who replaced the teacher his death. Exhausted by overwork, he didn’t turn down new offers and went on to prepare the effects of up to eleven films a year. In 1966A victim of anemia, he died in a British hospital, leaving the design of the photographic tricks of The sea pirate and The bamboo saucer, released respectively in 1967 and 1968 , unfinished .


  • 1928: The Michigan Kid.
  • 1931: Dr. Frankenstein.
  • 1932: The Mummy.
  • 1933: The invisible man.
  • 1935: Frankenstein’s girlfriend; The human wolf.
  • 1936: The daughter of Dracula; The invisible power; Magnolia.
  • 1939: Frankenstein’s Shadow.
  • 1941: The werewolf.
  • 1944: The Scarlet Claw.
  • 1946: The best years of our life.
  • 1948: Joan of Arc.
  • 1953: When the crowd roars.
  • 1954: The indiscreet window; Sabrina.
  • 1955: Artists and Models; Catch a thief; The conquest of space.
  • 1956: But who killed Harry ?; The man that knew too much; The ten Commandments.
  • 1957: A face with an angel; Titans duel.
  • 1958: From the dead.
  • 1961: Breakfast with diamonds.
  • 1962: Hatari.
  • 1965: The Heroes of Telemark.

Academy Awards

Special photographic effects

  • 1940: Nominated for Syracuse Boys (Universal) – John P. Fulton, ASC (Photographic Effects)
  • 1940: Nominated for Invisible Man Returns (Universal) – John P. Fulton, ASC (Photographic Effects)
  • 1941: Nominated for Invisible Woman (Universal) – John P. Fulton, ASC (photographic effects)
  • 1942: Nominated for Invisible Agent (Universal) – John P. Fulton, ASC (photographic effects)
  • 1945: Cattle for Wonder Man (Goldwyn, RKO Radio) – John P. Fulton, ASC (photographic effects)
  • 1955: Won for Bridges at Toko-Ri (Paramount) – No nominees named (photographic effects)
  • 1956: Cattle for the Ten Commandments (DeMille, Paramount) – John P. Fulton, ASC (photographic effects)


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