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Monster maker Rick Baker not against CGI: 'I embrace the technology'

By James Comtois
Rick Baker

Rick Baker may be famous for designing practical monster effects, but the retired Hollywood icon has nothing against computer generated technology. In fact, he embraces it.

When asked about the increased use of GCI in films, the Academy Award-winning special effects and makeup artist behind such designs for An American Werewolf in London, Gremlins 2, Ed Wood, Men in Black, Hellboy, and The Ring (among others) told attendees of New York Comic Con on Friday that he was far from against the practice. 

"Everybody always seems to want to pit the CG guys against the rubber guys," said Baker. "I embrace the technology."

Baker added that CGI is a way to fill in the gaps caused by the practical effects. "There are limitations [to what we can do]," he admitted. "It's always nice when we can work hand-in-hand."

He cited Men in Black III as a prime example of a film he worked on when the practical effects and CGI effects worked together well.

"I embrace it," he reiterated. "I've done some computer animation myself."

Baker was also asked about his decision to retire, and he explained that being hamstrung by producers was a big factor.

"A lot of people think it's CG, and that was a factor, but [it was because] producers ... weren't allowing me to do my job the way I needed to do it," he said. "They wanted things fast, and they wanted things cheap." And that simply wasn't the way Baker worked. 

Still, when asked about how he's enjoying retirement, Baker replied: "I'm having the best time."

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of New York Comic Con 2019, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.