Adam Beckett (1950-1979)

Heavy-Light (1973)

Adam Beckett (1950-1979) was an influential animator and visual effects artist whose career straddled the line between art film and the special effects industry. Well known for his unique use of the optical printer in conjunction with the animation stand, Beckett's technical achievements ranged from his work on highly experimental art films to commercial films including "Star Wars" (1977), for which he was recruited to head the rotoscope and animation department, and the 1978 horror film "Piranha," on which he worked as an animator.

Between 1970 and 1975, while still a student in Jules Engel's then newly-formed experimental animation program at the California Institute of the Arts, Beckett completed six groundbreaking films. His complex, intense work, which has been described as "a masterful visual universe," had a great impact on his peers and won awards at numerous film festivals. In 1975, Beckett started his own studio, Infinite Animation, while simultaneously pursuing his MFA and teaching at CalArts. Tragically, he died in a fire in 1979 at the age of 29.