Gillespie joined MGM as a set designer in 1925, a year after it was founded. He was educated at Columbia University and the Arts Students League. His first project was the silent film Ben-Hur, released that same year. He worked at the studio in various capacities until 1962. In 1936, he became the head of MGM’s Special Effects Department. Gillispie’s nickname was “Buddy.”
Arnold Gillespie made use of a hanging miniature to recreate the Roman Circus for the silent version of Ben-Hur. (1925)
A huge miniature of “Jerusalem” hold up behind full scale set to achieve a perspective effect.
Arnold Gillespie into the tank at MGM effects department, ready to shoot ” The Wreck of the Mary Deare” (1959)
Gillespie posed with the jeep miniature in front of his California home in 1974