Cliff Culley


Cliff Culley,  was one of the backroom boys at Rank in Pinewood Studios on all of those shows from the Harryhausen’s and Carry On’s to the Norman Wisdom cheapies and whatever else was being done at Pinewood.  He started at Pinewood special effects department in 1946, under Bill Warrington as head of the department. At that time it was Les Bowie chief of matte painting, and later on,  when he left, Albert Whitlock worked from 1949 to 1953 at Pinewood matte department.
He worked under Peter Ellenshaw and Albert Whitlock for Disney films like “Sword and the Rose”(1953)
Culley became a matte painting specialist and worked on loads of films over the years,  and became head of Pinewood’s matte painting department in the mid-late 1960s. He also has provided many optical gags on films too, for example, the reflection of thug in the eye of the beautiful girl from the opening of Goldfinger.

Cliff Culley is best known for supervising the matte art on films such as the Brocolli’s You Only Live Twice and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the latter film is one of his sole supervisory screen credits next to One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing and Spaceman in King Arthur’s Court for Disney, and Hellraiser 2. During the 60´s Culley took Charles Stoneham as matte painter assistant at Pinewood matte department

Since leaving Rank  in the mid 70s Cliff Culley opened his own firm, Westbury Design and Optical  which provided overspill latent image comps and optical tricks on films such as “Hellraiser II”, or “Sword of the valiant” (1984). He got Leigh Took as a matte assistant in 1978 for films as “Warlords of Atlantis” or “Clash of the Titans”.

Cliff Culley retired at 1997 after working on the film Orphans (1997).


Cliff Culley and Roy Filed setting up a matte shot for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) at the Pinewood Matte Department.


Those photos (courtesy of Ed Maggiani), were taken at Pinewood Studios in February of 1996.
Cliff Culley very kindly showed some of the many glass paintings he had done, to Production designer Syd Cain and writer journalist Gary Giblin (To whom I sincerely tank to send my those pictures)

1. From Left to right: Syd Cain, Gary Giblin and Cliff Culley in front of a painting from Nightbreed.


2. Gary Giblin with a matte painted for “You only live twice (1967)”


3. A painting from the movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)”




 - Orphans (1997) (matte artist)
- Saint-Ex (1996) (matte effects)
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1996) (special photographic effects)
- A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995) (matte artist)
- Restoration (1995)(matte paintings by Westbury design and opticals)
- The hour of the pig (1993) (opticals by Westbury design and opticals)
- An Ungentlemanly Act (1992) (TV) (optical effects)
- Nightbreed (1990) (mattes and opticals by Westbury design and opticals)
- Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) (optical effects supervisor)
- Peter the Great (1986) ( tv miniseries) (Special photographic effects)
- Return to Oz (1985) (Additional opticals by Westbury design and opticals)
- Blind date( 1984) (special photographic effects)
- Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1984) (visual effects)
- The last Days of Pompeii ( 1984) (TV miniseries) (Special photografic effects
- Sahara (1983) (matte paintings by Westbury design and opticals)
- Witness for the Prosecution (1982) (TV) (optical effects)
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1982) (TV) (optical effects)
- Clash of the Titans (1981) (special miniatures)
- The Spaceman and King Arthur (1979) (special photographic effects)
- Bear Island (1979) (Special photographic effects)
- City on Fire (1979) (matte artist)
- Arabian Adventure (1979) (matte effects)
- Warlords of Atlantis (1978) (matte effects)
- Candleshoe (1977) (Special matte efecst)
- The Pink Panther strikes again (1976)(special matte and optical effects)
- One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing (1975) (special processes)
- “The Changes” (visual effects) (2 episodes, 1975)
- Lightning! (1975) TV Episode (visual effects)
- The Noise (1975) TV Episode (visual effects)
- The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) (matte artist) (uncredited)
- “Disneyland” (special effects) (3 episodes, 1974)
- Diamonds on Wheels (1974) TV Episode (special effects)
- “Play for Today” (special effects) (1 episode, 1974)
-Penda’s Fen (1974) TV Episode (special effects)
- Diamonds on Wheels (1974) (special effects)
- “Moonbase 3″ (1973) TV Series (visual effects designer) (unknown episodes)
- Doctor Who” (visual effects) (6 episodes, 1973) (visual effects designer) (6 episodes, 1974-1975)
- Robot  (1975) TV episode (visual effects designer) (as Clifford Culley)
- Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974) TV episode (visual effects designer) (as Clifford Culley)
- Planet of the Daleks (1973) TV episode (visual effects designer) (as Clifford Culley)
- Zeppelin (1971) (matte photographer)
- The Deserter (1971) (optical effects)
- The Firechasers (1971) (special effects)
- Kidnapped (1971) (special effects)
- Carry on Henry (1971) (optical effects)
- The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins (1971) (special effects)
- Hands of the Ripper (1971) (special effects)
- Jane Eyre (1970) (special effects)
- Toomorrow (1970) (optical effects)
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) (matte artist) (uncredited)
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) (matte effects)
- You Only Live Twice (1967) (matte artist) (uncredited)
- Follow that camel (1967) (optical effects)
- Khartoum (1966) (special photographic effects)
- Thunderball (1965) (optical effects supervisor) (uncredited)
- The Early Bird (1965) (special matte effects)
- Goldfinger (1964) (optical effects supervisor) (uncredited)
- Carry on Cleo (1964) (optical effects) (uncredited)
- From Russia with Love (1963) (matte artist) (uncredited)
- The Bay of St. Michel (1963) (special effects)
- Dr. No (1962) (matte artist) (uncredited)
- The bulldog breed (1960) (special effects) (uncredited)
- Sink the Bismarck! (1960) (special effects assistant) (uncredited)
- North West Frontier (1959) (matte artist) (uncredited)
- A night to remember (1958) (special effects assistant) (uncredited)
- The One That Got Away (1957) (special processes) (uncredited)
- Across the Bridge (1957) (special processes) (uncredited)
- Tale of two cities (1958) (matte artist) (uncredited)
- The prince and the showgirl (1957) (matte artist) (uncredited)
- The one that got a way (1957)  (matte artist) (uncredited)
-The Battle of the River Plate (1956) (matte artist) (uncredited)
- Hell below zero (1954) (matte artist) (uncredited)
- Sword and the Rose (1953) (matte artist) (uncredited)