Leigh Took


Leigh Took has worked in the industry since 1978, starting as an apprentice in Pinewood’s matte painting department, working on films such as “Warlords of Atlantis”, and “Clash of the Titans” under matte painter Cliff Culley .
“I was fortunate enough to get a trainee position with the matte department at Pinewood on a film called Warlords of Atlantis (1978),” explains Leigh, “with a chap called Cliff Culley, who was one of the very few matte painters around in those days. I first got involved in miniatures working with Ray Harryhausen on Clash of the Titans (1981), making up little miniature sets, shooting them and combining those with matte paintings. All on film, using color separations and breaking film down to make new negatives, with a lot of in-camera effects creating things that you couldn’t normally achieve on a set. In those days, we would use front projection, back projection and latent image shots as well. It was a whole time of experimentation. Obviously, being before the digital age, it was all optical. We were constantly coming up with new techniques of how to achieve effects all the time. People such as John Dark and Kevin Connor were making films like Arabian Adventure (1979) and Warlords of Atlantis back-to-back. It was a good era for getting to experiment with effects and making models – to keep production costs down really.”
He then left Pinewood to go freelance to work with the late great Derek Meddings on Batman and shortly after that set up a mattes and miniatures facility at Bray Studios.

Years latter, he became Director of Mattes and Miniatures Visual Effects Ltd, based at Bray and Pinewood, leading a crew experienced in all aspects of designing, constructing and filming visual effects. His base at Bray Studios includes model and special effects workshops, motion control and matte studio, and these, with the digital facilities at Pinewood allow them to combine the best of traditional techniques with the new.

Leigh Took working on a glass painting for Chicago Joe and the showwgirl.


Two more samples of  him paintng on glass for films and TV series.



20013- Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain (model and miniatures supervisor)
2009 – The One and Only (Motion control,Red camera,End titles)
2008 – Angels and Demons (Miniature Effects Supervisor)
2008- The Wolfman (Miniature Effects Supervisor)
2008- The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus (Miniature Effects Supervisor)
2007- Inkheart (VFX Miniature Effects Supervisor)
2007- Peter Serafinavitzw Show (TV movie) SFX Supervisor
2007 – Victims (TV movie) Digital compositing
2007- Comedy Pilot (TV movie) Modelsor/Designer
2006 – Mutant Chronicles (Miniature Effects Supervis )
2006 – Stardust (VFX Miniature Effects Supervisor)
2006 – Highlander V (Miniature Effects Supervisor)
2006- Beam Me Up (Miniatures, in-camera effects)
2006- Da Vinci Code (Miniature Effects Supervisor)
2006 – World’s Greatest Storm (TV movie) Miniatures
2006 – Dom Joly (TV movie) Models
2005- Comic Strip Pampas Grass (TV movie) Special effects
2005- Ultimate Force (TV movie) Digital mattes
2005- The Descent (VFX and Miniatures Supervisor)
2005 – Naina (VFX and Miniatures Supervisor)
2005 – Thespian X (Models, Props, Digital mattes)
2004 – Ella Enchanted (Miniatures Effects supervisor)
2004- George and the Dragon (Title sequences, visual effects/design)
2004- Scary Sleepover (TV movie) FX Supervisor
2004- Planet Cook (TV movie) Visual effects
2004- Space Odyssey: Voyage Planets (TV movie) Visual effects
2003 – Dreamstreet (TV movie) Models
2003 – Happiness Thief (Digital matte painting)
2002 – Plot With a View (Miniatures Supervisor)
2002 – Resident Evil (Miniatures effects)
2002 -Solid Geometry (Visual effects)
2002 – The Gathering Storm (TV movie) Digital mattes
2001- Band of Brothers (TV movie) Miniature Supervisor
2000 – Tenth Kingdom (TV movie) Supervising mattepainter [digital]
1999- Guest House Paradiso (VFX Supervisor)
1998 – Velvet Goldmine SFX (Miniature effects)
1998- Lost In Space (VFX Miniature Supervisor)
1998- Enemy of the State (Digital matte painting)
1998- The Mall (Futureffects Berlin Matte painting [optical]
1997 – Sweeney Todd (TV movie) Matte painter
1997 – Oliver Twist (TV movie Disney) Matte painter
1997 – Potamus Park (TV movie) Scenic ArtistModels
1997- Amy Foster (Computer Film Co Matte painting)
1997- Apocalypse Watch ( Visual effects)
1996- Legend of Pinocchio ( Miniatures/animation supervisor)
1996- Midsummer Night’s Dream (Models, motion control)
1995- First Knight (VFX DMatte artist)
1996 – Treacle People (TV movie) Scenic Artist
1995- Story Store (TV movie) Comedy Store Scenic Artist
1995- Death Machine ( Vista Vision mattes visual effects)
1995- Floder III (Image Creations Amst. Mattes, motion control, design)
1995- Stick with Me Kid (Disney Props, artwork)
1994- A Thousand Roses (Image Creations, Amst Matte painting [optical]
1994 – Crackerjack (Magic Camera Co Matte painting [optical]
1994- Eat Your Words (TV movie) Scenic Artist, Sculptor
1993 – Cabbage Patch (TV movie) Famous Flying Films Scenic Artist
1993- Molly’s Gang (TV movie) Famous Flying Films Scenic Artist
1993- Hoffmans ( Matte painting [optical]
1993- Faraway so Close (Matte painting [optical]
1992 – Wings of Fame (VFX Brian Johnson Matte painting [optical]
1992- Year of the Comet (Matte elements)
1992- Carry On Columbus (Artwork)
1991 – Until the End of the World (Matte painting [optical]
1991- This Boy’s Story (Glass shot)
1991- The Amber Room (Futureffects, Berlin Matte painting [optical]
1991- The Long Day Closes (Glass shots)
1990- Spies (children’s) (TV movie for Disney) Mattes
1990 – Never Ending Story II (VFX Derek Meddings Matte painting supervisor)
1990- Garcia (Miniatures)
1990. Rainbow Thief (supervisor/matte painting)
1990. A Kiss Before Dying (Magic Camera Co Motion control)
1989. Baron Munchausen (Peerless Camera Co Matte painting Vista Vision)
1989 . Batman (VFX Derek Meddings Supervising matte artist)
1989- King of the Wind (Matte painting)
1989- Chicago Joe / Showgirl (Motion control, matte painting)
1987- Snow White (Animated title sequences, mattes)
1987- Frog Prince (Animated title sequences, mattes)
1978- 1985 Westbury Design Matte Artist, miniatures, animation

1986 – Lost Empires (TV series)
1986 -Peter the Great (TV series)
1985 – King Solomon’s Mines
1984 – Sahara
1984 – Ellis Island (TV series)
1984- Search for Atlantis (TV series)
1984- Last Days of Pompeii(TV series)
1984- First Olympics-Athens 1896 (TV series)
1983 – Octopussy
1983 -Reilly Ace of Spies (TV series)
1983- Savage Island
1983- The Keep
1982 – Kim
1982 – Hounds of the Baskervilles (TV series)
1981 – Clash of the Titans
1981- Das Boot
1981 – Cribb (TV series)
1980- Sea Wolves
1980- Lili Marlene
1980- Hawk the Slayer
1980- Lion of the Desert
1980- Witness for the Prosecution
1980- Star
1980- Watcher in the Woods
1979 – Warlords of Atlantis
1979 – Arabian Adventure
1979 – Spaceman and King Arthur
1979 – Bear Island
1979 – Fu Manchu
1979 – Cuba,
1979 – The London Affair
1979 – Ram Bell Ram
1979 – Sword of the Valiant
1979 – Tinker Tailor Soldier spy (TV series)
1978 – Murder by Decree
1975 – Last Days of Pompeii (TV series)
To see some more samples of his work, visit his web site: http://www.mattesandminiatures.com/index.asp

Or enjoy watching the fascinating documentary that British VFX artist Dennis Lowe made on Leigh Took: