Joseph Musso

By Joseph Musso.

I graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and served honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps, before starting at Warner Bros. Studios in November of 1964 on Frank Sinatra’s production of Marriage on the Rocks. I’ve been a member of the Art Director’s Branch of the Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1979. I had been president of Local 790, I.A.T.S.E., The Illustrators and Matte Artists, since 1978

Besides the various matte paintings I did on Flesh Gordon, I also painted the scenic backdrop landscape for the end monster sequence and animated the constellation sequence through which the Queen Amora swan ship flies.
In addition to Flesh Gordon, I also executed matte paintings for Irwin Allen’s When Time Ran Out.The mattes I did on this film include:
* The cliff sequences where Newman, Holden and the rest are climbing on showing the sheer, rugged cliffs on the side and below them.
* The cliff where the Hawaiian father of the 2 children falls in.
* The entire POV of the father (including the father) laying on the rocks below.
* End shot of the ships coming to the rescue (the ships).
* Various shots that I added terrain and foliage to help out the compositing of the live action FG with the miniature on the Volcano in the BG, including Paul and Jackie on the beach and the hotel.

I also made the matte paintings for Richard Brooks’ “Wrong Is Right”.

As a production illustrator, I do not only conceptual illustrations of the sets and storyboards of the film’s sequences, but also when the occasion demands, designing the matte (now CGI) shots for the film productions. Several films that immediately come to mind that I designed mattes for, include the various Irwin Allen projects: The Towering Inferno, The Swarm, When Time Ran Out and Alice in Wonderland; as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s The Torn Curtain, Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox, Annie, Megaforce, Wrong Is Right, Volcano, Naked Gun 33 1/3, Escape from LA, Volcano, Star Trek: First Contact, Space Cowboys, Phantom of the Opera (2004), The Santa Clause 2 & 3 and Flags of Our Fathers.

On my spare time I do historical research, writing, collecting and painting. I’m currently involved in two book projects on the Alamo defender, James Bowie, as well as the Mexican Army during the Texas Revolution of 1835-36. . A bit of Trivia is the fact that two original, antique bowie knives from my collection were used as the basis for Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett’s knives in the 2004 The Alamo film. I also own the movie prop knives that were used in John Wayne’s The Alamo, Disney’s Davy Crockett, The Last Command, The Iron Mistress, Comanche Territory, Man From the Alamo, The First Texan, the Jim Bowie TV Series, as well as a couple of Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan knives.


“Life” (production illustrator) (15 episodes, 2007-2009)
“Monk” (production illustrator) (5 episodes, 2006-2009)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) (production illustrator)
“Boston Legal” (storyboard artist) (1 episode, 2008)
Rails & Ties (2007) (production illustrator)
“Greek” (storyboard artist) (1 episode, 2007)
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006) (storyboard artist)
We Fight to Be Free (2006) (production illustrator)
Flags of Our Fathers (2006) (production illustrator)
Stealth (2005) (storyboard artist)
Be Cool (2005) (storyboard artist)
The Phantom of the Opera (2004) (production illustrator)
Ladder 49 (2004) (storyboard artist)
13 Going on 30 (2004) (production illustrator)
Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure (2003) (TV) (production illustrator)
Hulk (2003) (storyboard artist)
The Italian Job (2003) (storyboard artist)
The Santa Clause 2 (2002) (storyboard artist)
Vanilla Sky (2001) (illustrator) (uncredited)
Life as a House (2001) (illustrator) (as Joe Musso)
Ghosts of Mars (2001) (illustrator) (as Joe Musso)
Little Nicky (2000) (storyboard artist)
“The Fugitive” (production illustrator) (1 episode, 2000)
Space Cowboys (2000) (production illustrator)
Light It Up (1999) (production illustrator)
Goodbye Lover (1998) (production illustrator)
The Newton Boys (1998) (production illustrator)
Home Alone 3 (1997) (illustrator)
Volcano (1997) (illustrator) (as Joe Musso)
Star Trek: First Contact (1996) (illustrator)
2 Days in the Valley (1996) (illustrator)
Escape from L.A. (1996) (production illustrator)
Dragonheart (1996) (storyboard artist) (uncredited)
“Murder, She Wrote” (production illustrator) (2 episodes, 1995)
The Scarlet Letter (1995) (storyboard artist) (as Joe Musso)
Gordy (1995) (illustrator: map) (as Joe Musso)
Gambler V: Playing for Keeps (1994) (TV) (storyboard artist)
Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994) (illustrator)
Addams Family Values (1993) (storyboard artist)
Judgment Night (1993) (production illustrator)
Basic Instinct (1992) (production illustrator)
American Me (1992) (production illustrator)
“MacGyver” (production illustrator) (2 episodes, 1991)
Child’s Play 3 (1991) (production illustrator) (as Joe Musso)
Out for Justice (1991) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
Career Opportunities (1991) (production illustrator)
Queens Logic (1991) (production illustrator)
Almost an Angel (1990) (production illustrator)
“The Flash” (production illustrator) (7 episodes, 1990)
Ghost Dad (1990) (illustrator)
Dick Tracy (1990) (production illustrator)
Side Out (1990) (production illustrator)
“High Performance” (production illustrator) (3 episodes, 1983-1990)
Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon (1989) (TV) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
Nasty Boys (1989) (TV) (production illustrator)
Listen to Me (1989) (production illustrator)
Spellbinder (1988) (production illustrator)
Clean and Sober (1988) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
Phantasm II (1988) (production illustrator)
Sunset (1988) (production illustrator)
¡Three Amigos! (1986) (set illustrator) (as Joe Musso)
Playing for Keeps (1986) (production illustrator)
Outrage! (1986) (TV) (production illustrator)
Alice in Wonderland (1985) (TV) (production illustrator)
Misfits of Science (1985) (TV) (storyboard artist)
Movers & Shakers (1985) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
City Killer (1984) (TV) (production illustrator)
“Paper Dolls” (production illustrator) (1 episode, 1984)
Sheena (1984) (production illustrator)
The Jesse Owens Story (1984) (TV) (storyboard artist)
Streets of Fire (1984) (production illustrator)
The Day After (1983) (TV) (production illustrator)
The Man Who Wasn’t There (1983) (production illustrator) (as Joe Musso)
Wait Till Your Mother Gets Home! (1983) (TV) (production illustrator)
Having It All (1982) (TV) (storyboard artist)
Megaforce (1982) (production illustrator) (as Joe Musso)
Annie (1982) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
Wrong Is Right (1982) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
“Falcon Crest” (production illustrator) (1 episode, 1982)
Body Heat (1981) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981) (illustrator) (as Joe Musso)
The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything (1980) (TV) (storyboard artist)
The Memory of Eva Ryker (1980) (TV) (production illustrator)
When Time Ran Out… (1980) (production illustrator)
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) (production illustrator)
The Swarm (1978) (production illustrator)
The Return of Captain Nemo (1978) (TV) (production illustrator)
Viva Knievel! (1977) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox (1976) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
Time Travelers (1976) (TV) (production illustrator)
“Swiss Family Robinson” (production illustrator) (2 episodes, 1976)
The Further Adventures of Major Mars (1976) (production illustrator)
Adventures of the Queen (1975) (TV) (production illustrator)
The Towering Inferno (1974) (production illustrator)
Flesh Gordon (1974) (storyboard artist) (uncredited)
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
“Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp” (production illustrator) (1 episode)
Up Tight! (1968) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
“Judd for the Defense” (production illustrator) (9 episodes, 1967)
In the Heat of the Night (1967) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
Caprice (1967) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
“The Lucy Show” (production illustrator) (2 episodes, 1967)
Torn Curtain (1966) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
The Blue Max (1966) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
Marriage on the Rocks (1965) (production illustrator) (uncredited)
Brainstorm (1965) (production illustrator) (uncredited)


Two samples Joe Musso work at Towering inferno, storyboard and  FX illustration.

toweringinferno1 copia

Joseph Musso working on a multiplane glass shot made for Flesh Gordon


Some matte shot from When time run out.

whentime8 copia

Musso also  was comossioned to paint some mattes for Wrong is right (1982)

Wrongright Wrongright2 wrong is right(82) 1