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Future General Corporation

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Future General Corporation or FGC for short, was a research/ special effects house, founded in 1975 by Douglas Trumbull and Richard Yuricich. Goal of the company was to further develop and exploit filming techniques, Trumbull up to then had invented or developed, most notably Showscan, an early high-definition filming technique. A deal was brokered between Trumbull and then president of Paramount Pictures, Frank Yablans, and its then holding company Gulf+Western to provide full funding, in the process becoming sole shareholders and holding company with Trumbull and Yuricich acting as CEOs.

It was FGC that was offered the job of providing the visual effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1978, but was turned down by Trumbull as he and his company were then deeply committed to the production of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Upon completion of that project Paramount withheld funding for a new project, Trumbull had lined up, forcing him to let go of a large part of his team (see: Dave Stewart for a contemporary line-up of personnel employed at the time), many of them moving on to employment at companies like Robert Abel & Associates and Apogee, Inc.. (Cinefex, Issue 1, p.4)

A year later however, FGC was again approached to do the effects, as the production ran into troubles after Robert Abel & Associates was pulled from the project. By that time relations between Trumbull and the Paramount management had deteriorated due to the fact that, "Paramount had no vision at all and [was] going through a big management change. The guy that I did the deal with was ousted, and Michael Eisner and Barry Diller came in and they couldn't see what I was trying to do and wanted to get rid of it. I don't know, there's just a whole train of disillusionment that accompanies my history in movies." [1] Trumball used the problems the studio were in as leverage to secure a proviso that he would be released from his contractual obligations if he accepted. Trumbull left FGC upon completion of the project.

The relationship between FGC and its holding company, had soured considerably by then as was evidenced by the fact that the company was passed over in 1981 for the visual effects of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in favor of Industrial Light & Magic. According to Trumbull, FGC actually underbid ILM by $1,5 million, but the studio claimed that they wanted to cement the relationship with ILM that had begun with Raiders of the Lost Ark. (Cinefantastique, issue 44, Vol 12 #5/6, p.65) After that all activities within the company ground to a halt, though the company, as of 2010, is still listed as one of the subsidiaries of current holding company Viacom. [2]

The only other credit the company has to its name is the 1978 movie Night of Dreams.


People employed at the time of the production of The Motion Picture:

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