University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Thomas Smith:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center



Creator: Smith, Thomas G. (Thomas Graham), 1938-
Title: Thomas Smith Papers
Dates: 1977-2002
Abstract: The Thomas Smith Papers consist of the professional papers of visual effects producer Thomas Smith. The papers document Smith's professional work through the 1980s and 1990s and include film scripts, special effects storyboards, and pre-production research.
Call Number: Film Collection No. FI-058
Extent: 20 document boxes, 2 oversize boxes (osb) (8.82 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Biographical Sketch

Thomas G. Smith was born in Canton, Illinois, in 1938. He attended Northwestern University, and following his graduation in 1960, he studied film in Paris at the Institute of Higher Studies in Film (IDHEC) on a Fulbright Scholarship. After three years' service in the U.S. Air Force, Smith began his career in film as a writer and producer-director for Encyclopedia Britannica Educational Corporation (EB), where he directed more than fifty educational films. Solar System (1977), one of his last projects for EB, changed the trajectory of his career to special effects. The film not only allowed Smith to experiment with special effects, but it also caught the eye of George Lucas.

Smith began working for George Lucas's Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) in 1980. He oversaw the visual effects facility from 1980 to 1986 and, among other films, worked on the productions of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. (1982), Star Trek: The Search for Spock (1983), Star Wars: Episode VI-Return of the Jedi (1983), and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). In 1985, Smith moved from ILM to film production. In 1986, he began working for Walt Disney on the 3D attraction Captain EO, which starred Michael Jackson and was produced and directed by George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. Following his work on Capitan EO, Smith continued to work for Disney as a producer and visual effects consultant.

In addition to his work with Disney, Smith also worked on projects for Jim Henson Productions (Muppet Treasure Island [1996] and Muppets from Space [1999]) and Turner Pictures (Gods and Generals [2003]). He won a British Academy Award for outstanding visual effects on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989). Smith worked for Disney until 1992; since then he has worked on several projects, including his own feature film, The Arrival (1996).


Scope and Contents

The Thomas Smith Papers consist of special effects storyboards, screenplays, pre-production research, production materials, newspaper clippings, photographs, and published materials such as fan magazines and cinematography periodicals. The papers also contain material relating to Smith's time at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) and Lucasfilm. The papers are organized into two series: I. Films and Attractions, 1977-2002 and II. Lucasfilm, 1982-1991.

Series I. Films and Attractions makes up the bulk of the papers and includes materials associated with Smith's major projects. It is arranged into two subseries: A. Films, 1977-2002 and B. Special Attractions, 1989-1997. Materials in these subseries are arranged in alphabetical order by title. Within each title, items are arranged chronologically and follow the order of storyboards, screenplays and scripts, and supporting materials. Supporting materials include production research, cast and crew information, premiere and publicity packets, and published reviews. There are also two oversize boxes containing soft-sided, personalized three ring binders, one of which contained much of Smith's materials dealing with Muppet Treasure Island (1996).

Much of Smith's material arrived at the Ransom Center grouped by film but not arranged in chronological order. Some material was included in folders and envelopes with labels made by Smith, and these labels and groupings are maintained in the new folders. Smith placed some material associated with large projects such as Gods and Generals (2003) and the unproduced film Joan of Arc in "miscellaneous" categories. These materials are roughly arranged in the order of storyboards, scripts, and supporting materials. Joan of Arc never advanced to the production phase, but pre-production costs reached over $1 million. The materials associated with the film reflect the pre-production process and include site research, vendor searches in France, and budget estimates.

Subseries A. Films represents much of Smith's work throughout the 1980s and 1990s; however, the collection does not represent his early career as a writer and director for Encyclopedia Britannica Education Corporation. Many of the films included in this series appear with their working titles. Films are arranged alphabetically by their official title, followed in parentheses by alternative working titles. These titles include: The Arrival (Shockwave), E.T. (A Boy's Life), Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (Grounded, Teenie-Weenies, Teeny-Weenies), and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (The Temple of Death).

Subseries B. Special Attractions represents Smith's work on 3D attractions for Disney and Jim Henson Productions. Attractions are arranged alphabetically. Supporting material is limited, but may include storyboards, scripts, cast and crew lists, press kits, and newspaper clippings.

Series II. Lucasfilm contains documents related to Smith's time with Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), a division of Lucasfilm. The series contains materials related to Smith's book, Industrial Light and Magic: The Art of Special Effects, and magazine articles on ILM. The series also contains Lucasfilm yearbooks spanning ten years (1982-1991).


Restrictions

Access:

Open for research; please see redactions and restrictions notes below.

Redactions Note: The production and research materials contain a number of items from which personal information has been redacted or restricted to protect an individual's privacy. Examples are salaries, telephone numbers, and addresses.

Restrictions Note: Per the donor agreement, storyboards for the film project Jamboree (later released as the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) are closed to researchers for ten years.


Index Terms

People
Barwood, Hal
Beatty, Warren, 1937-
Bennett, Harve
Caldow, Julian
Cash, Jim
Epps, Jack
Henson, Brian
Huyck, Willard
Johnston, Joe
Kasdan, Lawrence
Katz, Gloria
Lucas, George, 1944-
Maxwell, Ronald F.
Naha, Ed
Prady, Bill
Robbins, Matthew
Rodis-Jamero, Nilo
Rota, Bot
Sallin, Robert
Schulman, Tom
Twohy, David
Subjects
Cinematography—Special effects
Lucasfilm Animation (Firm)
Motion Pictures, American
Producers and Directors, American
Document Types
Clippings
Correspondence
Ephemera
Photographs
Publications
Screenplays
Storyboards

Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Gift, 2011 (11-10-003-G)

Processed by:

Carly Dearborn, 2011


Sources:

In addition to material found within the Thomas Smith Papers, the following sources were used:

Keeler, Amanda. (2010). "Interview with Thomas G. Smith, educational filmmaker."The Moving Image 10 (2): 124-137.

"Thomas G. Smith." Retrieved from http://www.afana.org/smitht.htm (accessed 11/15/2011).


Container List

Series I. Films and Attractions, 1977-2002

Subseries A. Films, 1977-2002
The Arrival (1996) (Shockwave)
Container
1.1 Cast and crew contacts, 1995
Container
1.2-6 Producers book, with locations for shooting, storyboards for visual effects, screenplay by David Twohy, 1995
Container
1.7 Production pages approved, 1995
Container
1.8 Screening invitation, 1996
Container
1.9 Wrapbook, 1996
Captain EO (1986)
Container
2.1-3 FX book 12/9 cut, circa 1985
Container
2.4 Photos from film, 1986
Container
2.5 Storyboards for the visual effects, with annotations, 1986
Dick Tracy (1990)
Container
2.6 Screenplay with annotations by Warren Beatty, circa 1988
Container
2.7 Screenplay by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr., 1989
Container
2.8 Premiere program with film credits, 1990
Dragonslayer (1981)
Container
3.1 Shooting screenplay by Hal Barwood and Matthew Robbins, 1980
Container
3.2 Photo of Dragon Fire (8 x 10 color), 1980
Container
3.3 Marvel comic book version of film, 1981
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) (A Boy's Life)
Container
4.12 Concept drawings for spaceship, circa 1981
Container
5.1 Shooting screenplay, 1981
Container
5.2 Revised first draft, 1981
Container
5.3 Visual effects storyboards, 1981
Container
5.4 Storyboards, circa 1981
Container
5.5 Visual effects storyboards, ILM storyboards no. 8, circa 1981
Container
5.6 Proposal for special effects, 1981
Container
5.7 American Cinematographer magazine featuring E.T., 1983
The Ewok Adventure (1984) (Ewok I)
Container
5.8 Advanced screening invitation, 1984
Container
5.9 ABC, George Lucas storyboards, 1984
Container
5.10 The Ewok Adventure (Ewok I) storyboards, circa 1984
Container
5.11, 6.1 Storyboards, circa 1984
Container
6.2-6 Tom's Book, Ewok Adventure, 1985
Container
6.7 Ewok Holiday Special rough storyboards and research, circa 1984
Container
6.8 The Ewok Movie final screenplay, 1984
Container
7.1 The Ewok Movie screenplay, first draft, 1984
Container
7.2 Ewok II screenplay, 1985
Container
7.3 Ewok II storybook, 1985
Container
7.4 An Ewok Adventure, Japanese pamphlet on film, 1985
Container
7.5 The Ewok: Battle for Endor storybook in German, 1985
Container
7.6 The 37th Annual Emmy Awards program, 1985
Gods and Generals (2003)
Container
7.7 Calendar, 2001-2002
Container
7.8 Original and photocopies of storyboards, circa 2001
Container
7.9-10 Storyboards, circa 2001
Container
7.11 Storyboards, 2001
Container
7.12 First breakdown of elements, 2001
Container
8.1 Screenplay, 2001
Container
8.2-3 Screenplay by Jeff Shaara, 2001
Container
8.4 Visual effects vendor research with correspondence, 2001
Container
8.5 Contacts and bidders for film's special effects, circa 2001
Container
8.6 Contact list, circa 2001
Container
8.7 Reference artwork, circa 2001
Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992)
Container
8.8 Crew contacts, 1991
Container
8.9 Publicity photo, 1991
Container
8.10 Premiere program, 1991
Container
8.11-13 Visual effects story boards, 1992
Container
9.1-3 Continuity boards, 1991
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) (Teeny-Weenies; Grounded)
Container
9.4 Honey, I Shrunk the Kids screenplay by Tom Schulman, 1988
Container
9.5 Teeny-Weenies script by Ed Naha, 1987
Container
9.6 Teeny-Weenies screenplay by Ed Naha, circa 1987
Container
9.7 Grounded screenplay by Ed Naha, 1987
Container
9.8 Teenie Weenies original storyboards, circa 1989
Container
10.1, 2 Visual FX storyboards, circa 1987
Container
10.3, 4 Storyboards, 1988
Container
10.5 "Honey Shoot/#G Script Teenie Weenies," continuity boards with visual effects and cost estimates for shots, 1987
Container
10.6-11.2 Production boards, 1987
Container
11.3 Visual effects, circa 1987
Container
11.4 Joke credits and joke cartoon, circa 1987
Container
11.5 CineFX Magazine, 1990
Container
11.6 Press packet, circa 1987
Container
11.7 Photos from the film, 1989
Container
11.8 Program credits, 1989
Container
11.9 Contract letter and drawings for stop motion work by Phil Tippet, 1988
Container
11.10 Budget, 1989
Container
11.11 Grounded budget sign-off sheet, 1988
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) (Temple of Death)
Container
17.4 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Death story by George Lucas, screenplay by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz, 1983
Container
17.5 Visual effects storyboards, circa 1983
Container
17.6 Credit list, 1984
Container
17.7 American Cinematographer, 1984
Container
17.8 San Francisco Examiner feature article on George Lucas, 1980
Container
17.9 Temple of Doom, Japanese publication, 1984
Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story (2001)
Container
11.12 Jack and the Beanstalkers screenplay, 2000
Container
11.13 Contact crew list, 2001
Container
11.14 Jack and the Beanstalk and Henson Production photos, 2001
Container
11.15 Joan of Arc, miscellaneous correspondence and storyboards, circa 1998
Container
12.1 The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), premiere program (2), 1992
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
Container
12.2 Original storyboards by Julian Caldow and Tom Smith, circa 1995
Container
12.3 Review, Los Angeles Times, 1996
Container
12.4 Screenplay, 1995
Container
12.5 Lyrics to songs, circa 1995
Container
12.6 Poster, circa 1996
Container
12.7 Screening invitation, circa 1996
Container
12.8 Thank you letter to Tom Smith from Brian Henson, circa 1996
Container
12.9 Unit lists for cast and crew, model unit and second unit crew lists, 1995
Container
12.10 Replacement "red" pages, shooting screenplay, 1994
Container
12.11 Call sheet, 1995
Container
12.12 Crew photo with key, circa 1995
Container
12.13 Premiere program, 1996
Container
12.14 Draft 14.1 final white page screenplay, 1995
Container
12.15 Script with visual effects annotations, 1995
Muppets from Space (1999)
Container
12.16 Storyboards, 1998
Container
12.17 Screenplay, 1998
Container
12.18 Screenplay, draft 17, 1998
Container
13.1 Draft 19, circa 1998
Container
13.2 Crew list, film review in Daily Variety, and digital production photograph of Noah's Arc, 1998-1999
Container
13.3 Final crew list, 1999
Container
13.4 Cast and crew photo, 1999
Neighbors (1993)
Container
13.5 Screenplay by Tom Smith and film budget, 1993
Container
13.6 Credit list, circa 1993
Container
13.7 Cast and crew, 1993
Container
13.8 New York Stories (1989) premiere program with film credits, 1989
Poltergeist (1982)
Container
13.9 FX reference script, 1981
Container
13.10 Screenplay revisions, 1981
Container
13.11 Premiere program with film credits, 1982
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Container
13.12-13 Effects boards, 1980
Container
13.14 Production storyboards "Bantu Winds" and "The Chase," 1980
Container
13.15 Production storyboards "The Chase," 1980
Container
14.1 Production storyboards "Int. Raven," 1980
Container
14.2 Production storyboards "Peru Temple," 1980
Container
14.3 Publicity Packet with 8x10 Black and White Photo, circa 1980
Container
14.4 Screenplay, fourth draft by Lawrence Kasdan, story by George Lucas,1980
Container
14.5 Raiders of the Lost Ark #229, invitation to screening, 1981
Container
14.6 Satirical article in Mad magazine, 1982
Container
14.7 American Cinematographer magazine, 1981
Container
14.8 Collectors' Album of Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981
Container
14.9 Japanese fan magazine, Raiders of the Lost Ark, circa 1981
Ralph F. Mouse (1990)
Container
14.10 Teleplay, 1989
Container
14.11 Cast and crew, 1990
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Container
17.1 Star Trek II Exhibit D storyboards, circa 1982
Container
17.2 Letter from Robert Sallin to George Lucas, 1982
Container
17.3 Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, screenplay by Harve Bennett, 1983
Star Wars: Episode V-Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Container
3.4-7 #8 storyboards and index, 1979
Container
3.8 Additional Visual Effects Shots, 1980
Container
4.1 Storyboard for cloud plates, circa 1980
Container
4.2 Credit list, 1980
Container
4.3 Photo of ILM crew (color), circa 1980
Container
4.4 Advanced screening and lunch tickets, 1980
Container
4.5 Publicity packet, circa 1980
Container
4.6 Sketchbook by Joe Johnston and Nilo Rodis-Jamero, 1980
Container
4.7 Official collector's edition fan magazine, 1980
Container
4.8 American Cinematographer magazine, 1980
Container
4.9 Fortune magazine, 1980
Container
4.10 People magazine, 1980
Container
4.11 Time magazine, 1980
Star Wars: Episode VI-Return of the Jedi (1983)
Container
15.1 Tentative schedule, 1980
Container
15.2 Early screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas, 1981
Container
15.3 Special effects storyboards, 1982
Container
15.4 Visual effects storyboards, 1982
Container
15.5 Missing sequence storyboards, circa 1982
Container
15.6-16.2 Master storyboards, colored pages for revisions, circa 1982
Container
16.3 Rough preliminary storyboards for end of film, circa 1982
Container
16.4 Visual effects color photos, circa 1982
Container
16.5 Return of the Jedi: The Storybook based on the Movie (first printing), 1983
Container
16.6 On Location magazine, 1983
Container
16.7 Time magazine feature article on Return of the Jedi and George Lucas, labeled "Return to Tom Smith," 1983
Container
16.8 American Cinematographer, 1983
Container
16.9 The Star Wars Sketchbook by Joe Johnston, 1977
White Fang (1991)
Container
17.10 Storyboards for mountain climb with photographs, circa 1990
Container
17.11 Credits, 1991
Subseries B. Special Attractions, 1989-1997
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience
Container
18.1 Honey, I Shrunk the Theater and MuppetVision 3D staff and crew list, 1990-1994
Container
18.2-3 Producer's binder, 1993
Container
18.4 The Orlando Sentinel clipping about debut of Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, 1995
M&M
Container
18.5 The Lost Adventure production book, 1997
Container
18.6 3D Movie storyboards for live action scenes, circa 1997
MuppetVision 3D
Container
18.7 Storyboards, circa 1990
Container
18.8 Visual effects list, 1990
Container
18.9 Screenplay by Bill Prady, third draft, 1989
Container
18.10 Screenplay by Bill Prady, fourth draft, 1990
Container
18.11 Screenplay by Bill Prady, read-through draft, 1989
Container
18.12 Muppet Labs Security Clearance for MuppetVision 3D, crew ID badge
Container
18.13 Style sheets, staff and crew lists, 1989
Container
18.14 Storyboards, 1990
Container
18.15 Press kit, circa 1990
Container
18.16 Final continuity boards and final cast list, 1991-1992



Series II. Lucasfilm, 1982-1991

Container
19.1 Geo Magazine feature story on ILM, 1983
Container
19.2 OMNI Magazine article on ILM based on Tom Smith's Industrial Light and Magic – The Art of Special Effects, 1987
Container
19.3 Photo of George Lucas with ILM models, circa 1983
Container
19.4 Book proposal for The Art of Special Effects: Inside Industrial Light and Magic, 1983
Container
19.5 Document presented to California Board of Equalization concerning ILM's history and nature of business, 1983
Lucasfilm yearbooks
Container
20.1 1982
Container
20.2 1983
Container
20.3 1984
Container
20.4 1985
Container
20.5 1986
Container
20.6 1987
Container
20.7 1988
Container
20.8 1989
Container
20.9 1990
Container
20.10 Lucasfilm 20th Anniversary yearbook, 1991
Container
21 Oversize box: Personalized Muppet Treasure Island binder, circa 1995
Container
22 Oversize box: Gods and Generals binder, circa 2001