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'Tree of Life': Douglas Trumbull talks CGI -- VIDEO

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Each year, the Oscars recognize A-list talent we regularly see on screen, on the red carpet, and in tabloids. But the Academy Awards also reward those who work behind the scenes: the writers, editors, costume designers, and others who help create trophy-worthy movie magic. This Oscars season, we’ll be toasting those off-screen artists by delving into the hidden secrets that helped create the on-screen magic that we — and the Academy — fell in love with. For more access backstage during this Oscars season, click here for EW.com’s Oscars Behind the Scenes coverage.

As the Visual Effects Consultant on Tree of Life, Douglas Trumbull knew he had to be completely inimitable in his special effects. By using a cornucopia of innovative methods (liquids, cloud tanks, and paint, to name a few) the amateur astronomist was able to create a completely astounding work of art within the film, and subsequently earn a nomination for Best Cinematography. Below, watch as Trumbull explains his openness to combine his love of “organic effects” with CGI to simulate an environment where astounding special effects could occur.

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