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Major Motion Picture Designer And St. Cloud Native Describes Journey From Central Minnesota To Hollywood

TyRuben Ellingson is a world-renown conceptual designer who has worked on some major blockbuster films – some of his credits include titles like “Avatar” and “Jurassic Park.” Still, Ellingson is a down-to-earth guy who says it’s never comfortable to name-drop his ultra-famous Hollywood colleagues.

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Ellingson’s path to Hollywood began here in his hometown of St. Cloud. His father, Bill, an artist and SCSU professor, helped instill a love of art in Ellingson. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree from SCSU, Ellingson moved to Texas and got his MA in Painting from Southern Methodist University.

Before long, he had found his way to George Lucas’ groundbreaking “Industrial, Light and Magic” special effects company, or ILM, which vaulted him into a very tightly knit professional circle.

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Ellingson went on to art direct many films,  including “Jurassic Park,” “Hellboy,” “Blade,” and most recently “Avatar” with James Cameron. He no longer works with ILM, choosing instead to work directly with filmmakers on his own.

Ellingson spent the first 22 years of his life in St. Cloud – he says it’s fun to reflect on his past and upbringing in Central Minnesota as it relates to where he is today.

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Ellingson’s upcoming films include, “Battle, Los Angeles,” to be released March 11th, and “Priest,” which comes out in May.

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