Beetlejuice Wiki
Robert Short

Robert Short is the Creature and Make-Up Effects designer of Beetlejuice (1988).

Robert Short's three decades of outstanding technical, creative and artistic achievement in the field of entertainment have brought to life many of the screens most indelible character icons. Academy Award winner, Robert Short has fostered a unique blend of styles and techniques in the design and creation of his characters. From the outrageous "Beetlejuice" (1988) afterlife inhabitants to the enchanting mermaid from "Splash" (1984) to the man eating sharks of "Lethal Weapon 4" (1998), to the inspirational heart light of “E.T. -- The Extra Terrestrial” (1982) and development of the terrifying design of "Predator" (1987).

His latest projects include visual effect supervision for the Lionsgate feature film “Punisher; War Zone” (2008), VFX supervision for the Fox network pilot "Exit Strategy" starring Ethan Hawke and directed by Antoine Fugua. On set VFX supervision in Mumbai India for NBC's comedy "Outsourced", digital artistry for the new Hawaii Five-0 TV series, the horror film “Parasomnia”, the on set visual effects supervision of NBC’s Emmy nominated series “Surface”, directing and visual effect supervision of the “Shine On Me” music video named by New Yorker magazine as the “best music video of 2008", VFX supervison of the feature film based on the classic Mary Johnston novel "To Have and To Hold" (not the 2006 TV film) and supervising Herbie the Love Bug’s on set performance in Disney’s “Herbie Fully Loaded” (2005). He's also the effects prop and miniature designer of "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" (1979).

Short won his best make-up Oscar for the high-spirited innovative creature effects in "Beetlejuice" (1988) which redefined the boundaries of horror and humor. He was also nominated for two BAFTA Awards in best achievement in make-up and best achievement in special effects for "Beetlejuice".

In 1983, he created Robert Short Productions Inc. after independently supervising creature effects for a host films and TV projects including Alligator (1980), Piranha (1978), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) Special Edition and The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1983). Through Robert Short Productions design, fabrication and supervision services Short has realized the visions of filmmakers like Ron Howard, James Cameron, Tim Burton, Joe Dante, David Lynch, Steven Spielberg, Joel Silver, Tom Shadyak, John Mctiernen, John Davis, Richard Donner and Zach Snyder.

Some of Short's previous credits include Cocoon (1985), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994), Cocoon: The Return (1988), Little Monsters (1989), Masters of the Universe (1987) and The Flash 1990 TV series. He also helped I.L.M. reinvent E.T.’s heart light for the enhanced 20th anniversary release of E.T. the Extraterrestrial (in 2002). His storyboard and visual effects consultant contributions include the the Fox Network series “Vanished”, “Justice” and the Raw Feed/Warner Bros. feature film “Sublime”.

Short has also been active in the gaming industry. The arrival of Sega's Dreamcast System and it's survival/horror "Blue Stinger" game introduced a dozen of Short's highly acclaimed deranged creature designs to the high tech world of computer games where he also contributed to the story concepts behind the horror game “ILLBLEED”.

Short has also pioneered interactive location based entertainment with the creation of the Halloween seasonal live event shows such as Montreal's "Chateau Greystoke" and PHA's "Terrordome". Recently he served as a creative director for Montreal’s “Hollywood Halloween” haunted attraction and is currently developing a series of haunted attractions for one of the legends of rock and roll.

As a WGA writer Short created the story for the Disney Channel Movie of the Week “The Scream Team” (2002) starring Eric Idle. His screenwriting credits include "Scared to Death", which won a Saturn Award for best low budget film, "Rage of Honor", the ninja action film starring Sho Kosugi, "Return of the Swamp Thing" and episodes of ABC's “The Renegades” and CBS's “Gavilan” which starred Robert Urich and Patrick Macnee. As a DGA director Short helmed multiple episodes of the syndicated live action series "Super Force" and the American sequences of TWE's "Programmed to Kill", which he also wrote.

Short’s unique background also brought him to the attention of the Universal Studio’s Florida theme park where he and his work were featured daily at the “The Gory Gruesome & Grotesque Horror Make-up Show”. Short is a frequent guest lecturer on film making and visual f/x at University and College film schools around the country and a return lecturer to the Tokyo International Film Festival in Japan, the BKSTS in England and several international film festivals. He lives in Malibu, California with his wife and business partner Barbara Slifka.

As Hollywood acknowledges the growing importance of affordable high quality visual and special make-up effects, Short’s versatility in digital and traditional effects, combined with his background as a writer and director, gives him a unique expertise in delivering the quality and vision demanded by today’s filmmakers.