|Alex C. Weldon was born 1915 in Budapest, Hungary.
He came to Spain to do the special effects for the King Vidor movie 'Solomon and Sheba', 1959.
Effectively there was no special effects crew available during this time and he began to train his own
FX guys (Manuel Baquero). Special effects, if needed, were usually made by the Art Department or prop crew.
With the large Bronston epics Alex Weldon became the doyen of the spanish special effects world.
He took many young technicians under his wing and trained them in his Bronston Studio workshop
in all kinds of special effects for feature films.
Manuel Baquero, Pablo Perez, Basilio Cortijo, Antonio Parra, Antonio Bueno, Tomas Gomez, Antonio Baladin ...
Guys who will determine the future spanish FX scene.
For a big war movie epic, with thousands of extras and plenty of pyrotechnic effort,
he needed an additional expert with new ideas.
This man was Kit West and the movie is 'The Battle of the Bulge'.
Kit West: "You are quite right about Alex Weldon, he really was a mentor to so many of the Spanish effects boys.
He was a lovely man, and I have to say I owe a lot to him and learnt a lot from him whilst working on
THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE."
Alex Weldon got 2 Academy Awards Nominations for best visual effects.
1969 for 'Krakatoa, East of Java' and 1970 for 'Patton'.
He died January 10, 2004.
For many of his films there are already reports on my web magazines.
Here is a colorful selection - Behind one or the other title lurks a story!
Click on the movie titles, whenever possible.
Real fireballs ... sink the dummy ships.
Alex Weldon had a disguised SPFX Crew member (technician) at each catapult.
|'55 days at Peking'.
Alex Weldon in 'Movie Magic' (by John Brosnan): 'I actually got into the motion picture business
through my father who was in charge of the property department and special effects for
Douglas Fairbanks Senior. Originally I was going to be either a baseball or basketball coach, then
I decided to go into subtropical horticulture ... but finally ended up in motion pictures.'
|The Fall of the Bronston Empire was also the end of the Weldon Workshop in the Bronston Studio.
Several of the spanish FX technicians of Alex Weldon founded their own Fx crews.
Manuel Baquero was one of them and along with Antonio Parra, Antonio Bueno, Tomas Gomez and Antonio Baladin
he had a well-trained group together. All of the 'school' of Alex Weldon!
The timing was perfect. Spain would soon experience a boom in the film business.
A new genre surpassed all other, the so called 'Spaghetti Western'.
Manuel Baquero did the FX for 'A Fistful of Dollars' and so many more.
|The 'Baquero FX Crew' went to Almeria, the main location of the 'Spaghetti Western' circus,
where Manuel Baquero established a studio. The only one of its kind?
The 'Estudios Baquero' was in operation from 1969 to 1973.
The first movie was the John Guillermin Western 'El Condor'.
Kit West was the SPFX supervisor and always enjoyed to work with the Baquero crew.
Especially Antonio Parra became a close friend of Kit.
Even after Baquero retired from the film business, 1974, Kit often collaborated with Antonio Parra,
his number 1 spanish assistant.
After Manuel Baquero retired his FX technicians founded their own company: CINEFEC.
The guys worked under this name until the late 80s, early 90s.
Antonio Parra was a kind of leader of the company.
His name was on the credit list, but you can be sure that the other boys were also there.
The 'Parra Boys' worked with Kit West for example on 'Dune' and the Steven Spielberg movie 'Empire of the Sun'.
On the photo above you can see the Baquero Studio 1969 during the 'El Condor' production.
Today it is the headquarters of the newspaper 'La Voz de Almeria'.
|buddies & mates|