11.4.1915 – 12.12.1999
Staffell worked in roles including back projection, process photography, optical effects, projection. His noted credits cover the period 1942-1993 with his first credited film as special effects camera assistant on In Which We Serve (1942) directed by Noel Coward and David Lean and photographed by Ronald Neame BSC. Following that he quickly became an expert at back projection working on films including This Happy Breed (1944), Olivier’s Henry V, Brief Encounter, right up to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Live and Let Die and Octopussy. He was awarded an Academy Award of Merit for the development of a successful embodiment of the reflex background projection system for composite cinematography in 1969.
In 1988, Staffell won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Special Visual Effects for the 1988 television mini-series War and Remembrance directed by Dan Curtis and photographed by Dietrich Lohmann. He was posthumously awarded the BSC’s Bert Easey Technical Award in 2000 for his contributions and innovations in the field of visual effects.