Terry Gilliam

Born Terry Vance Gilliam in Minneapolis Minnesota on 22 November 1940.

Live action movie director/animator.

Bio Summary
Terry Gilliam was born in Minnesota on November 22 in the year 1940. After living an uneventful "Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer like childhood"(Dreams:Terry Gilliam Biography) his family decided to move to Los AngelesCalifornia. Gilliam attended his high school in California where he grew to witness the Hollywood system and was influenced by cartoon magazines. He attended Occidental College in California where he decided to study physics but later decided to switch to the arts where he had a run-in with one of his professors and instead changed his major to political science.

During his last college year he worked on the college magazine and proceeded on sending copies to a New York magazine publisher Harvey Kurtzmen. Kurtzman ran a magazine called "Help" and hired Gilliam after a vacant position arose.

Preceding his school hewas employed by a number of magazines on both coasts of the US. While working at "Help!" magazine he managed to meet John Cleese who recomended him for a role in the British comedy group Monty Python. He did some animation for a project that Cleese was involved in, in New York.

Gilliam moved to England and was asked to join Monty Python in 1963 to use his animation ability which eventually became the trademark for their episodes.

He landed a co-director credit two of their movies:"The Holy Grail (1975)" and "Life of Brian (1983)." And during "The Meaning of Life" he went off on his own and did a short film that became the short feature before the main film.

His own style of animation at the time was considered very unique where he used cutouts of pictures from magazines and photographs and stop-motion animated them which is what is considered the signature to "Monty Python." While filming Monty Python in England 1973 he met his current wife Maggie Weston who was a make-up artist for the set.

Filming Monty Python movies opened the door to creating his own films. In 1976 he created his own film Jabberwocky which he directed and worked with a couple of his coworkers from his English set. He eventually branched out completely after a couple of years and started directing his films by himself.

His first masterpiece was the film Brazil(1983) where he satired the use of future anonymous office drones commanded by a computer. He consistently worked along the lines of fantasy and reality in asurreal manner. Since this film he has created several US films which have beena success in the box office. Early Life/Family
Terry Gilliam was born and raised in Minneapolis Minnesota where he lived until the age of 11. At eleven years of age his family moved to Los Angeles where he viewed the Hollywood system as he grew up.

He attended the Occidental College in California and sent his work as a cartoonist to a publisher in NewYork to try his luck in a magazine. He was then hired on Help! where he spent three years because he had to do his service at the national guard. On his return after a few months he decided to instead tour Europe for six months.

In Europe he worked part time as a cartoonist in Paris. He returned to New York and found no work so he decided to return to Los Angeles and found a job in an advertising agency. He is married to Maggie Weston and shares three children with her.

Educated at the Occidental College in California and completed his degree in political science.

Career Outline
Animator, Director, Editor, Illustrator

Comments On Style
Has a side that always fall for manic things, frenzied, cartoony performances with a touch of the drug culture of the 60s.

Influences Gilliam was extremely influenced by Harvey Kurtzman the editor in"Help!" and co-founder of "Mad" magazine. Gilliam would send him copies of "Fang" his college literary magazine for which he influenced its visual arts on comedy on every day issues as a illustrator. Karel Zeman also plays a big role is his animation and filmmaking.

Terry loves good movie fixes and likes to be taken into that place described a place where he has not imagined. He loves the use of the macabre in his work. He hates CGI films and considers it a waste of creativity.

-All I do is hunt. I want to be thrilled. And I'm not being thrilled at themoment. So I'm being old and bitter curmudgeonly, because I want sensory buzz and I'm not getting it! Anecdotes -Hollywood is run by small-minded people who like chopping the legs off creative people. All they want to do is say no. Anecdotes -If he were given money and time he would have animated Disney style cartoons instead did his best effort to createas real life images in a surreal environment. He created his own stylish form of animation Anecdotes Miscellaneous
-Uses famous actors for his leading roles such as Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt.
-worked for magazines such as "Help!"
As a director:
Storytime (1968)
And now fo something completely different (1971)
The Miracle of Flight (1974)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Jabberwocky (1977)
Time Bandits (1981)
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983)
Brazil (1981)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)
The Fisher King (1991)
12 Monkeys (1995)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Lost in La Mancha (2002)

-Captan Chaos
Related Links
-Terry Gilliam.com
Bibliographic References
-The Animations of Terry Gilliam
-Dreams: Terry Gilliam Biography
-Senses of Cinema
-Terry Gilliam.com

Contributors To This Listing
Jesus David Ledesma
Larry Loc

Animators Hall of Fame