Lydecker brothers

Howard and Theodore Lydecker, always known—and billed—as such, were Howard "Babe" Lydecker (June 8, 1911 – September 26, 1969) and Theodore Lydecker (November 7, 1908 – May 25, 1990), a special effects team primarily working as contract staff members of Republic Pictures.They are best remembered as the producers and photographers of some of the best miniature effects of their time.

Howard Lydecker
Born(1911-06-08)June 8, 1911
Havana, Cuba
DiedSeptember 26, 1969(1969-09-26) (aged 58)
Other names"Babe"
OccupationSpecial effects
EmployerRepublic Pictures
Theodore Lydecker
Born(1908-11-07)November 7, 1908
DiedMay 25, 1990(1990-05-25) (aged 81)
OccupationSpecial effects
EmployerRepublic Pictures


The Lydecker brothers worked at Republic from its creation in 1935 until the company could no longer afford to maintain full-time contract players and behind-the-camera artists in the mid-1950s. Thereafter, they went freelance and found themselves in significant demand for both film and television work. Their miniature effects made Republic serials the best for visual effects, far outstripping their competitors at Columbia Pictures and Universal (where special effects maestro John P. Fulton, ASC, was forbidden from working on serials).

The brothers' success came from building large, detailed models and filming them in natural light, often in forced perspective to create realistic impressions that they were in fact life-size in relation to other objects and people in a shot, instead of the small models used by others, and the use of slow motion to give the models the appearance of realistic weight when in motion.[1] For instance, in The Adventures of Captain Marvel, the visuals of Captain Marvel flying appear to be an actual man in flight, not a matted or superimposed image.

The brothers were nominated for a Best Visual Effects Academy Award in 1941 for Women in War[2] and Howard was nominated again in 1943 for Flying Tigers.[3]

Later they worked in feature films and Irwin Allen productions such as Lost in Space and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. In 1966 Howard won the Emmy for "Individual Achievement In Cinematography" with L. B. Abbott for Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.[4]

Partial filmographyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Howard & Theodore Lydecker: Miniature Effects Geniuses, retrieved 10/04/07
  2. ^ "The 13th Academy Awards (1941) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2013-06-21.
  3. ^ "The 15th Academy Awards (1943) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  4. ^ Emmy Awards Individual Achievements In Cinematography, retrieved 10/04/07
  5. ^ Model Ships in the Cinema: Fair Wind to Java, August 16, 2014. Retrieved January 18, 2015.

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