Center for Visual Music
photo courtesy Robin D'Arcy
Richard "Doc" Baily
An Illustrious & Luminous Life
Artist, Poet, Musician and extraordinary designer of digital effects animation, Richard "Doc" Baily was born on February 16, 1953, in Los Angeles.
He was the first son of parents Jack and Sheila Baily, who raised him along with his brother Kevin in North Hollywood and Studio City, California. He attended Colfax Avenue Elementary School, Walter Reed Junior High and North Hollywood High School, where he graduated in 1972.
As a young boy, Richard fearlessly explored and stretched his imagination, pursuing his love of music, electronics, chemistry, and geology. Richard was very creative, mischievous compassionate, loving and loyal. He had a zest for life.
Richard's passion for music and abstract art led him to a career in animation. At age nineteen, he gained admittance to the Experimental Animation program at the California Institute of the Arts and was a member of the class of 1977. He studied animation under mentor Jules Engel and Electronic Music Composition under Barry Schrader.
Richard's award-winning student film Night Waves resulted in the special effects studio of Robert Abel and Associates hiring him. There, Richard became known for his solos all-night work habits, his eccentric personality and his incredibly striking imagery. About 5pm every evening, fellow animators in the Technical Directing loft would hear loud, strange music coming from the stereo. That's how they knew Richard had hit town and was starting his long and creative night. In the morning, everyone would see what he had done looping on the Evans and Sutherland computer. He worked on many Clio award-winning commercials as well as the first feature film using extensive CGI, Tron, in which he animated the entrance into the computer's inner world.
Richard started his own visual effects animation company, Image Savant in 1992. He rapidly became known worldwide for his innovative artistic vision. His credits include effects for the feature films Superman Returns (2006), Stay (2005), The Core (2003), Solaris (2002), One Hour Photo (2002), The Cell (2000), Fight Club (1999), Blade (1998), The Game (1997), Disclosure (1994), Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) among other films.
His CGI and visual effects works can also be seen in numerous feature film title sequences, commercials and music videos (notably Madonna's Bedtimestories, directed by Mark Romanek as well as Michael and Janet Jackson's Scream). He also created network design packages for several networks, including NBC.
He created one of the most extraordinary and visually compelling CGI programs ever developed, SPORE, which he describe as a "software/aesthetic development project that has grown out of a proprietary ultra high-speed particle renderer." His personal fine art animation art using SPORE screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles to accompany the 2005 Visual Music exhibition. Numerous galleries and cultural festivals worldwide have displayed his painting and graphic artwork. Various conferences, universities and media centers invited Richard to lecture, including Sci-Arc (Los Angeles) and Columbia University (New York). He served as a board member to Otis College for Art and Design. He is also known for his musical composition and poetry.
Richard died at his home in the Hollywood Hills on April 20, 2006, but his creative genius and innovative contributions to the Entertainment Industry and Art Community will continue to live on for generations to come.
We will greatly miss him, not only for his artistic brilliance and panache but also for his loving and caring nature. He was an exceptional human being.
-- written by the friends and family of Richard Baily for the program notes for his Memorial Celebration in 2006. Invitation to the Memorial (pdf)
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