Albert Nozaki

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(January 1, 1912 – November 16, 2003)

An art director who worked on various films for Paramount Pictures. He is perhaps best known for his design of the alien ships from the 1953 film The War of the Worlds.

Born in Japan, he immigrated to America with his parents when he was 3. He became a U.S. citizen in 1954.

From 1938, Nozaki lived in Echo Park, California.

Shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Nozaki was abruptly fired from Paramount. In the spring of 1942, he and his wife, Lorna, were sent to Manzanar internment camp. He was allowed to leave in 1943, after signing a loyalty oath. Nozaki worked as an industrial designer in Chicago until returning to Paramount after the war.

In an Art Directors Guild Film Society interview in 2000, Nozuki said that the organic shape of the alien ships came to him in July 1951 on a Sunday afternoon at home: “the shape of a sea creature flashed across my mind.”

In an interview with the Wanderling, Nozuki said he based some of the design of the craft — such as their downward-curved wings and overall ominous feeling — on a huge silent object that flew directly over him during the Battle of Los Angeles, in the early morning of Feb 25 1942.

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