updated 06/20/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 06/20/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Growing up on a farm in rural Ontario, Canada, Rothkranz "was one of these kids who had to walk for a mile through snow to the school bus," he says. Without playmates nearby, he learned to create his own entertainment, and by 15 he had completed a cardboard-and-plastic 180-square-foot model of Disney World with rides that actually operated.
There was no way to keep talent like that down on the farm, and by 1985, after dropping out of art school, Rothkranz had moved to Hollywood. There he created special effects for TV commercials and such movies as Die Hard and Total Recall—and launched his pinball career.
So, is Rothkranz content? Well, no. "I don't want to step off a plane 6,000 miles away," he says, "and have someone say, 'Hey, it's the pinball guy!' " To avoid that fate, he's producing and designing a live-action movie he describes as an environmental special-effects extravaganza—"a cross between Dances with Wolves and Star Wars."
Say, there couldn't be a pinball game in this, could there?