Just a couple of weeks ago, the publicity folks at Industrial Light and Magic got in touch to ask if I was available on the weekend of Star Wars Celebration 2023. By some fluke, given most of my work is on weekends, I was free. I asked what they had in mind and they replied minutes later saying they’d like me to host a panel about the Visual and Special Effects on Andor Season 1. I of course jumped at the opportunity.
So on Sunday 9th April I did just that. What I hadn’t realised is that it would be in front of a capacity crowd of one thousand eager fans! And what a blast it was.
I got to interview and chat with VFX Producer TJ Falls, VFX Supervisor Mohen Leo, Special Effects Supervisor Richard Van Den Bergh and VFX Supervisor and Aerial Supervisor Scott Pritchard.
As the annoucer enthusiastically shouted “please welcome to the stage podcaster and filmmaker Jamie Benning”, the crowd went crazy. Not for me I know, but for the anticipation of some juicy information on their favourite Star Wars TV show. But still it was a heartpounding moment. I more used to interviewing one or two people in person or via Zoom without a hungry audience staring at me.
I introduced myself and threw to a two minute sizzle reel showcasing some of the amazing work on Andor. Again the crowd went crazy and I introduced the four gentlemen to the stage.
Right away we got into the conversation and things flowed well for an hour. Almost exactly an hour.
Here’s one site recap of the panel. I’m enquiring with the guys at ILM/LFL to see if I can get a recording of the panel to share with you via my podcast. Fingers crossed.
I had an incredible weekend at Star Wars celebration, meeting up with old friends and making new friends. Thanks so much to the folks at ILM for looking after me.
Look out for episode 73 of the podcast later this week. It’s my chat with SFX Supervisor Mike Dawson. He started his career on Superman in the late 70’s and is still working today, on House of the Dragon in fact. Showrunner and friend Ryan Condal was able to put us in touch.