pre production Celebration IV LUCASFILM ILM PRESIDIO CONTEST
FRIDAY – MAY 18 2007 .
2007 was my FAVE Celebration for a variety of reasons…the theme of Endor was brilliant and more importantly, my FIRST JOB at INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC. Since I was a kid and watched movies like Forbidden Planet, 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Planet of the Apes, I knew I wanted to work in movie special fx but after seeing Star Wars in 1977, I knew I HAD to work at ILM 🙂 And this year, after almost 10 years of going up the ladder from TV shows to commercials to low budget films (sci-Fighters oh my LOL) my childhood wish came true. . Because of this, and the fact that I was pinching myself every day walking down the halls seeing all my childhood films right in front of me, I wanted to share this feeling with other long time fans and used my opportunity of working at Lucasfilm, to create a PRE-LUNCH WITH FRANK AT ILM contest. If you were coming to Celebration the week after, enter your name to meet up for lunch and a private tour the friday before the convention. All you had to do was be able to be in San Francisco for noon that day. Can I tell you I got hundreds of requests 🙂 but only 8 could come… This is their story. . So on this day, I was MORE excited then ever to go to Celebration IV 🙂 The day started good. I had my before last Transformers shot approved at dailies just in time for 11:30. As John and I made our way to the meeting point, our 8 winners were waiting patiently with HUGE grins on their faces. After all, It’s not everyday that you get to go inside the doors of Industrial Light & Magic and see the original film used models from Galaxy Quest, Jurassic Park, E.T. and Star Wars just inches from your nose 😛 Something that only employees get to experience in their lifetime. At closer inspection 2 of the 8 picked winners didn’t show up on time which was good for (standby) Eric, Instead of waiting outside for his friend to experience the lunch of his life LOL and sit on a bench for 3 hours, he was able to join us inside. . After 20 or so minutes of walking the halls and drooling on props and original glass matte paintings, we all headed down to LucasArts to see what they were working on, and then the Dining Commons. It was very cool to find out that EVERYONE was coming to Celebration IV next week. Talked a little about how it is to work at one of the best fx company in the world, preparing the trees for endor landscaping and the awesome prizes we will be giving away at the show, ILM, Lucasfilm and LucasArts exclusive merchandise. . After lunch I handed each their own CIV SWAG Ewok Landscaping Pin. And how could I not give them each an official NiubNiubs (my first website before switching the domain to DioramaWorkshop.Com) DiIorama Workshop T-Shirt. There was also a special gift I made just for the 8 of them, but that will have to remain between us unless they care to bring them to the convention 🙂
The view I saw everyday going into work. This was my highlight of my career and as a fan growing up watching ALL of ILM’s VFX it was a very surreal experience that I will forever cherish and so here too began the winners adventure, having security give them their private visitors pass. . .
End of the tour, Great hall with life size statues of Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Unique one of a kind props in the cabinets and cool books you can sit and read. This is the only room open to the public where you can take photos. Just past the Yoda fountain, but that’s for later 😛 . .Some Thank you’s from Eric to Frank – that would be me 🙂 and John S. Who worked at LucasArts and my partner in crime for driving me around San Francisco 5 months and making prototype Ewok huts and trees 🙂 . .
Another winner of our Contest Greg, giving a pre Celebration thumbs up. . .
Lawrence happy he got to see all kinds of props and things he could not take photos of without Boba Fett coming to hunt him down 🙂 . .
Meeting Steve Sansweet from Rancho Obi Wan and Mary Franklin who organise the conventions was another hilite for the winners. . .
Last but not least Duke D !!! He was a replacement winner, as the person who was picked, his boss would not let him off work on a friday to drive down to San Francisco, but Duke was able to 🙂 And thank goodness, as Duke has been part of my CORE CREW ever since !!! I really don’t know what I would do without this guy. It was our destiny to meet up 🙂 . .
After 30 minutes we took our group photo at the Yoda Fountain. The same one you might have seen on Conan. An in all a really fun time and I am happy to have been able to allow these fans to appreciate ILM in a deeper and personal level that few fans get to see. . .
Me jumping into frame for the last picture with Duke right behind my left shoulder. This guy who I met for the first time here, has now become family, our dysfunctional celebration family LOL. When you come to a show, make sure to come see both of us and ask Duke how he enjoyed the tour 🙂 . . .
If you attended one of our Star Wars Celebration Diorama Builders workshops and have a Facebook account, why not JOIN the OFFICIAL DIORAMA BUILDERS FAN CLUB group today !! X Catch up with fellow visitors and exchange stories, read cool interviews with the crew, exchange photos, fun surprises and grab some FAN ONLY merchandise next year at actual future conventions 🙂 X