In a galaxy not too far away, BU graduates have been working one of the biggest films of 2017...
BU graduates working at production companies such as ILM and One of Us have been working on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. So far, over 23 BU graduates have been confirmed to have worked on the film, in roles such as visual effects, animation and editing.
The latest film in the new trilogy, The Last Jedi will be the last film to feature Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, with Mark Hamill reprising his role as Luke Skywalker and stars such as Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac also reprising their roles from The Force Awakens.
Sofronis Efstathiou, Programme Leader for the MA 3D Computer Animation at Bournemouth University, said, “It is no surprise that BU graduates from the National Centre for Computer Animation have been working on the latest Star Wars film, as we know BU graduates go on to work for the biggest animation and visual effects companies around the world. We’re incredibly proud of their hard work and dedication, evidenced as students whilst studying on our courses and as professionals in the creative industries. It is just another reason to go and watch the film and check out their incredible work first hand!”
Monika Radwanska is one such Bournemouth University graduate. She worked as Apprentice Editor on the film. She got her break into the industry through the Creative Skillset Programme, with her first placement on the film Lady Macbeth. Following an editing role on the film Daphne, Monika was offered the Apprentice Editor position for The Last Jedi.
She explains, “As I was working on The Last Jedi during its filming, my main task was helping the 2nd Assistant Editor to prepare the film rushes for the editor and to organize them into scene bins. In the cutting room the priority is always to make sure the editors have everything they need to be cutting the film. I was dealing with any ad hoc tasks delegated to me by the assistant editors and VFX editor. One line I recorded made it to the final cut of the film.
“I feel very proud to be a part of the Star Wars team. Seeing the finished film in the cinema and my name in the credits remains me why I decided to work in the film in the first place. It also motivates me work towards my ultimate goal of seeing my name credited as an editor.”
A number of BU graduates were also involved in working on the film while working at production company One of Us. Ben Owen works at the company, and explained, “We worked closely with the director and the film makers, and even got to go on set while they were shooting. We worked on everything from environments to destruction and it was really nice that they trusted us on some integral parts of the film. On this project, we had four BU graduates working full time, with another two supporting at its busiest point.”
One of the BU graduates at One of Us who worked on the film, as CG Supervisor, is Theo Demiris. He said, “The great thing about our involvement with Star Wars: The Last Jedi was that we got in very early in the game. Ben Morris (the overall FVX supervisor) got us in to deal with the challenges and difficulties of the Mirror Cave sequence back when it had just been story-boarded.
“The Mirror Cave sequence involved CG environments, digital-doubles, camera moves and 3D projections along with complicated 2D work and a lot of other development! In addition, we also contributed to some major pieces for one of the space battles (involving a CG Commander Leia and explosions!) and several shots for the Casino sequence! It goes without saying that it was a great project to be attached to!”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in cinemas now, and with BU graduates providing some of the visual effects for the film, there is now one more reason to go and check the film out this Christmas!
Bournemouth University runs a number of courses in film, visual effects and animation, which can be viewed on the BU course pages.