I love movies. I think this has been made pretty obvious. When I was growing up, HBO and Showtime used to have a lot of filler during the time one movie ended and the next one started. That filler normally consisted of behind the scenes footage as well as “making of” featurettes. I absolutely loved and still do, watching how effects are done. From make up design to special effects regarding space ship shoot outs, I would watch with eyes the size of saucers. Remember last week when I said that I was hoping to have something really cool to share, well this is it! Read on for more!
Being a child of the late 70’s and early 80’s it’s no surprise that I’m a Star Wars fan. I’m also a Star Trek fan and yes, you can be both. Frankly, I’m a fan of sci-fi. I remember watching behind the scenes clips for both franchises and being amazed at the scope of what those crews accomplished. Industrial Light & Magic has been a major player in the effects game for a long time. I’ve always admired their work and not just the work done on Star Wars. From the model work to the CGI work, it’s all pretty amazing. This past weekend I was given the opportunity to see some of that work up close and personal. This was a real treat because I was able to see first hand the….ehem….empire that George Lucas built. I grew up and still live in the same town that Lucas is from. He went to high school and graduated with both of my parents and even signed my Dad’s yearboo. At their 25th high school reunion he showed up and my mom scored me an autograph. Sadly I moved so much as a kid, it was lost in one of our many moves. Yes, I’m still upset about that one.
Our adventure began when Roomie and I ventured to the ILM facility and were treated to a tour that left me wide-eyed with wonder. As we walked into the main lobby I found myself face to face with Darth Vader and Boba Fett. There were so many things to look at I had a hard time grasping it all. Bookshelves with busts and figurines, life-size costumes, props, light sabers, blasters, you name it. I grabbed my camera and started snapping pictures.
Considering all of the work that ILM has done over the years, loads of different movie props were on display. We got to take our time and stroll the halls of the buildings and look at all of the props, posters, pictures, and models in various stages of development. Sorry folks, I don’t have any juice to spill about upcoming projects. We kept mainly to the public areas, but that was enough for me. I snapped as many pictures as I could, and actually got to touch R2D2. Yes, I was giddy as a schoolgirl the whole time. I found myself just stopping in the middle of a hallway to look at something not even realizing that Roomie and our tour guide had kept on going without me.
We got to see their in-house coffee shop, aptly named Javva the Hut, and strolled the grounds of the campus. It was a quiet day and there weren’t a lot of people around so it gave the campus a feeling of calm serenity. It was quite peaceful and relaxing, which considering what these people do, it’s not surprising. Once the tour was done, we then got to go check out the store. I could have done some serious damage in there. Luckily for me, well my bank account anyway, I managed to contain myself. Books, action figures, coffee mugs and loads of different types of apparel lined the walls and shelves and I wanted it all. Roomie and I kept telling each other that one of us needed to buy this or that with the conversation going something like this:
Roomie (in a joking tone): Dude, you need to get one of the Indiana Jones fedora hats.
Me: Don’t even tempt me because I’ve already contemplated it.
Roomie: Seriously? Why?
Me: Seriously. Why not? Don’t question the fedora. And by the way, your kid needs those lightsaber chopsticks.
We left the store with the chopsticks, but not the fedora. I’m sort of regretting that decision now. I’m more of a ball cap on lazy days kind of gal anyway so it’s probably for the best.
Since the things we saw were in the public areas, I was told it was ok to share the pictures, so I’ve added them all to the end of the post. I hope you all love looking at them as much as I loved taking them. Scroll down to see them all. You can click on the images to see the full size pictures too.