The first part of our video diary was all about the build-up to the trip out to Skywalker Ranch. Once we got there, we had time for a little breakfast and Toshi and I started to discuss what sort of questions he might ask in the interviews he'd be doing that day.
This was a different situation than when he interviewed The Muppets. On that press day, he had time to prepare questions, and he knew he'd be doing the interview. Because I treated this trip as a surprise, Toshi didn't really have that sort of prep time, and he told me he was nervous about doing these interviews.
When Fox sent out the invite for the weekend, it was apparent that their big idea for this junket was having kids handle the interviews. Anyone who came was required to bring a young reporter with them, which meant I finally got to meet the sons of guys like JoBlo's Mike Sampson and Latino Review's Kel Chavez. I told Toshi that I'd do whatever he wanted for him to be comfortable as we went through the various interviews.
There were four stations for us to cycle through. First, there was a set-up with Concept Model Artist John Goodson. Then Matthew Wood, a Sound Editor who is also known for voicing General Grievous and many other characters on "The Clone Wars", talked to the kids about how they create sound effects. There was an interview about the return of Darth Maul to the final episode of the fourth season of "The Clone Wars" with CG Supervisor Joel Aron. And then finally there was a combat training session for each of the kids with ObiShawn, a superfan who was hired by Lucasfilm to participate in the weekend.
You'll also see a stand-up we did on the back porch of the Ranch. What struck me most as we spent the afternoon there is that it is a peaceful place, and I can only imagine that when you're working on the sound mix of a movie or tweaking the final cut of something, it must be great to be in that sort of environment. Yes, Skywalker Sound is state-of-the-art and has an amazing library of effects to draw on, but more than that, when you're working there, the rest of the industry must seem to be a million miles away.
It also struck me that there was far less overt "Star Wars" memorabilia on display at the Ranch than I expected. It's a working production facility, not a museum, and the movie posters on display come from every era of film and from various countries.
For the real "Star Wars" superdose, it took the Sunday trip out to ILM at the Presidio, and that's what you'll see tomorrow in our final video diary from the weekend.
"Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D" opens in theaters tomorrow.
2014 | Drama | NRSummary: A young woman makes a surprising disovery about the husband of her late best friend.Director: François Ozon
Cast: Anaïs Demoustier, Romain Duris, Raphaël Personnaz, Isild Le Besco
1953 | Western | NRSummary: One of the very best westerns follows a former gunslinger whose current non-violent ways are put to the test by cattle barons whose rapacious greed threatens his new community.Director: George Stevens
Cast: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin
2007 | Drama | RSummary: Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a masterful performance as an up-and-coming oil tycoon whose controlling nature corrupts him utterly.Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds
2000 | Adventure | PG-13Summary: Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically-skilled, teenage nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.Director: Ang Lee
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Sihung Lung
1964 | Musical | NRSummary: Everything is beautiful in this dazzling musical: Catherine Deneuve, the glowing cinematography, the songs of Michel Legrand, and even the bittersweet romance.Director: Jacques Demy
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon
1990 | Thriller | NRSummary: An ex-boxer gets involved in a scheme with a widow in this gritty thriller based on the novel by crime master Jim Thompson; Jason Patric is perfectly coiled as the boxer.Director: James Foley
Cast: Jason Patric, Rachel Ward, Bruce Dern
1957 | Drama | NRSummary: One of Federico Fellini’s best films, about a perpetually idealistic and romantic woman who dallies with a string of not-so-great men.Director: Federico Fellini
Cast: Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi
1994 | Documentary | NRSummary: The famed PBS documentarian turns his efforts to America's national passtime for a history of the sport that is as entertaining as it is thorough.Director: Ken Burns
Cast: John Chancellor, Daniel Okrent, Ossie Davis
1986 | Family | GSummary: In Victorian London, England, a little mouse girl's toymaker father is abducted by a peg-legged bat. She enlists the aid of Basil of Baker Street, the rodent world's answer to Sherlock Holmes. The case expands as Basil uncovers the crime's link to a plot against the Crown itself.Director: Ron Clements, Burny Mattinson, David Michener, John Musker
Cast: Barrie Ingham, Val Bettin, Vincent Price, Susanne Pollatschek
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