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.
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
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