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DP Film Students Head to Hollywood

DP Film Students Head to Hollywood

Our DP Film students had a once-in-a-lifetime trip to California to visit some of the most prestigious filmmaking companies in the world.

They began by visiting Industrial Light & Magic, started by George Lucas and the birthplace of Star Wars. It is the current home to one of the most advanced and renowned visual effects houses in the world.

There, the group spoke to Academy Award-winning visual effects artist Lorne Peterson. He spoke about his time in the visual effects world, including his work on a number of films directed by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. He won the Academy Award for visual effects in 1984 for his work on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Another credit of note is that he was given the freedom to design the top of the Millennium Falcon completely on his own and that design is what is seen in the Star Wars films.

Next up the students visited Pixar and were shown around the various workspaces that make up their studio. They were taken around by Philip Metschan, the production designer for Pixar’s latest film Elemental which is set to be released in June.  

The knowledge these hosts shared with our students and the candor with which they did so was incredible, as the students received an inside look at how films are made.

The students thoroughly enjoyed their all-day filmmaking workshop where they met producers, directors and other professionals who work in the industry who gave them guidance throughout the day as they completed a film that they will be able to use in their DP portfolios.

The group enjoyed a VIP tour of Warner Bros. Studios, on which the students were able to walk around famous sets from some of their favourite films and TV shows before visiting some Californian landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge and Santa Monica Pier, and enjoying the rides at Universal Studios.

Speaking about the trip, Doris Yuan (Grade 11), said: “The most impactful moment of the trip as far as film education goes was participating in the workshop. At first, I thought that it was going to be a long day of classes and activities, but I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that we were able to create a film right away with the help of industry professionals.

“Collaborating with the Grade 12s was super fun, as you get to work with new people and see how they can express their ideas. Being able to be creative but also be a team-player is the key to success. This was told to us by every industry professional that we met on this trip, from Lorne Peterson to the film workshop experts, we were told to express our ideas, but also learn to comprise with our teammates. This makes the filmmaking process effective for everyone.”

See photos from the trip on MySJS