A while back, 2015 exactly, a film came out called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You may have heard of it. For those of you who know me, you know that the original Star Wars film had a profound impact on me as a 7-year-old Padawan (stay with me), and as I grew older, I realized my fate was to become one of those people. Which people, you ask?
Nerd? Trekkie? Fanatic?
Well, in short, yes, wrong movie, and yes. But let’s get past the initial ‘fandom’ speak and ‘geekdom’ and talk about my true inspiration for loving these films the way I do.
I know what you’re thinking, you love Darth and Han and Stormtroopers and Star Destroyers. The short answer is heck yeah. But on a deeper level for me, there was something more. Even as a young kid, I knew those fantastic ships and out of this world imagery was created by creative people, folks behind the scenes. They were technicians, artists, craftspeople, painters, sculptors, model makers, designers, editors, FX crews, and camera people that all got together and created something that has never been seen before from the mind of a director I’ve come to admire. I looked at the level of detail on that junked ship next to the entrance to the Creature Cantina on Tatooine, saw the rust where C-3PO’s restrainer bolt was attached, was even able to smell that wonderful smell Leia discovered when our heroes fell down that chute to escape the Imperials and it made me believe. Those neat things from a galaxy far, far away looked like they actually existed because a crew member gave it extra attention to detail. George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars saga, was a visionary, but I also give credit to the early group of men and women from the effects team that really had no idea how it would turn out at the end. These were pioneers, coming from a world of commercial production. Like many of us, having to work in a field when sometimes we feel the need to stretch that creative muscle to sell a widget on TV. These guys got a chance to make a difference.
Star Wars for me as a child was about X-Wings, Wookies, and Dark Lords of the Sith, and I ate it up. But deep down, it was also about working in a field where you can impress upon an audience a specific feeling by the work you put in on-screen. Each of us has that responsibility as artists and as professionals, whether you are an editor, photographer, actor, and the list goes on. As I said, as a kid, I was incredibly impressed that a group of folks made this film. It was a group of folks just like us, the photographers, editors, etc. We may not be creating films like Star Wars every time, but it is our name on the proverbial cover and we should always put in 110%. We shouldn’t take that responsibility lightly. Someone might be watching.
May The Force Be With Us.