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San Fran Whirlwind - PDI, Skywalker Ranch, ILM, ASIFA, George Lucas

Barbara Robertson chronicles the tour stop at the Skywalker Ranch - It's been a busy an exciting three days, but such a wonderful time. Some highlights and pictures. I’ll sketch in details tomorrow.

The filmmakers meet the George Lucas.

written by Barbara Robertson

It's been a busy an exciting three days, but such a wonderful time. Some highlights and pictures. I’ll sketch in details tomorrow.


The tour checks in at PDI.

Thursday: A champagne reception, a screening, and a tour at PDI, plus a live demo of the studio’s amazing video wall during which Eric at PDI made a dinner appointment with John from DreamWorks in Glendale who would be flying to San Francisco on Friday.

Thursday night: Skywalker Ranch

The filmmakers prepare for the awesomeness of Skywalker Ranch.

Outside Skywalker Sound.

Classic Pic in the Ranch Library.

Westward ho for Robot Communications' Taki Tsuyoshi and Presto director Doug Sweetland.

Friday morning: We had boxes of cereal and breakfast bars in our rooms, coffee and milk in the refrigerator, but most of us walked to the “The Inn” for breakfast. Then, we screamed through Skywalker Sound, hurried up the road past vultures sunning their long wings, to the main house where George Lucas has his office and film library, scurried back down the road on a glorious sunny morning, jumped in the big white van, drove to nearby Big Rock where the group animating the television series work, held the first of three screenings and Q&A’s today, and then zigzagged back on Lucas Valley Road to the freeway to make an 11:30 date at ILM in San Francisco.

Outside Big Rock.

Oktapodi's Olivier Delabarre (m) chats with tour master Ron Diamond (l) and his fellow director Francois-Xavier Chanioux about the experience.

Before the Big Rock screening with Ron (l-r), Olivier, and Oktapodi's Quentin Marmier.

Our gracious host Kate Shaw led us all to George Lucas’s office. Amazingly, George Lucas gave the Oscar nominees more than a half hour of his time – more about that later. After, the screening in ILM’s grand theater, which was totally packed, the Q&A, lunch in a private dining room off the main dining room with some of the ILM artists, and a break before the next screening – with ASIFA at Dolby labs.

The directors have loosened up now. They’ve become much more comfortable onstage, more of the Oktapodi directors are now answering questions, and they’ve become friends as you’ll see in the pictures. More words tomorrow.

The arrival at ILM.

The great Kate Shaw (r) gets the filmmakers ready for their tour of ILM.

Oktapodi's Francois-Xavier Chanioux relaxes in the Lucasfilm lobby.

Tired yet?

La Maison's Kunio Kato (l-r), Taki and Lavatory Lovestory's Konstantin Bronzit take in some downtime.

Oktapodi directors Olivier, Quentin and Emud Mokhberi discuss life after ILM.

Can't miss another group shot opportunity.

The ILM wonders begin.

Konstantin takes a pic of the Jurassic Park T-Rex.

Olivier checks out the Judge Doom prop from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

George Lucas poses with nominee Kunio Kato.

George Lucas meets with the filmmakers.

Perfect ending - the wine bar.

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.