Radical Directing Lecture Series
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 7:30pm
Free and open to the public
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
About the Lecture
Visual effects artist Dennis Muren has been an important voice for pioneering new technologies in special effects. In 1976, Muren was hired at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), then an upstart visual effects studio founded by little-known director George Lucas. Lucas’s and ILM’s first film, Star Wars, was released in 1977 to wide critical and public acclaim and became the highest grossing film of all time up until that point.
Muren spearheaded ILM’s move from models and miniatures to CGI for the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day and, along with Steve Williams and Mark Dippe, helped to usher in a new age of computer generated imagery with the CG dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. (Steven Spielberg had intended to use go-motion for the dinosaurs, but quickly changed his mind when shown a test of a CG T-Rex, with Marin County as the backdrop.) Jurassic Park was the breakthrough that convinced George Lucas that technology had advanced enough to make the Star Wars prequels.
Muren has been the recipient of nine Academy Awards (including special achievement awards), the most of any living movie-maker. He continues to work for ILM to this day as Senior Visual Effects Supervisor, and also consults for Pixar. Currently, he is taking time off to author a book on visual effects.
Photograph: Robert Holmgren, SFAI '72
About the Radical Directing Lecture Series
In fitting with SFAI’s pioneering presence in experimental film, this series emphasizes cinematic approaches that veer from traditional narratives, as well as the conceptual frameworks filmmakers use to cinematically articulate characters, plot, subtext, tension, and drama. The series is organized to complement a course taught by Lynn Hershman Leeson for SFAI’s Film program.
All Radical Directing lectures begin at 7:30 pm in the Lecture Hall on SFAI’s 800 Chestnut Street campus. For a complete schedule of SFAI's lectures and events, please visit www.sfai.edu/events
SFAI’s exhibitions and public programs—a component of which is the Radical Directing Lecture Series—are supported in part by the Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.