Dennis Muren at VIEW 2020

If you’re a fan of Star Wars, visual effects, or just movies in general, you won’t want to miss this hour-long virtual session with Dennis Muren, senior visual effects supervisor and creative director of Industrial Light & Magic. On Friday 23 October, 2020, the final day of this year’s epic VIEW Conference, Muren will not only talk about his long career and unique artistic vision, but also respond to questions from conference attendees.

Winner of nine Academy Awards® or Best Achievement in Visual Effects, plus a Technical Achievement Academy Award®, Dennis Muren began his career at ILM in 1976 as miniature effects cameraman on the original Star Wars: A New Hope. Throughout his long career, Muren has remained at the cutting edge of new techniques, championing the use of digital imagery for such seminal films as The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Jurassic Park, and to this day remains at the forefront of ILM’s continuing evolution.

“Dennis Muren is a true living legend,” says Conference Director Dr. Maria Elena Gutierrez. “Whenever I hear him speak, I get the same feeling as when I go to a beautiful exhibition, or attend a wonderful concert, or watch an amazing movie. His views are bold and profound, yet at the same time he has great humility and is always willing to learn from young people. Wherever he turns his attention, Dennis always elevates things to a higher level.”

I’ve had the privilege of interviewing Dennis Muren several times. The first time I met him in person was at VIEW Conference in Turin, back in 2018. During our chat, he expounded on his ideas about the “critical, elusive and final five percent” in visual effects – that almost indefinable extra mile that makes all the difference between a perfect illusion and an imperfect one. You can read the full interview here:

Dennis also took part in The Illusionists, a wide-ranging roundtable published in Cinefex 169, this year’s 40th anniversary issue of the magazine. For the article, I interviewed no less than 21 Oscar-winning visual effects supervisors in a grand debate about the past, present and future of cinematic illusions. You can read the full roundtable in the magazine – still available to order online. Here’s an extract from my conversation with Dennis – one of the good bits that didn’t make it into the full article:

“Because VIEW Conference will be online as well as onsite this year, we are taking advantage of the wonderful opportunity to include remarkable professionals from all over the globe,” said Dr. Maria Elena Gutierrez. “VIEW 2020 will be amazing.”

The 21st International VIEW Conference takes place 18-23 October 2020 in Turin, Italy. Visit the VIEW Conference website for more details and to purchase tickets.

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