This final photo gallery and report from Lucasfilm's Phantom Menace 3D media event features a look at my trip to the Presidio's Letterman Digital Arts Center - Home of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light and Magic! I arrived with the press early in the morning to walk around the campus, including the obligatory photo op in front of Lawrence Noble's iconic bronze Yoda statue. From there, we were treated to breakfast in the Lucasfilm dining room, which offers the most amazing panoramic view of the city - from The Golden Gate Bridge all the way to the TransAmerica Building towering over downtown San Francisco. For our Star Wars-inspired breakfast, we were treated to such delights as the "Sith's Scramble", "Darth Maul Maple-Smoked Bacon" and the crowd-pleasing "Darth Sidious's Sausage". Lucasfilm's Mary Franklin escorted her pal R2-D2 as he roamed the dining hall while Stormtroopers from The 501st posed for photos.
Right after breakfast, we split into groups for a tour of the movie magic factory that is ILM. I lucked out as Lucasfilm's Pablo Hidalgo was assigned to give me a tour, and he did a fantastic job showing us the film history lining the corridors of the facility. This place is a literal museum of movie history! Everything from authentic film props and maquettes, to film-used matte paintings, to Jar Jar Binks in Carbonite - Soon to be available as a Hasbro action figure - were on display. Pablo and myself took a moment to pose with a life-sized Stormtrooper mannequin in the ILM lobby, while Yoda and R2 looked on. More of George Lucas's impressive collection of international film posters decorated the walls, adding to the atmosphere of film-making history.
Following my tour, we were treated to a screening of Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace 3D in the state-of-the-art Premiere Theater, just adjacent to the public lobby. The lobby itself is home to more life-sized mannequins - Boba Fett and Darth Vader - as well as a Mace Windu maquette. Plus, another beautiful Lawrence Noble masterpiece is on display- a tribute to stop-motion photography pioneer Willis O'Brien - The man who made King Kong come to life!
Photography was restricted during most parts of the ILM tour, but there were a few spots where snapping pix was permissible. Check out the photo gallery below for an idea of what lay beyond the doors of the incredible ILM / Lucasfilm campus at Presidio!
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