Saturday 21 April 2018

Lucasfilm general manager awarded CBE says cinema revolution on way

Lynwen Brennan with the CBE presented to her by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace
Lynwen Brennan with the CBE presented to her by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace

A British filmmaker has said the industry is technologically on the "cusp of another revolution" which will change how people experience cinema.

Lynwen Brennan, general manager of Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound, was awarded a CBE for her services to supporting the UK's visual effects industry and was speaking after her investiture ceremony.

Asked about the changes to filmmaking over the years, she said: "In some ways film hasn't changed - the medium itself - you go to a theatre and you get entertained.

"The technology behind it has changed significantly - there is nothing we can't do now.

"I think that entertainment in general is on a cusp of another revolution. I think that with the advent of what we can do in real time now, means we can make the visuals interactive, immersive.

"In a few years time you'll be able to go to the cinema and have images going behind you, around you. With the advent of virtual reality and augmented reality you'll be able to interact with and really step inside those stories.

"I'm really excited for that."

On the imminent release of the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and the use of digital innovation within it, she said "it crosses a bar" which has not been able to be achieved before.

"It's a beautiful film which touches you in the heart, the visuals are stunning," she added.

Quizzed about her experiences of working in a male-dominated industry, she said her "crusade" is to "change the gender imbalance".

She said that coming from a Welsh matriarchal family it never occurred to her to think about whether she was a woman or a man, and that it wasn't until she was in higher industry positions she realised "there is a major gender imbalance in the industry - especially within visual effects".

"Now I'm using my position," she added.

"We have got a long way to go - we are about 17% in the industry that are in visual effects that are women. But in ILM, in our entry level departments for the past few years, we have been at least 50/50.

"I've got hope for the future."

After the ceremony at Buckingham Palace she said it was "such a shock" and an "honour" to be given the award by the Prince of Wales.

Press Association

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