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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Special effects expert to speak on science

    An Academy Award nominee and former UA student will speak on campus today to discuss his experiences in blending science and visuals for the big screen.

    Special effects guru John C. Kilkenny, also the executive vice president of Twentieth Century Fox, will speak at the Meinel Optical Sciences building at 4 p.m. Admission is free.

    His topics will include the frequently overlooked relationship visual artists and filmmakers develop with scientists to ensure a film is not only interesting, but also still believable.

    “”He will be talking about how the world of science and entertainment come together,”” said Victoria Westover, program director for the UA’s Jack and Vivian Hanson Film Institute.

    Kilkenny, a member of the institute, will also speak about his trials of being a student struggling to get into the film industry and into production.

    “”I think he will be really inspiring,”” Westover said. “”He was telling me how he was sleeping on a friend’s couch, and that’s often the story you hear. I think it’s important for students to know if you have a dream, you go and take it.””

    Kilkenny has offered several students internships to help them break them into the industry, Westover said.

    He serves as Fox’s lead for visual special effects and was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on “”I, Robot.””

    Some of his other films include “”Night at the Museum,”” “”Live Free or Die Hard”” and “”Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.””

    He is currently working on “”Avatar,”” a James Cameron-directed film due for release in 2009.

    The lecture, “”Producing Special Effects in Science-Fiction Films,”” will be one of several events celebrating the UA’s role in the Phoenix Mars Mission.

    For more information call Westover at 626-9825.

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