Monday, July 29, 2013

STAR WARS EPISODE VII Updates from Executive Producer Kathleen Kennedy

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Plenty of good news for "Star Wars" fans this past week. "Star Wars: Episode VII" executive producer Kathleen Kennedy has been rather generous with the updates during her appearance at Star Wars Celebration Europe. The first important update is that franchise composer John Williams will return to score the sequel. Kennedy stated that "His music just gives me the chills. It's so important for the saga, and we're really excited he's a part of it. Furthermore, Williams appeared in a pre-recorded video in which he spoke about how delighted he was to be returning to the saga. Here is the video:

Kathleen Kennedy also went on to discuss elements of the "Star Wars: Episode VII" production. She revealed that she is involved in extensive story meetings with director J.J. Abrams and the writers, including Lawrence Kasdan ("Empire Strikes Back"), and that the emphasis will be on story and characters, not visual effects. And as far as CGI goes, Kennedy stated that they will work hard to mix CG with practical effects and real locations.
"The story and characters are all we’re talking about right now. We have an amazing team at ILM, who can create fantastic effects, but if we don’t have a great story and characters, the effects mean nothing. I do think making huge popular culture – and I’ve had the good fortune to be a part of a lot it – is really hard to do and get right. And if you don’t spend the time you need on developing characters, and finding stories, complicated stories, the audience gets tired because they think they’re seeing the same thing again and again.

There's nothing more exciting than to be involved in that kind of technological innovation. When the story ideas you're working on contribute to pushing the technology, I really think that's what's so exciting about our business. It's when the imagination drives innovation and new design.

It's a conversation we're having all the time in the development of Episode VII. Looking at all the Star Wars movies and getting a feel for what even some of the early films did, combining real locations and special effects – that's something we're looking very seriously at. So we're going to find some very cool locations that we're going to use in support of Episode VII and I think we're probably going to end up using every single tool in the toolbox to create the look of these movies.

[Reffering to what is in the "toolbox"] It's using model makers; it's using real droids; it's taking advantage of artwork that you actually can touch and feel. And we want to do that in combination with CG effects. We figure that's what will make it real."


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