Athena Studios Hosts Bay Area Visual Effects Society Presentation, Entitled “VFX—Keeping It Real,” By Director Of Photography Carl Miller


Last Updated: February 27, 2013 8:37 pm GMT
(Emeryville, California--February 27, 2013) Athena Studios played host to a special event produced by the Bay Area Chapter of the Visual Effects Society (VES) on Saturday, Feb. 23. During the event, Visual Effects Director of Photography Carl Miller delivered a hands-on presentation entitled “VFX - Keeping it Real.” Over 45 people attended the presentation, including VFX professionals from Pixar, Tippett Studios and 32TEN Studios. David Tanaka, Bay Area/Northern California Section Chairman of the Visual Effects Society, introduced Mr. Miller.

During the presentation, Miller discussed how the lines between CG and Practical Effects continue to blur with the advent of Digital Cinema. He explored the evolution of VFX Photography from its practical roots through the advent of motion control and CGI, citing examples from “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of The Clones,” and then moving into the latest developments in affordable Digital Cinema hardware.

Miller also talked about how the tools and methodologies of pre-visualization and pre-planning help to keep CGI and practical VFX collaborative, creative, and affordable. In addition, Miller stressed how to “keep things realistic,” so that cinematic stories may be believable and convincing.

“We were delighted to have hosted this extremely insightful event at Athena Studios,” said Jon V. Peters, Athena’s CEO/Founder. “One of our goals with Athena is to help nurture and promote the extraordinary talent located in the Bay Area. Events such as this one, led by Carl Miller, a renowned DP with decades of experience, allow us to foster the continued viability of the filmmaking community based in Northern California.”

“This was a really great event for our Bay Area VES members,” said Mr. Tanaka. “I’ve known Carl for over 20 years, back in the day when we first started working at ILM. Many talented VFX artists live in the Bay Area, and it’s great that we are able to learn and grow as a community through the Visual Effects Society connection. The VES enables us to share our craft and experience with other members, on both a personal as well as on a professional basis.”

“Carl Miller had an amazing amount of information to share and was able to make it a fun and participative experience for our attendees. We’re looking forward to doing more events such as these, through which we are able to create educational and networking opportunities for VFX professionals based across the San Francisco Bay Area,” Tanaka concluded.

Carl Miller has enjoyed a prolific career working for such studios as Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, and Disney. He contributed to more than 30 films for Industrial Light and Magic over a 20-year period, and earned a VES Award for “Outstanding Models and Miniatures in a Motion Picture” for his contributions to “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.” Miller has also produced and directed a feature documentary, a short narrative film, and a number of commercials. In addition, he served as Director of Photography on the film “Red Tails” for George Lucas, and as the Senior Lighting Camera Operator for Henry Selick. For more info, please see:

The Visual Effects Society (VES) is the entertainment industry’s only organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners including artists, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, supervisors, PR/marketing specialists and productions in all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials to music videos and games. VES strives to enrich and educate its own members and members of the entertainment community at large through a variety of domestic and international events, screenings and programs.
The Bay Area Chapter of the VES is comprised of almost 400 members. Including those working at LucasFilm, Pixar, Tippett Studios, Atomic Fiction, Dreamworks, 32TEN Studios, Athena Studios, and many other Bay Area FX studios.


Athena Studios was launched in Summer 2012 as a full service production facility designed to help companies seeking to produce their own videos or shoot a feature film. Athena has a fully lit green screen stage available for daily or long-term rental, and can help outfit its clients with lighting and camera equipment through its alliances with local area vendors DTC Grip and Chater Camera.

Athena Studios is conveniently located off Highway 80 in Emeryville, CA., in the heart of Northern California's “New Hollywood” -- near Pixar, Tippett Studios and Ex'pression College for Digital Arts.

For more information, please see:


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