Rick McCallum Give 'Star Wars: Episode III' Update

The official Star Wars website has posted a report in which Rick McCallum gives an update for the final Star Wars movie - Star Wars: Episode III.

"We're in go mode, we're making a movie," says an enthusiastic Producer Rick McCallum, now at Fox Studios Australia preparing for principal photography for Episode III to begin in just a matter of months.

Including himself, McCallum estimates that there are 30 other people currently active on the lot... a number growing each week. Most active are Costume Designer Trisha Biggar's department and Production Designer Gavin Bocquet's set crew.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., a small team at Industrial Light & Magic have been doing research and development since September in all aspects of the post-production process. This includes High Definition Supervisor Fred Meyers continuing to push the boundaries of the digital cameras, while others refine visual effects methods. Another priority is bringing in new talent in the area of digital matte painting. "We're beefing up that department," McCallum reports, "because they're going to be stretched to the limit. We're going to try to get to the highest level of photo realism we can."

Other departments will be coming online soon. Dan Gregoire and the animatics team will start pre-visualizing their first sequences later this month. The art department expects to start storyboarding soon. Stunt Coordinator Nick Gillard will likely arrive in Australia in mid-March, while a sound crew will be assembled as production draws closer.

McCallum points out one area where no activity has begun. "We're not ready for casting. We haven't looked at or considered a single new cast member or extra." Returning actors Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee and Ian McDiarmid will all be in Australia this summer.

With a tight schedule, what does McCallum expect to change on the lot over the coming weeks? "It'll all be faster and more intense," he smiles.

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