Posts Tagged ‘Celebration’

Record-breaking 320-gigapixel panorama of London is a cause for celebration, vertigo

320gigapixel panorama of London

While the Shard might be the new favorite of London’s skyline, the BT Tower’s still got a few tricks up its sleeve– such as this record-breaking 320 gigapixel panorama of the English capital. In overall 48,640 images, shot with 4 Canon EOS 7D cameras were sewn together to develop this 360 vista. Want a little even more viewpoint? It’s said that if this were a physical image, it would be almost as large as Buckingham Palace– or if you prefer– 60,000 times larger than an ordinary iPhone image. Obviously, what good would a gigapixel image lack a where’s waldo-style search? So, UK citizens who have a keen eye could try identifying BT’s Buzby mascot for the chance of gaining some rewards. Us? We’re just attempting to quest down a taxi. Set your sights on the source for big photo.

Show complete PR text

BT TOWER BREAKS WORLD RECORD FOR PANORAMIC PHOTO
To see the gigapixel image and share your preferred views of London go to: www.btlondon2012.co.uk

An incredible picture of London taken from the top of the BT Tower has actually set a new record for the globe’s largest scenic image. The image shows a complete 360 degree view of London in unbelievable information.
The 320 gigapixel image, taken by specialist photography firm 360Cities, comprises 48,640 specific frames, making use of four, cutting-edge Canon EOS 7D cameras with EF 400mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lenses and Extender EF 2x III teleconverters, provided by Canon. The cameras were driven by high end Rodeon VR Head ST robotic panorama heads, from the Clauss business in Germany. The specific images have actually been sewn into a single, gigantic panorama over a duration of weeks by a powerful Celsius R920 workstation, offered by Fujitsu Technology Solutions Europe.

It is the first time that a picture of this magnitude has ever before been attempted, and it took several months to create due to the scale of the endeavor. If printed at regular photographic resolution, the BT Tower panorama would be 98 meters around and 24 meters tall, practically as big as Buckingham Palace. In contrast, the last record attempt for a London panorama was 80 gigapixels, taken from Centrepoint in 2010.
The images were taken after the end of London 2012, the first digital Games. Londoners, tourists and those who work in the capital are now being asked to share their favored views of the capital, as a long-lasting record of London’s year in the worldwide spotlight.

As the official interactions services partner for London 2012, BT played a crucial part in ensuring the Games were the most linked ever before, with millions of people delighting in sharing their experiences of the sporting and cultural action through social media. BT Tower played its part in the celebration, sharing information of every solitary medal gained, live statistics and scores on its big 360 degree LED screen.
Suzi Williams, director, BT Group Marketing & Brand name, stated, “The BT Tower is such a renowned London site, and became a focus for the capital’s events in 2012, exactly what much better method to capture that amazing year than with a full scenic photograph taken from its roofing system. This isn’t just a globe record for the BT Tower, it’s for London and individuals who live, work in or see the capital. Take a look, and share your favorite London places and spots.”

Steve Hercher, director, 360Cities, said, “We were honored to be picked by BT to try this world record panorama and make our very own contribution to commemorating the wonderful London 2012 Games. So many unknowns and variables needed to be attended to in the planning of this unprecedented shoot, actually the first of its kind. Software and hardware were pushed to the limitations, and rain, wind and various other possible stumbling blocks had actually to be dealt with. Our photography team of Jeffrey Martin, Tom Mills and Holger Schulze did an incredible job and not a solitary individual frame from the even more than 48,000 prepared was missed.”

Rainer Fuehres, Head of Customer Imaging Group, Canon Europe, stated: “The goal of empowering individuals to take the next step on their personal photographic journeys drives every product we produce, and this breath-taking image truly takes this philosophy to the extreme. Since its launch, the EOS 7D has caught the imagination of enthusiasts all over the world so we were pleased to support such a stimulating and difficult project with a camera that a lot of individuals are utilizing to catch their very own moments of motivation.”

Also, our old pal Buzby is hiding in the gigapixel image too. Discover him, and you could be one of 3 winners in our competition. Individuals are selected at random, the first winner will get an iPad, a year’s free broadband, and a trip to the top of the BT Tower to see the view personally. 2nd and 3rd location win an iPad. Complete terms, please see http://www.btplc.com/gigapixel/

Submitted under: ,

Related Posts:

Kool & The Gang – Celebration

Kool & The Gang - Celebration

Music video by Kool & The Gang performing Celebration. (C) 1980 The Island Def Jam Music Group
Video Rating: 4 / 5

Incoming search terms:

Related Posts:

Rhapsody soars past a million paying customers, president Jon Irwin shaves his head in celebration

Whatever Spotify can do, Rhapsody can do better? Not quite, but it’s getting there. While the former cruised past 2.5 million paying customers last month, Rhapsody has just announced that it has “gone platnium.” It’s now serving a cool million paying subscribers, right on the heels of its ten-year anniversary. The company’s delivering around ten million songs per day, while making itself available on over 60 devices. What’s next? Well, president Jon Irwin has to grow his locks back (seriously!), and we’re guessing it’ll try to lock down a few more carrier partnerships as the months drag on. When pinged for comment, Billy Corgan said: “I’m on vacation.”

Continue reading Rhapsody soars past a million paying customers, president Jon Irwin shaves his head in celebration

Rhapsody soars past a million paying customers, president Jon Irwin shaves his head in celebration originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 22 Dec 2011 09:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |   | Email this | Comments

Related Posts:

Verizon’s Xperia Play now on sale for $100, Crash Bandicoot spins in celebration

Getting your PlayStation-certified gaming fix on just got 50 percent cheaper. Verizon’s cut the price of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play in half on its website, selling for $ 100 with contract only four months after being greeted with open arms. The price cut is a result of Big Red’s “Back to School” promotion, though it’s difficult to believe this one will come out the other end of the sale any costlier than this. Was this sudden reduction made to instigate a price war with AT&T now that it’s introduced the model to its lineup? Or, is this a last-ditch effort to bolster lackluster sales before the Play is discontinued? It’s hard to say — given its meager selection of PlayStation Suite titles, we can’t imagine that the product’s flying off of shelves. Still, five Jacksons is much more reasonable for anyone who just has to have The Sims 3 on the go, right?

Verizon’s Xperia Play now on sale for $ 100, Crash Bandicoot spins in celebration originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 20 Jul 2011 23:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink MobileTechReview  |  sourceVerizon Wireless  | Email this | Comments

Related Posts:

Light bulb efficiency passes through US House, incandescent bulbs flicker in celebration

Not like Congress has anything more pressing on its plate right now, but the suits on Capitol Hill have somehow found time to poke their noses in yet another minute aspect of our personal lives — lighting. All jesting aside, it was starting to look like those old, power-hungry incandescent bulbs wouldn’t have a second chance at life. If you’ll recall, a bill was passed way back in 2007 to kill ‘em off by 2012, but Republicans were attempting to reverse things in order to give Americans a bargain option in the years ahead. Despite a 233 to 193 vote in favor of the repeal earlier this week, the necessary super majority wasn’t reached. Not willing to be left in the dark, those adamant about getting it turned around shoved it into something else as an amendment late Friday, which did indeed get the oh-so-coveted stamp of approval. Translation? GE has a production line to reactivate, STAT.

Light bulb efficiency passes through US House, incandescent bulbs flicker in celebration originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 16 Jul 2011 13:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink TG Daily  |  sourceAP, Bloomberg  | Email this | Comments

Related Posts:

Wicked Lasers Releases First Dual-Ended ‘Sith’ Series Laser In Celebration Of Star Wars Day

sith-laser-1.jpg

Wicked Lasers, a company best known for selling me the laser I accidentally blinded my little brother with (sorry Geordi!), just released the first in a new series of ‘Sith’ double-ended dildos laser light sticks in honor of Star Wars Day. The $ 600 pew-stick packs 1W of power (each) and even looks a little like an actual Sith lightsaber. Except the beams are blue instead of red. And George Lucas is probably picking up the phone to sue right now. Aaaaaand there’s really no reason to have dual beams besides blinding yourself and a special friend at the same time. “I don’t have any special friends.” Regular ones? “Nope.” Imaginary? “One, but I found out he was in love with the same girl I like so I killed him off by huffing oven cleaner and slamming my head in a door.” LOLWUT?!

Wick Lasers Product Site
via
Wicked Lasers Twin 1W Arctic Spyder Sith Series Death Laser [obviouswinner]

Thanks to Jeff, who taped eight lasers together and blinded everyone at the rave.

Related Posts:

Sixty million ThinkPads sold to date, Lenovo updates the T Series with NVIDIA Optimus in celebration

Boy, have we covered scores of ThinkPad laptops in the last few years — everything from the introduction of the X300 to the first dualscreen W700 workstation to the older R50e that left unforgettable burn marks in a mattress have graced our internet pages. We apologize for getting all nostalgic, but hearing that sales of ThinkPad laptops will surpass 60 million this month just gets us all sappy. Actually, Lenovo’s estimating that 14 ThinkPad laptops are sold every 60 seconds — it’s certainly impressive, but obviously the history of the company’s business laptops must go onward and upward. And the updated T Series is a step in that direction. Starting today, the T410, T410s and T510 will have an NVIDIA NVS 3100M GPU option and rely on Optimus to take care of the dynamically switching between the integrated and discrete graphics. While we’re a bit bummed they’re not using the newest 400M Series, the rigs are the first with Optimus to be able to dock and then drive four simultaneous displays. All T Series models are available with Core i5 CPU options and a selection of hard drives / SSD options — the T410 / T510 will start at $ 1,299 and the thinner T410s at $ 1,849. We guess this is where we raise our coffee mugs and say, “Here’s to the next 60 mil, Lenovo!”

Gallery: Lenovo ThinkPad T Series

Continue reading Sixty million ThinkPads sold to date, Lenovo updates the T Series with NVIDIA Optimus in celebration

Sixty million ThinkPads sold to date, Lenovo updates the T Series with NVIDIA Optimus in celebration originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 05 Oct 2010 00:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |   | Email this | Comments
Engadget

Related Posts:

Voice of a Geek: An Interview With Dee Bradley Baker

The many faces of Dee Bradley Baker, a GeekDad exclusive image. (c) Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. Photo by Joel Aron.

Dee Bradley Baker needs no disguises.

By voice alone, the actor leaves Fletch and his list of aliases in the dust, and his credits are stacked with geek power: From roles in the Halo and Gears of War franchises to regular parts in animated standouts like Batman: The Brave and the Bold to GeekDad favorite Perry the Platypus on Phineas and Ferb.

Baker’s also the voice of Captain Rex and every other clone trooper on Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which is how he wound up at Star Wars Celebration V this month in Orlando – though you get the sense that as someone who meticulously re-marked his Star Wars soundtrack as a kid to match the movie sequences, Baker probably would have been here anyway.

In an enthusiastic interview at the convention, the father of two talked about his career, raising his kids and being a geek (and >ahem!< a GeekDad fan!) as well as teasing some neat insights into the next season of Clone Wars and Nickelodeon’s upcoming cartoon spinoff of its animated Avatar: The Last Airbender series.

Before we even sat down, we started chatting about geekdom and fatherhood, and the conversation was off and running before I had my recorder switched on, which is why the interview starts right in the middle of things:

Dee Bradley Baker: I’m a middle-aged dad, which means I have no social time or life to speak of, and so I connect with my buddies with my Xbox. We play, actually, two of my favorite games which I’m on, which are Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead 2. I’m three new creatures on Left 4 Dead 2, so we kill me while catching up a little bit.

GeekDad: So, how many kids do you have?

DBB: Two. I have five-year-old and 10-year-old daughters. And actually, we watch a lot of my cartoons. My 10-year-old loves Clone Wars and Phineas and Ferb, and my five-year-old loves Phineas and Ferb as well.

GeekDads gotta stick together, you know. Image: Jim Carchidi

DBB: I am a geek dad, believe me. I’ve got my iPad with me; I’ve got my iPhone 4; I’ve got my Xbox. I love technology and I want to feel like I’m living in the future, and these devices help me feel that way.

GD: When you talk about being a geek dad and having those kinds of interests, does it just happen that you get this work and a lot of it has that geek appeal … or do you naturally gravitate to those projects?

DBB: The way that I’ve followed my life is actually more of the latter. When I was a child, I thought I was going to be a paleontologist because I loved dinosaurs. I loved monster movies and sci-fi, and then Star Wars came out, and I was completely out of my mind with that, with Close Encounters, and then I thought maybe I was going to go into special effects makeup, which I thought was awesome. But really, instead of drawing monsters or studying dinosaurs, I just continued doing things I liked to do. I didn’t really target how it was going to pay off. And so, because I just followed these things that I liked, it led me to producing sounds for these things, and being involved with them in that way. It’s from a pattern of me continually doing things that I really loved to do, and then trying to get money while doing that. And it’s led to this.

I mean, I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am to be involved with Star Wars. I twittered yesterday about how sad it is that a kid now can’t see Episode V and not know up until that moment when Darth Vader says, “I am your father” how it rewrites those two movies with one sentence. They can’t know that surprise now, and I think that’s a little sad. You go to a movie, and you’ve seen it already. The trailer shows you the whole thing, you’ve read all the reviews, you can pretty much know every single twist. But back then, when I saw that, I remember sitting in that theater in Denver, where I saw it, and just the electric feeling of right up to that moment.

GD: So, as far as showing your daughters Star Wars, how have they been exposed to it?

DBB: I started showing my now 10-year-old the Star Wars stuff … and started with Episode IV when she was probably about seven or eight. I thought she’d be OK for it then. When she was nine, I had shown her IV, V and VI, and then I and II, but I was holding off on III, because that one, that’s pretty rough. That’s pushing the border. You want to protect your kids, you want to be a good dad, and even though I make this stuff, I don’t just throw everything at them. And we’re watching that episode – and she’s a sharp kid: She’s watching it, and halfway through it, she said, “Daddy, I don’t think I want to see the end of this movie. I think I’ll wait ’til I’m 10.” And I said OK, that’s good. I’m very proud that my kids can tell me things like that, and that she can see that coming. But also, I mean, she had been watching the television series … and it’s established that the clones are heroes, and that Anakin is a hero, and in Episode III, everything falls apart, and it goes south, and the good guys become bad, and frankly, that’s a lot for a little kid to handle. You’re establishing what’s good and what’s bad and just the foundation for them to have a bigger perspective on the world, but I don’t need to shoehorn that into her childhood. I want her to have a childhood, which I think is harder and harder for kids to have these days. I was very proud of her for that (decision), and I felt very good about it.

GD: (As a parent), you’ve got to know your kids.

DBB: The main thing is that you’re present. That’s what it gets down to, to me. People, they kind of conjure a lot of fear about the media or about video games, and fo rme it’s about, “You know what? Just parent your kids. Don’t let the device babysit your child. You’ve got to be present. If you’re present, you can talk them through stuff, and they can tell you if they’re uncomfortable, and you can check their reactions.

Right now (my) kids are working through Nickelodeon’s Avatar series, which I’m very proud of and which – it’s something that’s really important to me: Clone Wars means a lot to me, and Avatar means a lot to me too – I did all the creatures in that. Well, the new Avatar, they put out an audition and they wanted a flashback for the younger Avatar – who is now a girl – from when she was this little fireball five-year-old. I had my 10-year-old audition for it, and it was just two sentences, and, well, my five-year-old said, “Daddy, I want to audition. I want to try this, too,” and so I let her give it a shot. And she booked it. And the name of the series is The Last Airbender: The Journey of Korra – and my daughter’s name is Cora. It was just kind of an odd serendipity. To have her involved, with her playing a namesake, the heroic character of the show, that’s pretty cool. Pretty wonderful.

(Note: Nickelodeon announced the spinoff will be called The Legend of Korra in a July 21 press release, and Baker has confirmed he’s working on it, too.)

DBB: But here I am (at Celebration V), in the middle of this thing that was just my dream as a kid, to be involved with Star Wars. I drew a lot of monsters and creatures, and I wanted to send them to George Lucas and say, “I’d like to design your next Cantina bar creatures,” but I never did. I’ve still got the drawings, though. My folks made me a Jawa costume for the Halloween after Star Wars opened in ‘77. In ‘78, when it was re-released, I was hired by the local cinema to be the Jawa: to dress up all summer long, and I could frighten people with my Jawa sounds and my Jawa outfit and watch Star Wars Episode IV all summer long and get paid with movie passes.

I really feel like I am living the dream of the thing that I loved so much as a kid. It’s ridiculously exciting. We saw the first two episodes of the new season of Clone Wars – just mind-blowingly good. It’s a prequel of the “Rookies” episode, which is all clones. One of my favorites. And it’s showing them getting their training and getting certified as clones, and in the second half, they’re attacked by Ventress, and Kamino gets this major attack, and there’s this big battle, and it’s incredible, just to be such an integral part of this thing.

Dee Bradley Baker’s birthday is coming up on Aug. 31: You should give him a Twitter follow and a Perry-style “Prrrrrghhht!”

Read the rest here:
Voice of a Geek: An Interview With Dee Bradley Baker

Related Posts:

Voice of a Geek: An Interview With Dee Bradley Baker

The many faces of Dee Bradley Baker, a GeekDad exclusive image. (c) Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. Photo by Joel Aron.

Dee Bradley Baker needs no disguises.

By voice alone, the actor leaves Fletch and his list of aliases in the dust, and his credits are stacked with geek power: From roles in the Halo and Gears of War franchises to regular parts in animated standouts like Batman: The Brave and the Bold to GeekDad favorite Perry the Platypus on Phineas and Ferb.

Baker’s also the voice of Captain Rex and every other clone trooper on Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which is how he wound up at Star Wars Celebration V this month in Orlando – though you get the sense that as someone who meticulously re-marked his Star Wars soundtrack as a kid to match the movie sequences, Baker probably would have been here anyway.

In an enthusiastic interview at the convention, the father of two talked about his career, raising his kids and being a geek (and >ahem!< a GeekDad fan!) as well as teasing some neat insights into the next season of Clone Wars and Nickelodeon’s upcoming cartoon spinoff of its animated Avatar: The Last Airbender series.

Before we even sat down, we started chatting about geekdom and fatherhood, and the conversation was off and running before I had my recorder switched on, which is why the interview starts right in the middle of things:

Dee Bradley Baker: I’m a middle-aged dad, which means I have no social time or life to speak of, and so I connect with my buddies with my Xbox. We play, actually, two of my favorite games which I’m on, which are Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead 2. I’m three new creatures on Left 4 Dead 2, so we kill me while catching up a little bit.

GeekDad: So, how many kids do you have?

DBB: Two. I have five-year-old and 10-year-old daughters. And actually, we watch a lot of my cartoons. My 10-year-old loves Clone Wars and Phineas and Ferb, and my five-year-old loves Phineas and Ferb as well.

GeekDads gotta stick together, you know. Image: Jim Carchidi

DBB: I am a geek dad, believe me. I’ve got my iPad with me; I’ve got my iPhone 4; I’ve got my Xbox. I love technology and I want to feel like I’m living in the future, and these devices help me feel that way.

GD: When you talk about being a geek dad and having those kinds of interests, does it just happen that you get this work and a lot of it has that geek appeal … or do you naturally gravitate to those projects?

DBB: The way that I’ve followed my life is actually more of the latter. When I was a child, I thought I was going to be a paleontologist because I loved dinosaurs. I loved monster movies and sci-fi, and then Star Wars came out, and I was completely out of my mind with that, with Close Encounters, and then I thought maybe I was going to go into special effects makeup, which I thought was awesome. But really, instead of drawing monsters or studying dinosaurs, I just continued doing things I liked to do. I didn’t really target how it was going to pay off. And so, because I just followed these things that I liked, it led me to producing sounds for these things, and being involved with them in that way. It’s from a pattern of me continually doing things that I really loved to do, and then trying to get money while doing that. And it’s led to this.

I mean, I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am to be involved with Star Wars. I twittered yesterday about how sad it is that a kid now can’t see Episode V and not know up until that moment when Darth Vader says, “I am your father” how it rewrites those two movies with one sentence. They can’t know that surprise now, and I think that’s a little sad. You go to a movie, and you’ve seen it already. The trailer shows you the whole thing, you’ve read all the reviews, you can pretty much know every single twist. But back then, when I saw that, I remember sitting in that theater in Denver, where I saw it, and just the electric feeling of right up to that moment.

GD: So, as far as showing your daughters Star Wars, how have they been exposed to it?

DBB: I started showing my now 10-year-old the Star Wars stuff … and started with Episode IV when she was probably about seven or eight. I thought she’d be OK for it then. When she was nine, I had shown her IV, V and VI, and then I and II, but I was holding off on III, because that one, that’s pretty rough. That’s pushing the border. You want to protect your kids, you want to be a good dad, and even though I make this stuff, I don’t just throw everything at them. And we’re watching that episode – and she’s a sharp kid: She’s watching it, and halfway through it, she said, “Daddy, I don’t think I want to see the end of this movie. I think I’ll wait ’til I’m 10.” And I said OK, that’s good. I’m very proud that my kids can tell me things like that, and that she can see that coming. But also, I mean, she had been watching the television series … and it’s established that the clones are heroes, and that Anakin is a hero, and in Episode III, everything falls apart, and it goes south, and the good guys become bad, and frankly, that’s a lot for a little kid to handle. You’re establishing what’s good and what’s bad and just the foundation for them to have a bigger perspective on the world, but I don’t need to shoehorn that into her childhood. I want her to have a childhood, which I think is harder and harder for kids to have these days. I was very proud of her for that (decision), and I felt very good about it.

GD: (As a parent), you’ve got to know your kids.

DBB: The main thing is that you’re present. That’s what it gets down to, to me. People, they kind of conjure a lot of fear about the media or about video games, and fo rme it’s about, “You know what? Just parent your kids. Don’t let the device babysit your child. You’ve got to be present. If you’re present, you can talk them through stuff, and they can tell you if they’re uncomfortable, and you can check their reactions.

Right now (my) kids are working through Nickelodeon’s Avatar series, which I’m very proud of and which – it’s something that’s really important to me: Clone Wars means a lot to me, and Avatar means a lot to me too – I did all the creatures in that. Well, the new Avatar, they put out an audition and they wanted a flashback for the younger Avatar – who is now a girl – from when she was this little fireball five-year-old. I had my 10-year-old audition for it, and it was just two sentences, and, well, my five-year-old said, “Daddy, I want to audition. I want to try this, too,” and so I let her give it a shot. And she booked it. And the name of the series is The Last Airbender: The Journey of Korra – and my daughter’s name is Cora. It was just kind of an odd serendipity. To have her involved, with her playing a namesake, the heroic character of the show, that’s pretty cool. Pretty wonderful.

(Note: Nickelodeon announced the spinoff will be called The Legend of Korra in a July 21 press release, and Baker has confirmed he’s working on it, too.)

DBB: But here I am (at Celebration V), in the middle of this thing that was just my dream as a kid, to be involved with Star Wars. I drew a lot of monsters and creatures, and I wanted to send them to George Lucas and say, “I’d like to design your next Cantina bar creatures,” but I never did. I’ve still got the drawings, though. My folks made me a Jawa costume for the Halloween after Star Wars opened in ‘77. In ‘78, when it was re-released, I was hired by the local cinema to be the Jawa: to dress up all summer long, and I could frighten people with my Jawa sounds and my Jawa outfit and watch Star Wars Episode IV all summer long and get paid with movie passes.

I really feel like I am living the dream of the thing that I loved so much as a kid. It’s ridiculously exciting. We saw the first two episodes of the new season of Clone Wars – just mind-blowingly good. It’s a prequel of the “Rookies” episode, which is all clones. One of my favorites. And it’s showing them getting their training and getting certified as clones, and in the second half, they’re attacked by Ventress, and Kamino gets this major attack, and there’s this big battle, and it’s incredible, just to be such an integral part of this thing.

Dee Bradley Baker’s birthday is coming up on Aug. 31: You should give him a Twitter follow and a Perry-style “Prrrrrghhht!”

Originally posted here:
Voice of a Geek: An Interview With Dee Bradley Baker

Related Posts:

Grievous Geekery: A Conversation With Lucasfilm’s Matthew Wood

At five years old, Matthew Wood saw Star Wars. Less than two decades later, he was working for its creator.

Star Wars fans know him as the supervising sound editor at Skywalker Sound and the man who gave General Grievous that hacking cough in Revenge of the Sith, and he continues to work on both sound and voices for The Clone Wars cartoon series. Some may even know he played Bib Fortuna in The Phantom Menace and earned two sound editing Academy Award nominations for There Will Be Blood and Wall-E.

Skywalker Sound resident geek Matthew Wood. Image: Jim Carchidi

His has been a geek’s journey, to be sure. At Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando, Matthew talked with GeekDad about growing up from a childhood fan into high school technology nut and eventually finding a place to fit in at Skywalker Ranch.

GeekDad: Even though you obviously get to do a lot of geek stuff at work, do you still then go home and think, “There’s stuff here I want to mess around with?”

Matthew Wood: Oh, yeah. We have the Maker Faire out in the San Francisco Bay area that comes every year, and I go to that. I love that. I’m a tinkerer. I love to put things together. I definitely like to keep motivated on how things work, and put things together and take them apart and use them in different ways, and repurposing old stuff.

GD: I’m curious to hear a little bit about your career path.

MW: I’ve loved Star Wars ever since I was five. My parents took me to go see it, and I think it was even at a drive-in movie theater, back in ‘77, and I remember being just completely transported away to this amazing location and feeling like this universe existed. And then the fact that they had so many toys to back it up was so great, to be able to play with all that stuff.

The first image I had of a filmmaker was George Lucas. There was an oversized comic book that Marvel made of Star Wars … and the very last page was a picture of George Lucas sitting next to Alec Guinness on the set in Tunisia and I remember thinking, “I know who Alec Guinness is, that’s Obi-Wan Kenobi. Well, who’s that other guy, the guy with the beard and the coat? I didn’t see him in the movie, why’s he in this picture?” I asked my mom, “Who’s George Lucas? What’s this?” and she said, “Well, he made the movie, he directed it. He came up with all of it.” Then it clicked for me that movies are made by somebody.

And then I remember that before The Empire Strikes Back came out they had this offer to send away for a Boba Fett action figure. Because I grew up in the Northern California area, and my uncle had told me that Lucasfilm had a location out there, I remember thinking when I was sending this aciton figure request out that it was going to go to George Lucas directly and that he was going to put it in a box and send it away.

I always had this idea that I really wanted to work for that company, or do something like that. And I was a geek in high school, and my parents got computers really early on. We had all the different kinds of computers you could get, and all the video game systems like the Atari and all that. My dad even had the Pong system before that. I had a little (Timex) Sinclair computer you could attach to your television set. And I learned BASIC programming as a kid, and as soon as we could get a modem I got one and I started connecting up to BBS systems and chat rooms and trading stuff and games.

When I was probably 16, a friend of mine was running a BBS system in Northern California, and he said, “Oh, hey: A friend of mine wanted me to post this job.” It was, “Video game tester needed in Nicasio, California.” And I was like, hmm: My uncle, I think he told me that Nicasio was where Skywalker Ranch was. So my dad had a fax machine – this was back in 1989 … he was having to do a lot of communication with Japan, and it was just more cost effective. I called the number on the job posting and they gave me the fax number, and my dad helped me make a résumé with MacPaint. I sent it, and it went to the top of the pile over there, because nobody had ever faxed them a résumé before.

The whole process took about eight months – they kept calling me back and calling me back, and then finally they said, “Okay, we have a job for you.” And I went out and I had my interview at Skywalker Ranch, and I started working on (The Secret of) Monkey Island. It was a complete dream for me.

I ended up being the lead tester on that game, and somewhere after that, a position opened up at Skywalker Sound to work on the development team for SoundDroid, George’s non-linear sound editor for film. I had a lot of digital sound experience from the MacIntosh, really playing around and manipulating sound, and I was into filmmaking, and some of the way I employed bug testing on video games they wanted me to do on the program they’d made. I worked on that for a couple years, then we took that technology and used it on the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles television show.

My first big supervising job was when I had a field promotion to do Phantom Menace. I worked on that, and ever since then, I’ve worked supervising out there (at Skywalker Sound). It’s just been a dream: My goal in that company was to work on the next Star Wars film … and I remember just being blown away the day I was handed the tapes to watch it.

GD: Since Episode III, you’ve got the performance side of it as well. Which do you enjoy more – being the performer, or being the guy back at the computer?

MW: They both work two different parts of my brain, and it (performing) is something I’ve always done. I really enjoy performing, but with my job at Lucasfilm, it’s hard for me to go out and audition with my body because I’d have to leave work. But with sound, I have the same equipment that I use to do my sound work to do my auditions with. So in the morning, I’ll get a bunch of auditions with my agency, and I’ll record them all there and send them out as mp3s. It’s fun to be able to perform something, and then go do the tech after that, which I really enjoy. Lucasfilm has always been great for exploring and trying new ways of doing tech.

More here:
Grievous Geekery: A Conversation With Lucasfilm’s Matthew Wood

Related Posts:

Featured Products

Archive
Gruvisoft Donations