VFX Master Richard Edlund Joins Chapman U as Pankey Distinguished Artist

Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts is bringing on four-time Academy Award winner (Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and six-time nominated visual effects supervisor Richard Edlund as the Pankey Distinguished Artist. Considered the “father of the new age” of VFX for his industry-changing work on the first Star Wars in 1977, Edlund has supervised VFX work on dozens of films including Ghostbusters, 2010, Die Hard, Ghost and Multiplicity.

The Pankey Distinguished Artist program includes regular, bi-weekly meetings with filmmakers in a one-on-one setting to mentor scholars through the creative development of a specific project throughout the semester. Instruction will include insightful clips and informative behind-the-scenes “making of” material, Edlund will host industry guests who are the top names in the VFX industry. Edlund’s knowledge and insights will also be available to the larger Dodge community at weekly dinners open to students.

In addition to sharing the creative thinking and processes behind the most significant developments in VFX of the last three decades in the Pankey program, Edlund will co-teach the 16-week Digital Arts Industry Insiders course with Chapman professor and animation & visual effects program director Bill Kroyer, covering the history of VFX from Star Wars to this year’s Oscar-nominated films. Both teachers are members of the AMPAS Board of Governors.

“Not only will our students gain invaluable insight and perspective on how effects are used to tell a story,” said Kroyer, “they will also receive an essential primer on how they may use visual effects in their productions from a true master of the craft.”

Students interested in learning the art and skill of visual effects under Edlund can apply to be a Pankey Scholar here.

Star Wars: A New Hope
Star Wars: A New Hope


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