After cutting his teeth at the famed Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, Neil Scanlan rose to be one of the big names in creature make-up and animatronic effects, working on films like Babe, Ella Enchanted, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Munich, Prometheus and… er… Kangaroo Jack.
A few years back, perhaps reading the CGI writing on the wall like contemporary Rick Baker, Scanlan announced he was closing up shop and moving on to other interests. Of course, a phone call from LucasFilm and an offer to work on the new Star Wars film would be enough to give any movie craftsperson pause, and JJ Abrams’ practical effects-led vision was one of the elements that made The Force Awakens so great.
Scanlan spoke to Moviehole from his native UK about his life and times, BB-8 and just how much digital is in the film.
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