Post Magazine

January / February 2019

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Page 13 of 51 12 POST JAN/FEB 2019 WOMEN IN POST hile many leading film and TV studios look to prove themselves as cutting edge and forward-thinking, always touting groundbreaking new projects and advanced technologies, what goes on behind the scenes can be equally as innovative. Take LucasFilm, for instance. A highly successful film studio that, long before the #MeToo movement, was headed up by president Kathleen Kennedy, eight-time Academy Award nominee and Lynwen Brennan, executive vice president & general manager. In fact, the studio takes pride in how many of its leadership roles are populated by women and in its efforts to encourage young women to pursue careers in the industry. Some of the studio's leaders have been participating with such groups as Women in VFX and Women in Animation, as well as speak- ing at such events as the Grace Hopper Conference, one of the world's largest gathering of women technologists. Pippa Anderson, vice president of post production at LucasFilm, over- sees all of post for the studio, including live-action, direct-to-consumer projects and animation. In fact, since 2013, she's led the post teams through the entire process for such hits as Strange Magic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story, as well as the Star Wars Rebels animated series. "My role is to oversee the entire post process for all LucasFilms," says Anderson. "I'm primarily focused on the movies and now very involved in the new direct-to-consumer, live-action streaming projects [such as the new- est Star Wars live-action series that stars Diego Luna as the Rebel spy Cassian Andor. The series will stream on Disney+, the Walt Disney Company's new di- rect-to-consumer streaming service]. It's very exciting and hugely challenging in terms of setting it up from scratch." Anderson continues that she works closely "with the filmmakers and the studio and all the various post teams, the editors, sound teams, music teams, composers, etc. to create and manage a customized post production workflow for every project and every filmmaker. This is because everyone has a different way they like to work and how they want to achieve their visions. So, that begins from as early on as preproduction, long before the shooting starts, and goes all the way through to final delivery and worldwide release. There are always plenty of challenges getting these really big movies — especially the huge tentpo- les — out to the screens on time." Anderson, who is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, actually received her degree in Business Communication from the University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and had her sights set on jour- nalism. However, after an unexpected encounter with a well-known Australian TV director that resulted in her editing several films, Anderson's career path took a new turn as a picture editor in post production. "I totally fell in love with that new role immediately," she says. "It was a different pathway of tell- ing stories, using image, sound, music, etc. than just words." That series of films launched an exten- sive and successful career in editing for both television and film until finally she moved full time into post production su- pervision. She worked closely with Peter Jackson in New Zealand and as head of post she supervised and delivered King Kong (2005), The Lovely Bones, District 9 and The Adventures of Tintin, where she met producer and future president of LucasFilm, Kathleen Kennedy. When LucasFilm was acquired by Disney in 2012 and Kennedy was named president, she asked Pippa to lead post production. Certainly, while running post for a top film studio such as LucasFilm would be considered a dream job by many, it doesn't come without its chal- lenges. According to Anderson, "Time is usually the biggest challenge that we face because there's a lot of expecta- tion and desire for my team from the filmmakers and the studio to make sure that, in the time frame and budget that we have, we absolutely put the best movie out there. In order to do that, we usually have multiple projects on the go at once — always with a ticking clock, of course, and it's always a question of getting all of those galloping horses all heading in the right direction. And that has a lot to do with picking the LUCASFILM'S PIPPA ANDERSON BY LINDA ROMANELLO ON LEADING POST FOR ONE OF THE INDUSTRY'S TOP STUDIOS W Anderson

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