Ex Lucasfilm studios taking a new direction

Lucasfilm spinoff Kerner Group is headed in a different direction with new CEO Eric Edmeades who, earlier this year, purchased a controlling interest in the business. Behind some of the biggest films including the Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Pirates movies, Kerner is part of Hollywood history, and continues to be an epicenter for technological progress..

Interview with Kerner CEO Eric Edmeades

Iain: What direction are you taking Kerner in?

Eric: As a company, Kerner has a traditional history in two areas: visual and practical effects for blockbuster films and technology development. Those are still our primary focuses so we will continue to provide the practical effects that everybody loves to see in the big movies, like we did earlier this year for Terminator Salvation and Transformers II. We are also extending our reach into producing our own content with a focus on 3D feature film production. If you think about it, Kerner has a team of some of the best storytellers in the world if you give them a story to tell, they will tell it very well. The trouble is that when Kerner left the Lucasfilm family they lost their chief storyteller George Lucas. Now we are working to get the team back into working on internal content.

Iain: Why did you feel particularly attracted to Kerner?

Eric: I think it's a coupe of things. I'm a fan of watching trends and my good friend Gavin Wilding, a Canadian Film Producer, was ahead of the trend when about a year or so ago he started speaking to Kerner about making 3D productions. Now, that may seem like a normal conversation to have but, a year ago UP had not yet been released and the whole idea of 3D was still experimental: nobody knew where it was going. This was long before My Bloody Valentine or Final Destination IV bringing in $100 million dollars in the box-office.

Gavin's exuberance and enthusiasm about 3D kind of caught me on fire. Between the demise of the traditional film production market due in part to piracy and digital media and the ways that 3D production addresses these issues, I was sold. It has been very gratifying to jump on board and then watch, from the inside, the 3D boom getting started.

Iain: Do you have any projects you have been meaning to develop at the studios?

Eric: Yes. We assembled a slate of prospective films some internal and other co-ventures and hope to move into production early in 2010. Also, because we might be the only film studio with our own 3D camera rigs, we are regularly contacted by producers interested in making 3D movies that we might be interested in co-producing. It helps that, as well as our own 3D equipment, we have three fully equipped indoor stages, a large outdoor stage, and an outstanding set design and model shop

Iain: What are your other projects?

Eric: The technology side of the business is interesting. Kerner's history with that begins with the production of Empire Strikes Back . When the team was working on Empire there were shots they wanted to capture, but there was no such camera to capture it. The answer was to design and build an entirely new camera The Empire Camera. Since then Kerner has developed a long history a legacy of building cameras, camera-related equipments and, starting a few years ago, 3D camera rigs. Our team has also developed other 3D-related technology including the Kernervision

To find out more about Kerner and Eric Edmeades vist :
Eric's official website

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