Star Wars fans have one thing in common: an enormous passion for their favourite franchise. They express that passion in all sorts of ways, and some manage to turn that passion into their jobs. One of these fans is Justin van der Lek.
Justin was born and raised in Utrecht, The Netherlands and as a huge Star Wars fan was working as a member of the crew of the 2003 edition of Echo Base Con. In 2007, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of working in movie Visual Effects. Since then he has worked at the most prominent VFX studios like Industrial Light + Magic, Digital Domain and Weta Digital on some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including The Hobbit, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
His biggest dream came true when he was asked to work for Industrial Light & Magic on The Force Awakens, where he was responsible for the Millennium Falcon escape chase sequence. For his contribution to the film he received the prestigious Visual Effects Society Award for “Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature”. We can also enjoy Justin’s work in The Last Jedi: he has worked on the battle on the planet Crait, which we have already seen glimpses of in the trailer.
Justin lives in Los Angeles with his little daughter Jeia and wife Jacqueline Makkee who is a successful Special Effects Makeup Artist, for example on The Avengers, X-Men: Apocalypse and Star Trek: Beyond.
As Darth Vader once said: “The circle is now complete…” In 2003 Justin worked at Echo Base Con as a member of the crew, in 2017 he returns as a guest. At Echo Base Charity Con, Justin will talk about his career at his panel and will participate in a signing session.