Star Wars fans have one thing in common: a great passion for their beloved franchise. That passion expresses itself in different ways, and a few manage to turn that passion into their work. One such person is Justin van der Lek.
Justin grew up in Utrecht, the Netherlands and, as a big Star Wars fan, was involved as a crew member at the 2003. In 2007, he left for Los Angeles to fulfil his dream of working in special effects in Hollywood. His talent did not go unnoticed and he went to work for leading companies 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 thanks to his contribution to the battle on planet Crait.
Justin most recently oversaw the effects on Lucasfilm's episodic series Ahsoka and season three of The Mandalorian as Production-side Visual Effects Supervisor. In this capacity, Justin has closely collaborated with show creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni as well as director Rick Famuyiwa who has described Justin as a creative thinker and filmmaker.
Before that, Justin was also Production-side Visual Effects Supervisor on the Star Wars TV series The Book of Boba Fett, where he was responsible for ILM's StageCraft virtual production technology (also known as "The Volume"). His expertise in virtual production has led him to become a developer of techniques that have become industry standard. In 2022 he was a contributing writer to the Visual Effects Society: Handbook on Virtual Production, scheduled for publication in late summer of 2023, focusing on shooting in The Volume.
Justin will talk about his career at Echo Base Charity Con during his panel and take part in a signing session.