Well this is my first post, and since it is listed under *Inspirations* it focuses on one of my biggest inspirations...George Lucas and the creative team at ILM. What American boy hasn't been inspired by this group over the last 30 years? I'm one that falls into the expansive group. From the earliest age I remember watching the 1930's version of King Kong and my interest for special fx grew from there. Instantly the 1963 classic Jason and the Argonauts and 1981's Clash of the Titans became my favorite movies. Ray Harryhausen's masterful stop-motion animation captivated my imagination. This seemed to be the limit of the state of the art at that time...that was until I discovered a galaxy far far away. Star Wars brought the next step to my creative inspiration and intrigue. I was too young to see EP IV and V in theaters, but I remember seeing them on tv before going to see Return of the Jedi in theaters. Watching movies in those days was different than today, because you could only see them in theaters. There was no VHS or any dreams of DVD. For me, I had to make the most of every second that those films were on the big screen. I was like a sponge, soaking up every image. Fortunately because of the success of Star Wars, NBC would play them on network television during the holidays...and I wouldn't miss one. For me, the magic was not so much in the story (although the original trilogy had a very good one), but in the visual effects. Just as I had been inspired by Harryhausen's stop motion, I was blown away by the work of Dennis Muren and the rest of the ILM team. The Darth Vader costume was even a delicacy of visual design. Because I was so young, and America was an optimistic nation in those days (thanks to the Gipper), I had the perfect environment to cultivate the creative influences I was receiving from George Lucas, Jim Henson (The Dark Crystal was another amazing inspiration), Steven Spielberg and a few others. I feel blessed to have been able to see first hand the old world artistry of visual effects while it was the state of the art, before the transition and birth of the digital age. I think if I had not know the creative efforts of George Lucas and ILM my creative development would have had much less of a distinct spark to it.