May the Force be with you

Star Wars double bill at British Science Festival.

Science fiction meets science fact this weekend, when the world of Star Wars is examined in two events at the British Science Festival in Birmingham.

On Saturday September 6th, Birmingham City University takes a look at 40 Years of Star Wars: Changes In Film Technology, while on Sunday September 7th, the University of Derby explores Science of Star Wars.

Both events take place at the University of Birmingham, which is hosting the British Science Festival, the spotlight event of Birmingham Year of Science 2014 (, a Birmingham City Council initiative aimed at showcasing the city’s celebrated successes in the fields of science, technology and learning.

The 40 Years of Star Wars: Changes in Film Technology event will be a panel discussion led by Film Technology and Visual Effects programme leader at Birmingham City University, Mathew Randall.

Joining Mathew on the panel will be Eugenie von Tunzelmann, a visual effects artist who has worked on a number of film releases including Batman Begins and Iron Man 2.

Also on the panel will be Christian Lett, who has previously worked as a visual effects supervisor on a wide range of children’s television programmes including Rastamouse and Grandpa in My Pocket.

Mathew Randall, Programme Leader for Film Technology and Visual Effects at Birmingham City University, said: “I brought Eugenie and Christian together for this event because they have both entered the visual effects industry from very different routes and work in different parts of the industry, which should lead to an interesting discussion.

“Christian will be giving a perspective of the wider visual effects industry outside of the major film releases which we normally think of when thinking about visual effects, while Eugenie will be giving a visual effects breakdown of Man of Steel which she worked on.”

Other festival events at the festival (, September 6th-11th), include a robotics workshop (September 9th), the physics of solar eruptions (September 10th) and a screening of Duncan Jones’s sci-fi film Moon (September 11th).

Guest speakers include Professor Alice Roberts, British Science Association President Sir Paul Nurse and David Willetts, UK Minister for Universities and Science.