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171

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Robotics in Theatre, Film, and Television with Grant Imahara and Richard McKenna

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13 December 2014



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NEW: Transcript below.
In this episode, Ron Vanderkley speaks with Mythbusters Grant Imahara, and Richard McKenna from The Creature Technology Company about robotics in the film, television and theatre industries.

Grant_and_Ron

Grant Imahara
Grant Imahara graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in electrical engineering. It was shortly after that Imahara was hired as an engineer at LucasFilms and Industrial Light & Magic, building and operating a number of visual effects, models and robots for popular films/film series (such as Star Wars, Galaxy Quest, Jurassic Park, Terminator, The Matrix and AI: Artificial Intelligence). Imahara also built the Energizer Bunny, for the battery company’s commercials, Deadblow robot on BattleBots and Jeff Peterson from The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Imahara is perhaps best known as a presenter on Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, and is often seen making robots or robotic rigs needed to aid in the testing of various myths. Imahara appeared at Supanova 2014 promoting his casting as Mr. Sulu in the popular professional web-series Star Trek: Continues.

Richard McKenna
Richard-McKenna_220x220Richard McKenna is Chief Engineer at The Creature Technology Company. He joined CTC in 2010 and has worked on all of the major projects since that time, including How to Train Your Dragon; King Kong and the Sochi Olympic Mascots.  He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering from Swinburne University and is certified as a “Chartered Professional Engineer” by Engineers Australia, registered on the National Professional Engineers Register (NPER). Prior to joining CTC, the majority of Richard’s time was spent in the defence industry, and he has also worked in special effects for film and television.

Links:

References: 

  • Stanley “Stan” Winston was an American television and film special make-up effects creator. He was best known for his work in The Thing, the Terminator series, the first three Jurassic Park films.
  • Gerry Ryan of Jayco Caravans the largest recreational vehicles manufacturer in Australia, owner of Creature Technology, Global Creatures, (Gerry Ryan is listed in BRW Rich 200 list 2014: 148)
  • Dreamworks “HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON LIVE SPECTACULAR”, where dragons with 40 foot wingspans fly and breathe fire. This must-see arena spectacle breaks all the rules of traditional entertainment, immersing audiences into a magical and mythical world of Vikings and Dragons.


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