The Inside Track Lecture: Visual Effects and Digital Film Making

27 March 2014, 1.00 PM - 27 March 2014, 1.00 PM

Venue: Venue - Chemistry Lecture Theatre 1, Chemistry Building. Speaker: Ben Morris
Using example shot breakdowns from recent film productions Ben will focus on the creative, as well as technical, aspects of the processes involved and how they are advancing the way film makers work.

Time - 1-2pm (this is likely to be a popular lecture, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment)

Venue - Chemistry Lecture Theatre 1, Chemistry Building

Including refreshments afterwards in Chemistry Lecture Theatre Foyer - all welcome

Ben Morris, graduate of the Faculty of Engineering and Bafta and Oscar winner for Visual Effects, will provide a broad overview of the state of the art in film visual effects. .  .

Ben Morris is one of the film industry’s leading Visual Effects Supervisors. After graduating from Bristol in Mechanical Engineering in 1992, Ben started his career in Jim Henson's Creature Shop. He quickly progressed to Technical Supervisor in charge of development of the Henson Performance Control System. After working on a number of films including the Oscar award-winning film Babe, Ben re-trained as a digital effects artist, using his experience of building robotic puppets and control systems to help him better understand how to design and build 'virtual' characters in the computer.

Over the next few years, Ben built up an impressive film portfolio working with companies including Framestore, the largest visual effects and computer animation studio in Europe, and on films including Gladiator, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, Troy, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, Prince of Persia, The War Horse and Gravity. One of Ben’s biggest projects was working on the film version of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. Between 2005 and 2007 Ben worked as the Visual Effects Supervisor on this project, with responsibility for creating all the computer generated armoured bears and polar environments they lived in. This success secured Ben with a Bafta Award for Best Visual Effects, in 2008, and, later that year, an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Ben now works as Creative Director for Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) in London, a division of Lucas Films. At every stage of his career Ben has returned to his engineering background to help model dynamic real-world motion, control complex robotic cameras and mechanical rigs and derive algorithms to simulate lighting, shading and rendering in CG images.

The Inside Track Lecture is an industry lecture series aimed primarily at students. Speakers from a range of industries will share their inside knowledge; they are typically University of Bristol graduates from the Faculty, and are asked to give the 'inside track' on what it is like to work in a particular industry or field. Talks will be of interest to students across the Faculty, and will all be followed by a Q&A session, the chance to meet the speaker over refreshments after the lecture and a related LinkedIn discussion.

For more information please contact: The Faculty of Engineering Industrial Liaison Office on or 0117 95 45483.

*The Inside Track lectures are open to all University of Bristol students and staff, but if you are from outside the University and would like to attend, please email


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