The Cobert Report: Green Screen Challenge – 2006

I was the co-VFX Supervisor (along with Todd Vaziri)  on this fun little side project.

Late in the summer of 2006, Steve Colbert did a segment of his “Better know a district” where he visited California’s 6Th congressional district (where George Lucas lives).  Steven then got in front of a greenscreen and proceeded to jump around with a lightsaber.  When he was done, he turned to someone off stage and said “Now Lucas is going to add all the CGI stuff later, right?”  The
next day at work, people started suggesting that we do something with the footage (just for fun) and send it in.  By the end of the day, George Lucas had found out we were interested in doing something and he thought it was a great idea (he’s a big fan of the show).  I got called by the PR department and asked to supervise the project.  I knew I would need a really strong team and immediately dragged my friend Todd Vaziri in to be my co-VFX Supe.  It was a fantastic choice since Todd is a master compositor and he was able to really sort out all the issues we had with
going from video to film.   I ended up doing all the 3D Jar-Jar shots and Todd handled all the 2D stuff.  We knew our best chance to get something decent in the short amount of time was to take some existing footage and work Steven into that.  Todd suggested the hanger scene from EP3 since he had supervised that and knew that we could put Steven into those shots fairly easily.   With several other people (who were all working on other shows at the time) we were able to get 22 shots done in about 3 weeks – all while working on our regular shows and not doing any overtime.  We were fortunate to be invited to NY to see the taping of the show on Oct. 11.   We met Steven backstage and he was extremely kind and genuinely thankful of the work we had done.
I’m proud to say that I am officially a “Friend of the Show”.

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