Reality Check: Inception / Monsters special effects special

Reality Check: Inception / Monsters special effects special

In this edition of the Sci-Fi London Podcast, SFL web editor Chris Patmore guest hosts to bring interviews with two people working and different ends of the special effects budgetary scale. First we speak to Paul Franklin, visual effects supervisor on Chris Nolan’s Inception, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, as well as on the two latest Harry Potter movies.

Then we speak with Gareth Edwards about his debut feature Monsters, and how he got to make it, and doing special effects on his home computer. Gareth was the winner of the first SCI-FI-LONDON 48 Hour Film Challenge, and his feature film is garnering rave reviews around the world. Gareth will be holding a director’s masterclass after the screening of Monsters at Oktoberfest 2010 (see below).

Paul Franklin contemplates the VFX of Inception, Gareth Edwards prepares to shoot Monsters

Paul Franklin contemplates the VFX of Inception, Gareth Edwards prepares to shoot Monsters

For more info about this podcast and a variety of other episodes you can download, please visit the home of this episode at

Links: Interviews with Paul Franklin about Batman Begins and Inception
Pre-order a special Limited Edition of Inception on DVD/Blu-ray (December 6) from

Read an interview with Gareth Edwards about Monsters

Recommended events:

Sci-Fi London Oktoberfest

Sunday 10th October

Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (42 day) screening

To those of us who got beyond banging the rocks together, 42 is represented in binary as 101010. And so, just in case nothing remarkable happens on the tenth of October 2010, SCI-FI-LONDON will be showing the film.

10AM Apollo Piccadilly Cinema, Lower Regent Street

Thursday 14th October

Evening event at Royal Greenwich Observatory: Life, but as we know it?

A SPECIAL NIGHT investigating Extraterrestrial life in science, fiction and comedy.

We start the evening with a live Planetarium show: Astrobiology – the new science of life in the universe, created in conjunction with astrobiologist Dr Lewis Dartnell, this unique planetarium show will take you on a tour of the planets and moons of our Solar System to ask: are we alone?

On the night we will also be screening a special preview of MONSTERS by Gareth Edward on the planetarium dome. Seats are limited and we will be picking ticket holders to the Astrobiology show at random and offering them a chance to also see the film!

Also: Join some of the activities around the Observatory site. / Touch some real-life visitors from space with a tour of the Observatory’s meteorite collection. / Find out the latest news from NASA’s mission to detect Earth-like worlds and watch a live demo of how we might scan them for signs of life. / Good monster/bad monster – scientists and writers discuss what makes a believable alien lifeform. With Simon Guerrier and Dr Zita Martins / Weather permitting, a chance to see Jupiter’s moon Europa – most likely home of alien life in our Solar System. / Alien Among Us – a real-world game. You’ll need to think, plan, sneak, and escape. It’ll be a blast… REGISTER ON THE NIGHT

6:30PM Royal Greenwich Observatory, Greenwich

Friday 15th October

Rise of the Machines at The Royal Society, London

THE ROYAL SOCIETY plays host to an unashamedly robotic evening of discussion, demonstrations and drama. Tom Hunter is joined by Tony Ballantyne, author of Twisted Metal and Prof. Dr. Kerstin Dautenhahn, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Hertfordshire.
Kerstin is a pioneering researcher in robot social learning and imitation whose research interests include Human-Robot Interaction, Social Robotics, Socially Intelligent Agents and Artificial Life. Kerstin and her colleagues will also introduce us to two KASPAR robots (Kinesics and Synchronisation in Personal Assistant Robotics).

Following the discussion: We will be treated to a rehearsed reading of extracts from Karel Capek’s 1921 play R.U.R. (ROSSUM’S UNIVERSAL ROBOTS), which is noted for introducing the term, ‘ROBOT’.
SCI-FI-LONDON has commissioned a modernisation of the work for the 10th annual festival in April 2011. This will be the first public preview of the work-in-progress.
This fabulous evening is in collaboration with the Royal Society’s 350th anniversary celebrations in 2010.

6:30PM The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG (FREE!)

Technotise: Edit and I

Serbia’s first animated feature film – an eye-popping cyberpunk ride that’s calibrated to knock your socks off. Think GHOST IN THE SHELL meets WALTZ WITH BASHIR.

7:30PM Apollo Piccadilly Cinema, Lower Regent Street

Dougal and the Blue Cat

We are delighted to screen a newly-restored cult classic of a spin-off from the children’s television series, THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT, but this feature is an altogether darker affair (+ FREE BEER!)

9:30PM Apollo Piccadilly Cinema, Lower Regent Street

Saturday 16th October


Saturday morning kids screening of the popular CGI cartoon.

10:30AM Apollo Piccadilly Cinema, Lower Regent Street

Alien Encounters: Superior Fan Power Since 1979

Documentary about Ridley Scott’s classic Alien film and its contiuning legacy

1:00PM Apollo Piccadilly Cinema, Lower Regent Street

Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Live action version of the brilliant anime time travel film.

3:00PM Apollo Piccadilly Cinema, Lower Regent Street


Preview of the new British Sci-Fi film by Sci-FI London shorts alumni Gareth Edwards followed by a director’s masterclass hosted by Alex Fitch.

6:00PM Apollo Piccadilly Cinema, Lower Regent Street


Screening of the Disney SF classic with a special 8 min preview of the forthcoming Tron: Legacy in 3D, plus special video introductions, short film and an accompanying exhibtion…

9:00PM Apollo Piccadilly Cinema, Lower Regent Street

SFL All-Nighters

For many people the highlight of our twice yearly festival – all night screenings of your favourite genre films with as much ice cream and energy drinks as you can consume…
Choose from:
Anime / MST3K / the best of Guillemo Del Toro / Studio Ghibli All Nighter

11.30PM Apollo Piccadilly Cinema, Lower Regent Street

More info at