Making a film like Star Wars: The Force Awakens requires an incredible amount of expertise and knowledge across departments. AUB Lecturer, Stephen Swain, is one of the talented creatives who helped bring the world of Star Wars to the screen…

Audiences across the UK will be flocking to see the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, this weekend. Senior Lecturer in Production Design at AUB, Stephen told us about his experience of working on the film.

Based at Pinewood Studios for 11 months, Stephen worked as an Art Director and was largely involved with vehicles and spaceships.

Stephen was primarily responsible for art directing both the new X-Wing and the TIE fighter in their various configurations.

Stephen said: “I worked closely with both Production Designers, Darren Gilford and Rick Carter, to help them realise their combined vision. Looking back, it really was a privilege to work on Episode VII. I never imagined I would be a part of the Star Wars legacy.”

“As an Art Director working on a feature of this size and complexity, I was able to develop my ideas whilst still being faithful to the original designs. Following this I project managed the set builds with the construction department and the large number of incredibly talented craftsmen and technicians. It is this combined effort that you see on screen.”

After graduating from film school, Stephen’s first job was as an Art Department Assistant on the first Harry Potter film – The Philosopher’s Stone.

He went on to work on all eight Harry Potter films over the next ten years, working his way up to Assistant Art Director.

Stephen’s other recent projects include the Marvel intergalactic adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy and the science fiction blockbuster starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, Edge of Tomorrow.