Celebrities at The Forum

There were occasional celebrity sightings at The Forum.  Bob Hoskins was a favourite visitor of the animators.  They were also excited whenever Steven Spielberg and Bob Zemeckis dropped by – but they were there… working… so I don’t know whether that counts as a celebrity sighting.  Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall also dropped by occasionally.  Spielberg made a point of visiting every person in the studio and letting them know that their contribution mattered.  They all talk about the sincerity they felt in the interactions they had with him.

                            Effects group with Spielberg


                             Effects group with Spielberg


                 Spielberg with Checking/Rendering group


                           Pete Western with Spielberg


                              Spielberg with Roy Naisbitt


  Spielberg with Brenda McKie-Chat (and photobomb by Nik Ranieri)


                                 Nik Ranieri and Spielberg


Nik Ranieri with Spielberg and Irene Couloufis (Parkins), Jacques Muller


       Nik Ranieri with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall


Nik Ranieri with Robert Watts, Bob Hoskins, Bob Zemeckis,  Frank Marshall, and Jacques Muller


Nik Ranieri with Bob Hoskins and Alan Simpson, Pete Western, Colin White


       Tom Sito with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Frank Marshall


         Dick Williams with Ken Ralston and Bob Zemeckis


                         Dick Williams and Bob Hoskins


                                            Ollie Johnston


Nik Ranieri was ever-ready with a camera.  He took some ribbing, but thank goodness that he got the photos and shared them with the rest of the crew.  Jim Henson visited The Forum in February 1988.  Bob Zemeckis brought Christopher Lloyd by The Forum in March 1988.  It was during Lloyd’s visit that Ranieri cemented his reputation as the crew’s photo geek.  He had missed an earlier opportunity to have his photo taken during a George Lucas visit, so he kept a camera at the ready by his desk.  During Lloyd’s visit he ran down the stairs to intercept Zemeckis and Lloyd before they left and asked for a photo.  Lloyd said that it was okay with him, so Don Hahn said, “Go get your camera, Nik,” and off he sprinted up the stairs to retrieve it.  He is sure that they were rolling their eyes, but he got the photo.

                              Nik Ranieri with Jim Henson


        Nik Ranieri with Christopher Lloyd and Bob Zemeckis

Another visitor that everybody seemed to enjoy was young Christian Bale, who was at the Elstree Studios with Steven Spielberg’s Emire of the Sun.  Spielberg brought him on a visitor to The Forum to see the progress on the animation for Who framed Roger Rabbit.  Greg Manwaring amused him with coin tricks and magic.  He was 11- or 12-years-old at the time, but Bale made a very positive impression on the animators.  He was, of course, a very impressive kid – having won the role out of 4,000 child actors who auditioned.

Christian Bale
                               Christian Bale
                                Christian Bale