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Imagine leaving the northeast, packing up everything you own, and setting out for California to follow your dreams of working in the film industry...
That's exactly what Bill Westenhofer did, and boy did it pay off. The Bucknell alum had a passion for art and computers from a young age, and that passion has brought him to where he is now… an Oscar-winning digital artist. Westenhofer has worked on visual effects for a number of big-name films over the years, including "The Chronicles of Narnia," "Men in Black 2," "Elf," "Waterworld," and "The Golden Compass." He even took home an Academy Award in 2008 for his visual effects in "The Golden Compass." Now, Westenhofer's latest film, "Life of Pi" is up for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, and he could be taking a golden statue home once again. The award-winning digital artist came back to the area to speak at The Campus Theatre last night. He spoke to a crowd about the visual effects process for "Life of Pi," and working with director Ang Lee. Westenhofer spent 3 years working on the film. Westenhofer now anxiously awaits the Academy Awards on February 24th. As for his future plans, the visual effects supervisor with Rhythm and Hues Studios tells us he hopes to commit to a new project in the next few months… after taking some time off to be with his family. His advice for anyone looking to follow in his film footsteps: confidence and perseverance.