5 Singaporeans behind special effects in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Team behind some of the special effects in Star Wars: The Force Awakens includes these five S'poreans
One studied R2-D2's head for a month to create texturing for the droid.
Another spent nearly two weeks on matchmoving - an animation technique - for just one shot of Unkar Plutt, the junk boss of Jakku who tries to steal droid BB-8 from Rey.
And the sequence where Poe Dameron and Finn escape in a TIE Fighter, which had less than 10 minutes of screen time, took over six months to complete.
Meet the five Singaporean members of the local team from Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the animation studio arm of Lucasfilm that produced the Oscar-nominated visual effects for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The film opened here last December and is still showing in cinemas.
Speaking to The New Paper at Lucasfilm's Singapore facility at the Sandcrawler building, Mr Elvin Siew, a texture lead for the film, recalled the amount of work that went into their scenes.
"(Senior lighting technical director) Adrian (Tsao) and I worked on the digital version of R2-D2. Every smudge, every dust particle and the number of lights on his display had to be exactly the same as the two real-life versions on set.
"So we spent hours looking at R2-D2's head to produce the highest quality possible."
For associate production manager Mr Pei'an Lau, it was a challenge to manage the local project team, which consisted of almost 100 people of different nationalities.
He said: "I worked with the film's producers on resourcing and scheduling, working out milestones so we could hit our target and budget."
Getting to be part of one of the biggest blockbusters ever was an unforgettable experience for the quintet, but the team members had to follow strict company policy not to spill the film's plot details, which were closely guarded.
Mr Tsao said they were not allowed to watch entire sequences at their desks, in case someone came by.
"We always had to watch the specific scenes we worked on in separate screening rooms," he said.
Mr Lau also had to restrain himself from talking about Star Wars to his family and friends.
"It's hard, when you see how awesome it is, not to share the joy." he said.
"I just had to ask them to wait."
Mr Siew, who also worked on part of the set of Starkiller Base, was even aware of the climactic scene where - spoiler alert! - Kylo Ren kills his father Han Solo.
He said: "We had to guard this secret very, very well from everyone around us.
"Of course it changed the movie experience for us, but we were given the privilege to work on this pivotal sequence and it had to be done absolutely perfectly to do justice to the story."
Working at ILM meant being immersed in Star Wars culture every day in the office, making it a dream job for these Star Wars fans.
For example, colleagues often greeted each other with Star Wars movie lines, sneaking in classics like "It's a trap!" into daily conversation.
"Someone might say to you, 'You've got to finish this today... May the Force be with you'," said Ms Janice Chan, a layout and matchmove artist.
Mr Siew said Star Wars was the reason he joined the animation industry.
"I remember as a kid going to the library and browsing Star Wars art books," he said.
"(But) I never thought there would be another Star Wars movie, let alone that I'd be able to work on it and contribute so much to it."
Knowing that the movie was highly anticipated and would be closely scrutinised, the team put in its very best.
So when the members heard that the movie has been nominated for five Oscars this year, including one for Best Visual Effects, they were not surprised.
Lead paint and rotoscope artist Mr Jean Le Koh said: "We were aware there was a high chance of being nominated. It was just a matter of how many Oscar nominations the movie would get."
And as Singaporeans, they feel immensely proud of their contributions to the sci-fi hit.
"To me, Star Wars is not a movie, it's a culture," said Mr Lau.
"In 10 years or more, people are still going to be watching it. It'll be iconic, just like the first trilogy. Working on Star Wars is something you can tick off your bucket list."
The team does not know yet if it will be working on upcoming spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Episode VIII of the film series, but said there was a good chance it would.
Ms Angeline Poh, assistant CEO for industry group at the Media Development Authority, said it is proud that homegrown talents played a significant role in creating Oscar-nominated visual effects.
She said: "It reaffirms the fact that we are capable of producing world-class content.
"I hope this prestigious nomination will inspire many more Singaporeans to join the sector and continue to fly our flag on the world stage."
(From left to right)
ADRIAN TSAO, 35
Senior lighting technical director
Years at ILM: 9
Role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Worked on lighting for the TIE Fighter escape scene and the sequence set-up for R2-D2's and BB-8's interaction.
Qualifications: Bachelor of Computing from the National University of Singapore (NUS)
Other movie credits: Jurassic World, The Avengers, Pacific Rim, Rango, Battleship, Iron Man, Iron Man 2
PEI'AN LAU, 31
Associate production manager
Years at ILM: 5
Role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Worked with the producer to keep to the film schedule and budget, reporting on progress and productivity.
Qualifications: Bachelor of Computing (Honours) from NUS
Other movie credits: Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Star Trek Into Darkness, Jurassic World, The Avengers, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Rango
JEAN LE KOH, 34
Lead paint and rotoscope artist
Years at ILM: 6
Role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Removed unnecessary people and set equipment (wires, motion capture actors and cranes) from shots, and rotoscoping (tracing over footage, frame by frame, for use in live action and animated films).
Qualifications: Diploma in computer engineering from Temasek Polytechnic, diploma in animation and visual effects from CG Protege Animation School
Other movie credits: Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Pacific Rim, The Avengers, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
ELVIN SIEW, 30
Years at ILM: 5
Role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Worked on models, texture and look development for the Star Destroyer hangar where Poe Dameron escapes in a TIE Fighter, and the Interior for the Starkiller Base where Han Solo meets Kylo Ren. Also worked on look development for Unkar Plutt and the digital R2-D2.
Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Animation Art from Lasalle College of the Arts
Other movie credits: Noah, Strange Magic, Warcraft
JANICE CHAN, 33
Layout and matchmove artist
Years at ILM: 3
Role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Matchmoving camera tracking and match animation for the character Unkar Plutt
Qualifications: Diploma in animation from ArtFusion Media School
Other movie credits: Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Spectre, Jurassic World