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WoW Celebs: An Interview with Oscar Winner Steve Preeg

Updated Tue, Mar 03, 2009 by Cody Bye

World of Warcraft players are everywhere. They’re in your local grocery store, sitting next to you on an airplane, even playing football for your favorite NFL team, but it isn’t very often that we hear about a WoW player winning an Oscar. However, just a few short days ago, Ten Ton Hammer heard about an individual who did just that. His name is Steve Preeg and while he may not be Brad Pitt, he did win an Oscar for visual effects in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. After his star treatment at the Oscars award show, Steve was kind enough to sit down with Ten Ton Hammer and talk about his career along with some World of Warcraft.


Steve Preeg, character supervisor for Benjmain Button and avid WoW player

Ten Ton Hammer: Congratulations on the Oscar! That’s a pretty big achievement. Is that your first?

Steve Preeg: Thanks! Yeah, it’s my first one.

Ten Ton Hammer: Can you tell us a bit more about what you worked on in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button? You were the character designer?

Steve: It was officially called a “character supervisor” on the show. I was essentially responsible for delivering the character to lighting. So I dealt with rigging and animation and overseeing the modeling to make sure all the models were good and proofing all the tracks. Basically it was everything you need to do to get the animated model into the lighting department. That also meant I got to put my two cents in on lighting, even when they didn’t want to hear it.

Ten Ton Hammer: Before Benjamin Button you worked on Lord of the Rings. That’s a pretty big “geek” movie. Was it as thrilling to work on those movies as I imagine?

Steve: I actually didn’t work on the first one, so I got to see the quality of the first film before flying down to New Zealand. I was there for the second and the third movies, and it was definitely a great film project to work on. Unfortunately it was a lot of hours and I didn’t get to see New Zealand that much.

But at the time, World of Warcraft wasn’t out yet, so I had the time to stay and work on the project.

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