Visual Effects | Dr Stuart Bender, Brendan Seals

As visual effects technologies advance and audience engagement changes, what could movies look like in the future?

In this episode, Sarah is joined by Dr Stuart Bender and VFX Supervisor Brendan Seals, who has worked on 30 movies, including the Oscar-nominated Spider-Man: No Way Home, for VFX vendor Luma Pictures. 

They discuss how visual effects are used on screen more than we realise, examine why audience reactions to visual effects have changed in the past 20 years, and predict how new technologies could transform the visual effects industry and even impact the real world.

  • Brendan’s visual effects work [01:19]
  • How audience attitudes to visual effects have changed [05:14]
  • LED StageCraft technologies as seen in The Mandalorian [13:02]
  • Shooting on camera vs. adding visual effects: the case of Top Gun: Maverick [15:13]
  • Deepfakes in the industry and the real world [19:05]
  • Advice for future visual effects artists [26:42]
  • What’s next for Stuart and Brendan? [31:27]

Learn more

Connect with our guests

Dr Stuart Bender is the Major Coordinator for the Screen Arts program at Curtin University in the new Bachelor of Creative Arts.

He has heavily researched psychological responses to high-emotion media, including cinema visual effects. In the past few years, he has frequently offered expert commentary on representations of violence, trauma and aggression in the media.

Brendan Seals is a Visual Effects Supervisor at Luma Pictures, a world-class VFX studio based in Melbourne, Australia. With a design background in FX, lighting and composition, Seals’s credentials include working on the Oscar-nominated and critically acclaimed Spider-Man: No Way Home and Jojo Rabbit.

He is a graduate of Curtin University’s Bachelor of Arts program. 

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Behind the scenes

Host: Sarah Taillier

Researcher and Editor: Daniel Jauk 

Recordist: Annabelle Fouchard

Executive Producers: Anita Shore and Jarrad Long

Assistant Producer: Alexandra Eftos

Social Media Coordinator: Amy Hosking

First Nations Acknowledgement

Curtin University acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which Curtin Perth is located, the Whadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation, and on Curtin Kalgoorlie, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields; and the First Nations peoples on all Curtin locations.


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Curtin University supports academic freedom of speech. The views expressed in The Future Of podcast may not reflect those of Curtin University.