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Employee Spotlight: Beth D’Amato’s Journey from Internships to ILM

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The digital paint supervisor/associate visual effects supervisor discusses her incredible career path.

Beth D’Amato had always wanted to work in film or television, and at one company in particular.

ILM was always a dream job, ever since I was a kid,” she tells

And she would see that dream come true, as today, D’Amato is a digital paint supervisor/associate visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). But it didn’t happen overnight.

Attending Milwaukee’s Marquette University in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, D’Amato quickly started working at the college TV station. There, she learned the basics of production, and subsequently applied for TV internships around Wisconsin. It was the early days of digital effects and tools, but there was enough to give her a foundation to build on. “It was on those jobs that I learned computer graphics and digital paint,” she says. “I learned how to do plate reconstruction on a job where it was just three stills and they needed something removed. And I remember thinking to myself, ‘If I could find a job where I did this kind of paint all day long, I’d be the happiest person on earth.” Still, she’d have to wait. Upon graduation, D’Amato took advantage of every opportunity to stay in the industry and better herself.

“I learned everything I could. I didn’t just dive right in and do computer graphics,” she says. “I was a production assistant. I was a floor manager for live broadcasts. I did everything. And then I worked my way into the computer graphics department at a TV studio, and they hired me as a junior graphic artist.” D’Amato eventually made her way to California, taking a job at a video production company as a freelance graphic artist, before, finally, interviewing at ILM.

“Well, I had two interviews,” she says. “The first one, they said, ‘Uh, we’ll keep your resume on file.’” The second time, however, was the charm. D’Amato joined ILM in 1996. Though she started as an art department PA — “a step back,” she says, having done computer graphics and animation for over four years — she knew it was the right move at that point in her career. “I wanted to be in the door so bad, and the art department was the perfect place. You know, I learned from amazing art directors and applied my Photoshop-style paint, and was an assistant concept artist for several shows, while assisting the art directors on all their other jobs. But, while doing that, I was able to discover this path to digital paint.” And that has led to the defining work of her career.

“My main role is digital paint supervisor. I’ve been doing that for over 20 years,” she says. “It’s background-plate reconstruction. It’s removal of wires and harnesses. It’s reanimating a character’s mouth. I mean, it can get super complex depending on what director or visual effects supervisor you’re working with. Most companies would classify it as wire removal and simple background reconstruction. But at ILM, we specialize and we do a lot more complex paint.” Over the years at ILM, D’Amato has built an incredible body of work in digital paint, with credits including the Star Wars prequel and sequel trilogies, the Transformers films, Avatar, and The Creator. Yet with all that experience, she’s still pushing and learning new things.

In 2020, Lucasfilm took part in a larger initiative by The Walt Disney Company called Disney Launchpad Shorts, with the goal to develop new filmmakers. D’Amato volunteered to serve as visual effects supervisor on four short films, all helmed by different directors — a venture into uncharted waters for the ILM veteran. “It was all about helping everyone do the best they possibly could,” she says. “And once I got on set, I started to look into the lens and look into the camera with the directors and I was like, ‘Oh, this is like looking at my monitor back at my desk.’ Like I knew, ‘Oh, we’ll paint that out. We’re gonna need more light on this.’ I suddenly fell right into giving the director all the instructions and all the advice that they needed. And it flowed naturally.”

Following that experience, D’Amato took her next big step and landed the role of associate visual effects supervisor on The Mandalorian Season 3. “Now that we’re done, I look back and I’m like, you know, that was actually really, really cool and really fun,” she says. “And when I’m watching the episodes, I have a really big sense of pride because it was not a career choice I would’ve thought I would’ve made a few years ago.”

Still, wherever D’Amato’s journey next takes her, she’s content with the discipline she loves most, and the dream she fulfilled. “Digital paint, that’s where I’ve just soared. It’s what makes my heart happy,” she says. “It’s the kind of paint that I could just do for the rest of my life.”

Employee Spotlight Q&A

Who is your favorite Lucasfilm character?  

Boy, for years I would have said Darth Vader. But over the past several years I have fallen in love with Grogu. I think Grogu wins.

What is your favorite Lucasfilm production?  

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

What is your favorite Lucasfilm company tradition?

The Sidewalk Chalk Festival

Do you have a favorite part of your Lucasfilm campus?  

I love the Yoda fountain in San Francisco. It’s so iconic. And the new Funko Pop! wall in B building makes me smile.

Describe Lucasfilm in one word.  


Lucasfilm | Timeless stories. Innovative storytelling.

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