Digital Asset Administrator Shahana Alam has been with Lucasfilm over 10 years. She blends her passion for Star Wars with a skill at database management to fulfill an essential yet unsung role behind-the-scenes of our animated series.
Can you tell us about your day-to-day responsibilities?
My day involves managing our image database for Lucasfilm Animation. I pull frames from our animated series, and I help spearhead the creation of special poses, or key art, that are used by the Franchise team. That involves pulling a lot of reference images for our overseas studios, and consulting with our Animation artists here in San Francisco, such as Animation Supervisor Keith Kellogg and Lighting Director Joel Aron. They know the personalities of the characters and can ensure that everything looks the way it should! I’m the one who kicks everything off.
How has your role evolved since you first started here?
I started in the spring of 2008 as an Image Archives Coordinator. I managed our prior image database system, which was created internally. Star Wars: The Clone Wars was just starting as an animated series at the time, so I became the person handling the assets for that production. We’d organize the final animation frames and ensure they were properly distributed to people around the company. Ten-plus years later, I am still handling Animation assets but am now heavily involved in selecting frames and creating poses. When I started we had just one animated series at Lucasfilm, and now there are several!
What was your background before coming to Lucasfilm?
I actually studied music as an undergraduate at Mills College. I was a pianist! I still play, but by the time I graduated I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a career. I finally ended up working at a non-profit as a registration manager. I realized that I was good at organization. I still like to learn the inner workings of a database and figure out how to make it serve the needs of the users.