It’s a long way from Dublin’s Ballyfermot College of Further Education to Glendale, but that – per a highly entertaining Sunday, February 20th article in London’s Daily Mail – is the trajectory followed by a number of same-year classmates. Led by Richard Baneham (pictured), an Oscar winner last year for his visual effects contributions to Avatar.
Baneham spent five years working on the James Cameron blockbuster and expects to spend the next five supervising two simultaneous-shooting sequels. The 40-year-old husband and father of three is currently enjoying the fruits of his labor, alongside his transplanted Irish mates.
Baneham can’t stop laughing as he crosses his arms and poses for the camera, much to the amusement of the Armenian contractors working on the palatial former artists’ residence he recently bought in Glendale. The family hopes to move into the hacienda-style house this spring, and continues to live in their smaller house in the same suburb until then. Many of their Irish friends live nearby.
“We hang out every day; they all have kids in the same schools,’ Baneham says.
Some of Baneham’s other Ballyfermot classmates who stayed behind in Ireland have found success with JAM Media and Brown Bag Films, which had a 2010 Oscar nomination of its own for the animated short Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty. Heck of a class.