Dubuque's connection to the 2017 Oscars - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque's connection to the 2017 Oscars

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While "La La Land" racked up award after award at the 89th Annual Academy Awards, a Dubuque connection to that ceremony emerged.

Skylar Gorrell, son of Susan Gorrell, the executive director of the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, had his first brush with the Oscars.

He worked on the special effects team of "Deepwater Horizon", the dramatic retelling of the oil rig disaster of 2010.

That film was nominated for Best Visual Effects.

"'Deepwater Horizon' was a lot of fun. That was an experience of a lifetime," Gorrell said.

Gorrell has worked on dozens of movies, but says this was the most work he's ever had to do on set.

"Just imagine, you know, you're carrying these mortars that weigh about 150 pounds each, and it's steel. And you're lifting them all day long, moving them around," he said.

Gorrell already has some big credits to his name, including "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" and two of the "Twilight" franchise movies.

But he and his mom are both incredibly excited about this film getting the Oscar nomination.

"To be a part of something that's Oscar nominated. That's pretty exciting. When I worked on it, you know, you don't think, this is the next Oscar nominee. But as you're working...we do every job and we love what we do," he said.

Susan added, "We're proud of him. Skylar's kinda come into his own. We're from a film family, so it's nice to see him coming up on his own now. He's done 40 or 50 films, and this is one of the first that's he's actually got to be part of that's nominated, so it's a good feeling."

Unfortunately, it was not to be for "Deepwater Horizon", as they lost out to "Jungle Book".

Gorrell will next work on an action-packed comedy in Georgia before heading to Hawaii to work on "Jurassic World".

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