KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – One local man is showing how dreams really do come true.

Born and raised in Cleveland, TN, Ben Murphy sought out movie making at a young age. His first project was creating home movies with his brothers to now stepping out on red carpets of big box films.

Over the past five years, Murphy has been the supervising assistant editor on the newly released popular movie franchise, Avatar: The Way of Water. This movie is the sequel to the first Avatar movie which came out in 2009.

He says his day-to-day varied from helping set up production sets to editing various scenes he helped create. Much of his background and education is in cinematic production as well as computer generating imagery (CGI). He studied at the University of Tennessee double majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media and Cinema Studies.

The new Avatar movie has taken five years to complete and officially hit the big screen in December 2022. Murphy has traveled all over the world for this project, including New Zealand.

“Working on the Avatar films has been such a joy,” he says. “The fingerprints of thousands of the most talented, innovative, hilarious, passionate, and hard-working people are on every frame of the film. I loved working with them all. It’s a true labor of love. I hope people enjoy the film and being immersed into the world of Pandora. Buckle up and enjoy the experience.”

Click below to see some of the work Murphy had a hand in.

Murphy has also worked on some other big name flicks, including The Lego Batman Movie, Smallfoot, and more.

For anyone looking to get into the film making industry, Murphy says the best way to start is to just “pick up a camera.” He says you can find so many amazing and supportive people who are ready to show you ropes in this ever-changing industry. “I take tremendous pride in where I grew up and was educated. The foundations of my skills as a filmmaker were made while I was at UT. Paul Harrill, Dr. Chuck Maland, Dr. Bob Legg, and the late, one and only, Dr. Bill Larsen were instrumental in my filmmaking education. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their guidance and wisdom,” he expresses.

Click here to learn more about the Cinema Studies program at UT and follow along with Ben to see what he is up to next.