Using the force: Pagosa grad lands among the stars

Photo courtesy Melissa Diller Dr. Melissa Diller, Pagosa Springs High School graduate and a chiropractor in the Santa Monica, Calif. area, poses in her “The Force Awakens” jacket. Diller worked on the London set of “The Force Awakens” for a total of six weeks, giving her a different level of appreciation for the work that went into filming one of the highest-grossing films in history.

Photo courtesy Melissa Diller
Dr. Melissa Diller, Pagosa Springs High School graduate and a chiropractor in the Santa Monica, Calif. area, poses in her “The Force Awakens” jacket. Diller worked on the London set of “The Force Awakens” for a total of six weeks, giving her a different level of appreciation for the work that went into filming one of the highest-grossing films in history.

It’s no secret that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has shattered several box-office records and is poised to claim more, with fans everywhere singing the movie’s praises.

For one 2004 graduate of Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS), however, seeing the success of the film is a little different.

Dr. Melissa Diller, a chiropractor in the Santa Monica, Calif., area, worked on the London set of “The Force Awakens” for a total of six weeks, giving her a different level of appreciation for the work that went into filming one of the highest-grossing films in history.

Diller’s job was to coordinate with the on-set medical team to maintain the health and well-being of those involved with the film, including the production, camera and sound crews.

“My duties included injury prevention, stunt preparation, nutritional advice, etc.,” Diller wrote in an email to The SUN.

Diller worked on the set two different times during filming, each time serving three weeks, while working for a company contracted by Lucasfilm.

Diller is able to share little of what happened on the set with others due to medical privacy laws and the secrecy involved with filming — meaning she cannot discuss who she treated, and she has no keepsake photos from her time on the set.

What she does have, however, outside of a few commemorative items handed out to those who worked with Episode VII, are memories.

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This story was posted on December 31, 2015.