Posts Tagged ‘ILM’

Jon Favreau Tweets His ILM Visit Team | March 2, 2010

Last week director Jon Favreau came up to Lucasfilm in San Francisco to meet with Industrial Light & Magic about Iron Man 2.

As he took a tour of ILM, Favreau tweeted about who he ran into (Hey is that a Wookiee?!), some of his favorite props and a cup of Joe at Javva the Hutt. Check out all his photos here.


ILM Helps Make Avatar Explode Team | December 21, 2009

With many movies that depend on CGI to be precise, entertaining and believable, more than one effects house will work on different scenes so a movie can be released on deadline. As with James Cameron’s CGI blockbuster Avatar, Industrial Light & Magic was asked to help with a number of scenes in the film.

Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor John Knoll chats with Cnet about the role ILM played in helping with the movie’s hefty to-do list, working with Weta, and how ILM developed a way to make CGI explosions even more believable and entertaining.

Until now, big fiery explosions in CGI-heavy films have been shot with live camera and then had visual effects added to them. But Knoll said that because of some of the limitation of matching Cameron’s templates for “Avatar,” there was no practical way to meet the movie’s explosive needs with live-action.

“We’ve done CG explosions in the past,” Knoll said, “but never with this level of realism, and never this close up.”

Fortunately, ILM had pioneered the rendering of the visual movement of fluids in films like “Poseidon” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and Knoll knew that the shape and movement dynamics of an explosion were similar to that of water.

“The same underlying engine is being used on this,” Knoll said. “The motion of the underlying gas is similar to the motion of fluids. The medium is relatively uncompressable. So when there’s movement of the medium, it can’t change volume real dramatically. So if you push on one side, something has to push on the other side.”

That meant that ILM could take the graphics engine it had created for fluid shots in the previous films and apply the same basic technology for the explosions in “Avatar.” Though there are clearly some major differences between fluid and big fire–notably that as fuel burns, fire expands, and then retracts when the fuel goes away, the technique was similar enough that the technology could be adapted to the needs of “Avatar.”

“I think this is going to be an important technique (for the industry) in the future,” Knoll said, “to tailor-make an explosion that looks good close up.”

Read the full article here:
ILM steps in to help finish Avatar visual effects
(via Cnet)

Director Richard Kelly Visits Skywalker Team | October 29, 2009

The week director Richard Kelly visited Skywalker, as well as the Lucasfilm-ILM San Francisco campus, to screen his latest film The Box, as well as indulge staff as they asked uber-geeky questions about his new movie, his breakout hit Donnie Darko and about filmmaking in general.

Richard blogged about his visit on the MTV Movies Blog:

The good people of Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic hosted a screening of The Box an invited me to stay at the legendary Lucas ranch for the night and tour the facilities.

The property itself is everything a fanboy could dream and more – as an alumni of USC and an acolyte in the church of Lucas – I was speechless when I was granted access to the Sergei Eisenstein apartment, a spacious lodge with a vaulted ceiling and fireplace.

It was then on to visit the wonderful folks at ILM in San Francisco. We did a post-screening discussion on The Box (opening November 6th!) which was moderated by Kate Shaw – Director of Training and Education – who asked a series of insightful and thoughtful questions about the film.

It was an honor to be among fellow artists and technicians who appreciate the art of science-fiction and open to exploring the themes of the film. I have to say it was probably my favorite Q+A that I have ever done.

Read the full blog entry here:
Richard Kelly’s Latest Guest Blog Takes Us To Skywalker Ranch! (via MTV Movie Blog)

Be sure to follow Richard Kelly on Twitter.

Star Wars to Harry Potter: Secrets of ILM F/X Team | July 16, 2009

Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) and Co. may have audiences under their spell in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but the real wizards are the ones who created the movie’s special effects. Industrial Light & Magic, the biggest F/X studio in the business, gave the News a sneak peek behind the wizards’ curtain to see how they made some of the greatest magic in film history.

Read the full article here:
Star Wars to Harry Potter: Secrets of movie special effects

ILM: The Early Years on Super 8 Video Team | July 9, 2009

A long time ago (’70s), in a galaxy far, far away (San Fernando actually) there existed a ragtag group of individuals (ILMers) who would go on to transform movie making and ignite imaginations in fans for decades to come.

Lucky for us, one of those old timers — David Berry — posted this behind-the-scenes video he made back in the day of his fellow ILMers in action — working hard and having fun.

Berry describes it as:

“Crude home movies from the 1970s depicting activities at a certain location in the San Fernando Valley.”

WATCH VIDEO: 5757 (via Vimeo)


ILM Puts Optimus Prime in Tonight’s “Late Show” Team | July 6, 2009

Tune in to The Late Show with David Letterman tonight, July 6 (CBS, 11:30PM) to see a different side of Optimus Prime, as the heroic Autobot reads the infamous Top Ten list.  ILM turned around roughly 3,000 frames of animation composited onto the Letterman stage in record time. Congratulations to all of those at ILM who went above and beyond to make this happen! See it now at


R2-D2 in Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen Team | June 24, 2009

Our beloved astromech seems to be popping up everywhere. First R2-D2 shows up in Star Trek. And now the film’s visual-effects supervisor, who also worked on Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace, and the same screenwriting team who wrote him into Star Trek, are saying Artoo is in their new movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

MTV News reports:

“There’s an R2-D2 flying around in there somewhere,” revealed ILM’s Scott Farrar, the film’s visual-effects supervisor, who also worked on the Star Wars episodes Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. “There’s a little bit of space junk thrown in there; see if you can find it. It’s a scene in the desert.” Interestingly enough, George Lucas’ charismatic droid also had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo in Star Trek, which shares the same writing team as Transformers. Is it a coincidence? “Perhaps,” screenwriter Alex Kurtzman grinned mischievously. “Perhaps not.”

Read the full article here:
Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know (via VH1/MTV)

McQuarrie Honored by Digital Artists

Pete Vilmur | May 29, 2009


According to the CG Society’s official website, legendary Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie has been awarded the distinction of “EXPOSÉ 7 Grand Master” by the group.

“The CGSociety is the most respected and accessible global organization for creative digital artists,” reads the group’s site. “The CGS supports artists at every level by offering a range of services to connect, inform, educate and promote, by celebrating achievement, excellence and innovation in all aspects of digital art.”

Fitting, then, that such an esteemed group of artists would honor McQuarrie’s work and career with such a prestigious award. Most Star Wars fans would agree that it is certainly well-deserved!

Head on over to the CG Society’s website for the award announcement, interview, and a great look back at McQuarrie’s spectacular career.

Putting Star Wars into Star Trek

Bonnie Burton | May 11, 2009

MTV chats with Star Trek director and Star Wars fan J.J. Abrams about taking some elements of Star Wars and putting them into the new movie.

“That was the fun of it,” Abrams explained recently. “[I] was trying to combine both of those elements and make a movie that wasn’t like a Star Wars movie but felt that it had more pace and action than certain Star Trek movies had.”

Perhaps as a result, Captain Kirk is chased down on an ice planet by an enormous creature, Wampa-style. An early scene introduces Uhura at a bar populated by hard-drinking aliens. And in one key scene, the villain proves his ruthlessness by destroying the home planet of a key character.

“In our early conversations, [co-writer] Alex [Kurtzman] kept saying, ‘We have to put a little Star Wars into our Star Trek,’” remembered Roberto Orci, who wrote the film with Kurtzman. “It was our chocolate and our peanut butter, kind of getting into each other.”

Read the full interview here:
Star Trek Gets Some ILM Magic (via MTV)

Check out our interviews with J.J. Abrams here:

J.J. Abrams Talks Fringe, Cattle and Star Wars (via

Mission: “Lost” in Star Wars — J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof

Report from WonderCon 2009: Lucasfilm Presentation (Part I: Celebrating 10 Years of Star Wars Renaissance)

Pablo Hidalgo | February 28, 2009

In the Esplanade ballroom at the Moscone Convention Center South, Star Wars fans gathered for the annual Lucasfilm presentation, hosted by Steve Sansweet. What follows is a partial transcript of the event, divided into three parts. See part two here, and part three here.


The hour-long presentation began with a viewing of something most people have not seen on a big screen in 10 years: the original teaser trailer for The Phantom Menace. That set the stage for a retrospective of the fan resurgence that accompanied the release of Episode I. With the rise of the Internet and the fan community, a worldwide gathering of Star Wars fans was ready to usher in the return of the saga, proving that Star Wars could indeed last forever.