Posts Tagged ‘ILM’

ILM Halloween Invites Retrospective

Pete Vilmur | October 29, 2008

ilm_hall.jpg recently posted a short retrospective of some of the cooler ILM Halloween Party invitations released over the last 10 years, several of which give more than a slight nod to Star Wars. These are often prized by Star Wars collectors for their fun spin on the property and their insider appeal. This year’s “Leia Vamp” may top them all.

And just for kicks, here’s a mock-up design I threw out there a couple years ago that didn’t take — Grievous as Jack Skellington was just too good to pass up. Enjoy…


Star Wars Influence Map Team | September 5, 2008

In 2005, Wired magazine mapped out how exactly the Star Wars saga (including innovations from ILM, Skywalker Sound and LucasArts) has influenced pop culture, technology, entertainment companies and more over the years.

Read all about it here:
How Star Wars Changed the World (

Here’s a large easy-to-read image of the map from Kottke as well.


Remembering Special Effects Master Stan Winston Team | June 19, 2008

This week we lost an iconic special effects innovator and make-up artist Stan Winston, who’s best known for his work in the Terminator films, Jurassic Park, Aliens, Predator, Edward Scissorhands and most recently Iron Man, passed away at age 62 on June 15, 2008. He leaves behind a legacy of innovative work that not only earned him four Academy Awards, but legions of fans who many have become movie make-up artists and creature creators themselves.

Revenge of the Sith Creature Shop Supervisor Dave Elsey talks to us about his own admiration for Stan Winston and why his talents on the big screen will be missed.

When did you first discover the work of Stan Winston?
I was probably about 15 when I discovered Stan Winston’s work. I had a book called Making A monster by Al Taylor and Sue Roy, and I was really obsessed by the stuff he did, even back then, before he started doing all the really iconic stuff. I really loved his collaborative old age makeup on The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman.


“Open Road” Tours Lucasfilm Presidio Campus Team | May 7, 2008

The Bay Area travel show “Open Road” explores San Francisco’s Presidio national park, and goes behind the scenes at George Lucas’ Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic campus. Take a tour of the facility including the hallways and server rooms of Lucasfilm, as well as ILM’s motion capture stage!

VIDEO: “Open Road” Visits Lucasfilm at the Presidio


Star Wars Fan Abrams Reinvents Trek

Bonnie Burton | May 1, 2008

Most fans know by now that “Lost” co-creator and film director J.J. Abrams is a die-hard Star Wars-ophile, so when he decided reimagine the prequel story of James Kirk, some people were inclined to raise a Spock eyebrow. Abrams tells AP why he chose to tackle the sci-fi franchise already saturated with a vocal fan base of its own.

“It was an opportunity to take what I think has been a maligned world — to sound crass, a franchise — and treat it in a way that made it something that I wanted to see,” said Abrams, who recently finished shooting on Star Trek, due in theaters May 8, 2009. “To take the characters, the thoughtfulness, the personalities, the sense of adventure, the idea of humanity working together, the sense of social commentary and innovation, all that stuff. To take it and apply it in a way that felt genuinely thrilling.”


Get Tips from Modelmaker Grant McCune Team | March 26, 2008

Grant McCune, the Chief Modelmaker who received a Visual Effects Oscar for Star Wars and was nominated for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), chats with Popular Mechanics about the secrets of good modelmaking and how to perfect your work like the pros.


TED 2008: John Knoll Team | February 29, 2008

Academy Award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor John Knoll presented this week at TED 2008 during the “How Do We Create?” session.’s Mark Frauenfelder live blogs from the event:

John compared how visual effects were made for movies from the 1950s with contemporary movies. He showed clips from Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and clips from Pirates of the Caribbean.

The process hasn’t changed that much. You start off looking at the script, have discussions with director, and decide what needs to be shot using visual effects: anything you can’t just go out and shoot, anything that doesn’t exist, anything that’s too expensive, too dangerous, or just not possible.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea used miniature ships in a studio tank (about 200 ‘ x 200′, a few feet deep). The last pictures that used this techniques was Tora! Tora! Tora!. The tank method works pretty well but the scale of the water doesn’t work well. Droplet size is wrong. For Pirates, Knoll also built a tank, but came up with ways to split in full-size water droplets. Adding full scale water in background really helps.


ILM Scores Big at VES Awards Team | February 11, 2008

For visual effects buffs looking to place bets on the Oscar race, ILM made an impressive showing on Sunday’s VES awards. The three nominated films for the Visual Effects Oscar are Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Transformers and The Golden Compass, and ILM’s projects — Pirates and Transformers each scored Visual Effects Society acknowledgments, while Compass was left in the cold.

Transformers won four awards, including the top prize of best visual effects in an effects-driven film. Congrats to Scott Farrar, Shari Hanson,  Russell Earl and Scott Benza. The giant robot movie also won best single visual effect of the year (the desert highway sequence), best models and miniatures, and best compositing.  Pirates won for best created environment in a live action movie (the Maelstrom), and best animated character in a live action movie (for Davy Jones).

Congrats to everyone at Industrial Light & Magic for these accomplishments.

Oscar Contenders: Vote Now! Team | January 29, 2008

The New York Times is running a poll on all the Academy Award Nominees to see who the public thinks  will win each category. Illustrating the difference between readers and New York Times readers, this is where voters think the Visual Effects Award should go:

Transformers: 67%
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: 28%
The Golden Compass: 5%

This is what New York Times readers currently think:

Transformers: 34%
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: 34%
The Golden Compass: 32%

Go teach ‘em a thing or two at this link.

ILM Lands Three Slots in VFX Oscar Finalists Team | January 4, 2008

As previously reported here, the winnowing processes for the Best Visual Effects Academy Award category has changed slightly this year, starting with a long long list that gets shortened to a “Bakeoff” of seven contenders from which the final three nominations are selected. ILM dominated the long long list, with fully a third of the productions selected having come out of the effects house. Yesterday, the Academy’s Visual Effects Steering Committee pared down that list to the seven “semi-finalists,” and ILM has a strong showing with three entries among this group: Evan Almighty, Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Congrats to ILM supervisors John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russel Earl, Bill George, Lindy De Quattro and their hard-working teams for this recognition.

Members from the Visual Effects branch will again convene in Los Angeles on January 16 to vote on the final three nominees which will be announced on January 22.