For their “The Future of Work” series, BusinessWeek magazine goes inside Lucasfilm to see how the company manages multidisciplinary projects, accordion staffing and a freelance army with amazing results.
A few highlights from the article:
ILM has a permanent staff of about 700, but that can swell by as much as a quarter in the winter and spring, when effects work is being done on the summer blockbusters. Around 350 people at the Presidio worked with Farrar on Transformers, more than were actually on set with director Michael Bay. And John Knoll, visual effects supervisor on the third Pirates of the Caribbean, figures half of his team members were new to ILM. It’s a significant challenge to accommodate the constantly rising and falling army of freelancers, all of whom need IT training and HR orientation, a computer (or three), and a place to sit. The desks, tables, and chairs are all reconfigurable, so that one or four people can use an office. And—a simple but crucial point—each room has ample electrical outlets.