The Walt Disney Company’s purchase of Lucasfilm is like a nesting doll of fantastic film discoveries. Every layer opened unveils some new element that makes the whole purchase worth it. The 2012 $4 billion acquisition included the visual effects power house Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) which has just released a special behind the magic sizzle reel of visual effects from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It’s easy to see why Star Wars: The Force Awakens was nominated for an Academy Award for its visual effects. I particularly love how Rey’s speeder bike effect is so wonderfully simple. But that sort of digital wizardry was pioneered by ILM. Over 2100 such shots exist in the movie.
ILM evolved out of George Lucas’ need to have an inhouse special and visual effects house to make his vision of Star Wars come true. It’s been making movie magic since 1975 and continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in digital animation and effects plus some amazing practical effects and physical sets.
Do you have a favorite visual effect from Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Have you ever dreamt of working for ILM?