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Light & Magic - Out Now on Disney+


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I watched it all on Thursday and it was great. As it mainly focussed on the Star Wars films and Jurassic Park I knew most of the stories already, but the bit on how they made the house disappear at the end of Poltergeist was awesome.
 

Hope they do a second series focussing on all the non-Lucasfilm movies they worked on. 

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Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand have almost been erased from history in this documentary. You could argue that Lucas gave the direction of actors stuff over to other people in order to direct the effects stuff that he cared more about, but this doc suggests the nominal directors had literally nothing to do with anything that wasn’t directing actors on set. 

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19 hours ago, superfunk said:

Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand have almost been erased from history in this documentary. You could argue that Lucas gave the direction of actors stuff over to other people in order to direct the effects stuff that he cared more about, but this doc suggests the nominal directors had literally nothing to do with anything that wasn’t directing actors on set. 

 

Regarding Empire and Jedi, that probably is the actual case. 

It's certainly becoming the defacto situation with the MCU. 

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With Empire at least, Kershner was mostly in London and Norway filming the actors, while Lucas was back in California overseeing ILM and the effects shots (and sorting out the financing and distribution and putting together a rough cut etc). And even then, Lucas was in Europe on occasion, sticking his nose in. So I suspect it's probably true that Kershner didn't have that much interaction with Edlund, Muren, Johnston, et al, and certainly had less input and direction. than Lucas. Kershner would have had input, especially into the live-action effects, but it's probably fair to describe it as Lucas' show.

 

They could have featured him a bit more, but given that he's dead and had limited input into the specific thing the documentary is focused on, it's not unreasonable that he's not in it very much.

 

I think Marquand's role was to do what Lucas said and not spend too much money, so not that surprising he's not featured.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got one left to watch, which looks like it covers everything from Jurassic Park to today. It’s been an incredible show, one of the best documentary series I’ve ever seen. If you’re a special effects nerd of a certain vintage, all of these ILM people are very familiar names and faces. So much geeking out.

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I think I had something in my eye when Phil Tippett tells the story at the end of the last episode.

What a fantastic show. Glad they made it while most/some of the early ILM people are still around.

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12 hours ago, Festoon said:

I'm fascinated at how much they went into fairly tough topics, like the jettisioning of John Dykstra, and the resistance of the model shop to cgi.


Shocking stuff, really. Dykstra was a bona fide genius. He invented the computerised camera system that made the SW films possible. It’s even fucking named after him. And George, the ruthless cunt, is like “See ya”.

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On 12/08/2022 at 00:14, jonamok said:


Shocking stuff, really. Dykstra was a bona fide genius. He invented the computerised camera system that made the SW films possible. It’s even fucking named after him. And George, the ruthless cunt, is like “See ya”.


Yeah, the Dykstra firing was nasty. He seems like an amazing visionary.

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1 hour ago, Mr.Crowley said:

I watched this with my daughter and I think we both had a feeling of the "magic" disappearing with the coming of digital effects. 

 

I think that if the present budget and scheduling conflicts with the VFX industry can be resolved then we'll potentially be in a good place here. There are plenty of directors who recognise that a combination of CG and practical effects are the best way to do stuff. I enjoyed how the little section on The Mandalorian at the end brought things full circle, bearing in mind what John Knoll made off his own back to do one of the shots.

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Finished episode 5, 1 to go.

 

This has been great, for some reason I'm shocked with just how much amazing old footage they have. I always saw Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005) as the dawn of films being like 'Oh this is a big film, we should be video documenting every step of the process', probably with the advent of Web 2.0 in the early 2000's. So it's wild to me they were doing it during Star Wars, especially the first one in the 70's when they had no idea how big it would be. I presume the StarWars footage in particular has popped up in multiple other places?

 

It's also been really interesting to learn that Pixar and Photoshop came out of ILM, never knew that.

 

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3 hours ago, Capwn said:

Finished episode 5, 1 to go.

 

This has been great, for some reason I'm shocked with just how much amazing old footage they have. I always saw Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005) as the dawn of films being like 'Oh this is a big film, we should be video documenting every step of the process', probably with the advent of Web 2.0 in the early 2000's. So it's wild to me they were doing it during Star Wars, especially the first one in the 70's when they had no idea how big it would be. I presume the StarWars footage in particular has popped up in multiple other places?

 

It's also been really interesting to learn that Pixar and Photoshop came out of ILM, never knew that.

 

 

Although, technically, Thomas Knoll wrote Display, separate to his brother, who got him to adapt it into ImagePro, but it was nothing to do with ILM as such, hence them licensing it to Adobe.

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4 hours ago, Capwn said:

It's also been really interesting to learn that Pixar and Photoshop came out of ILM, never knew that.

 

The Photoshop bit was a real 'whaaaaaaaaaaat?!' moment. 

 

Having watched this, I now re-understand why George Lucas is held in such high regard by the industry at large. We punters now remember him for being a pretty bad director of the prequels, essentially 'ruining' Star Wars (you're only as good as your last film, etc). But I had kinda forgotten how he also essentially invented the modern VFX industry by funding some amazingly talented guys, and he put his money where his mouth is a number of times in forwarding so many aspects of modern filmmaking, when probably no one else would have invested in such blue sky thinking.

 

While I think that 'The Volume' has some flaws (really shown up by what happened with the Obi-Wan Kenobi show versus the look of Andor, which isn't using it), it has the same kind of batshit forward-thinking energy as early ILM and that has to be admired!

 

By the way, I do hate how people within Hollywood refer to a movie project as a 'show'. It isn't!

 

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1 hour ago, Eighthours said:

 

By the way, I do hate how people within Hollywood refer to a movie project as a 'show'. It isn't!

 

 

It's not just within Hollywood, anyone in the business, from actors to vfx artists, call everything a show. Whether it's an episode of Eastenders or Avengers: Endgame.

 

It's the 'cool' vernacular. 

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1 hour ago, SpagMasterSwift said:
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Phil Tippett being hugely involved in Jurassic Park came as a complete surprise to me. He was always a hero of mine for his stop motion work, but loved him even more after this doc.

 

 

I loved his role swap. What a gent.

 

What we also learnt from that section is that the CG revolution was a gamechanger - the stop motion stuff that Phil was planning looked absolutely nowhere near as good.

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Only seem the first one but was completely captivated by it. Visual effects have always been a love of mine, where I would hunt down everything that I could find about how the effects of my favourite films were done.

 

The people in the first episode were a roll call of film heroes of mine, so it was fascinating to see how they all started and their various backgrounds.

 

The depth within the episode (and I'm assuming this is maintained throughout the rest of the series) is magnificent. I used to subscribe to Cinefex magazine which went into similar levels of detail, but seeing it on the screen with all the old footage made me so happy.

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Watched the whole thing over the week and, for me, It's easily the best thing to come out of Lucasfilm since the Disney takeover. Every episode was a delight as I remembered what I was doing at those points in my life with the films they featured. 

 

 

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The only thing I wish is that it had stopped at Jurassic Park, and then we could have had a season 2 going from 1994-now. We may still get that as they really raced up from JP up to date within the course of a single episode, but it seems unlikely unless this is a massive surprise hit. If they were planning to do more, the last ep wouldn't have been filmed the way it was.

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24 minutes ago, Eighthours said:

The only thing I wish is that it had stopped at Jurassic Park, and then we could have had a season 2 going from 1994-now. We may still get that as they really raced up from JP up to date within the course of a single episode, but it seems unlikely unless this is a massive surprise hit. If they were planning to do more, the last ep wouldn't have been filmed the way it was.

 

From 1993 on, it'd just be lads sitting at computers talking about fluid dynamics.

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