Tag Archives: visual effects

The Force Awakens: Special effects, sets, names and… toy packaging?

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Despite a hefty amount of fan grumbling over the focus on ‘practical effects’ coming out of The Force Awakens publicity machine, I doubt anyone actually believes that the film isn’t going to have any CGI. (And, let’s face it, us hardcore fans aren’t the audience that they’re going for by saying that in the first place.) But if you’re wondering, and don’t mind spoilers, Making Star Wars has some (supposed) details about the completely CGI shots that are in the film, and where practical effects are are used.

→ Also on MSW, a few Rogue One details, and how they relate (or not) to The Force Awakens, via a bit of creative recycling.

→ We have a name, or maybe just a designation, for Miltos Yerolemou’s character. This, naturally, leads to some details of a certain sequence at MSW.

The Force Awakens toy packaging has been spotted in the wild… On a Rebels-themed item, naturally.

→ Look who’s talking: Simon Pegg and (sort of) Jessica Henwick.

Wired’s oral history of Industrial Light & Magic

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Vanity Fair isn’t the only magazine borrowing some Star Wars mojo this month. Wired today has ‘the definitive oral history of ILM,’ with George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Dennis Muren and more. (Including J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson.)

Video: J.J. Abrams actually talks about The Force Awakens


When I heard that J.J. Abrams was at the VES awards last night, I wasn’t expecting much more than the standard boilerplate quotes. But he spoke to Collider on the red carpet, discussing the broadsaber (and the “many contradictory emails” he’s received about it,) IMAX, CGI, and more. Watch the video, or head over to Collider for the most pertinent quotes.

The basics, though: They’re still putting together the first cut of the film, he’ll be executive producing VIII and IX, there will still be “an enormous amount of CG effects,” (duh) and the broadsaber “was not done without a lot of conversation and it’s fun to see people have the conversation that we had, but in reverse.” None of these are huge revelations (we’ve known that only one scene is in IMAX for months,) but considering how little we’ve had out of Abrams overall, this is a bonanza.

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“We have 10 years of work ahead,” said Industrial Light & Magic president and general manager Lynwen Brennan as the company takes over a former Pixar facility in Vancouver. As much as one-third of the work on Episode VII will be done there. In addition to the various new Star Wars films, they’ll also be working on Warcraft and Jurassic World.

Roundup: Fans on how they’d like Episode VII to begin

james-specSomewhere in space… I don’t read speculation and I try not to even link outright speculation, but our own JawaJames is one of the fans that Hollywood.com’s Christian Blauvelt asked to help ‘storyboard’ their hopes for a beginning to Episode VII.

Wonder twin powers activate? Hot around the internet yesterday was a report from The Inquirer about a presentation where they talk about using gaming engines to drive VFX. I’m not an expert, but there’s a video if you’re really into that sort of thing. And 1313 is referred to as still being in production? Okaaaay…

Your moment of zen. I already wrote up that J.J. Abrams quotes from the other day, but the undisputed champion of that round is clearly The A.V. Club’s Sean O’Neal.

Visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen has passed away

Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen, whose stop-motion animation made monsters come alive in films from the 30’s through the 80’s, has passed away, his family has announced. He was 93.

Stop-motion may be cheesey to those of us who grew up in the post-Star Wars era, but Harryhausen’s work – the most famous of which is perhaps the fighting skeletons of Jason and the Argonauts – was hugely influential. (Though to this 80s’ kid, it’s his Medusa in the original Clash of the Titans who kept me up at night!)

“Ray has been a great inspiration to us all in special visual industry. The art of his earlier films, which most of us grew up on, inspired us so much,” said George Lucas. “Without Ray Harryhausen, there would likely have been no Star Wars.”