Taika Waititi has learned a thing or two while working in a galaxy far, far away.
The filmmaker, who is writing and directing the highly anticipated Marvel Studios sequel Thor: Love and Thunder, will be using the same visual effects technology for the new movie as was used while making The Mandalorian, the Disney+ Star Wars series that Waititi both acted in and directed. Get the details below.
Industrial Light and Magic, who pioneered the game-changing and immersive StageCraft LED virtual production tech for The Mandalorian, is expanding to different soundstages across the globe. In addition to providing “pop up” custom volumes (one of which was recently used by George Clooney’s new movie The Midnight Sky) that can be used outside of a typical sound stage environment, ILM is also doubling down on permanent physical locations. The existing StageCraft volume set, which was constructed at Manhattan Beach Studios, will soon be joined by a second permanent volume there. Another permanent stage is being constructed at Pinewood Studios in London, one of the most famous production facilities in film history, and yet another large-scale custom volume is being built at Fox Studios Australia, which Waititi will utilize for Thor: Love and Thunder.
And it sounds like these ain’t your daddy’s VFX stages – to hear ILM tell it, these are going to be a huge improvement over the versions used for The Mandalorian.
“By every measure, the new stages are vast improvements over the original ground-breaking LED volume developed for the first season of The Mandalorian in 2018. Physically, the new stages are larger, utilizing substantially more LED panels than ILM’s original stage and also offering both higher resolution and smooth wall to ceiling transitions – this directly results in better lighting on set as well as many more in-camera finals. ILM’s proprietary solutions for achieving groundbreaking fidelity on the LED walls at scale allows for higher color fidelity, higher scene complexity, and greater control and reliability.”
But the best part is the new development initiative that’s coming along with this new construction. The program, which offers paid internships and apprenticeships to folks from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, intends to provide a pathway for people to become future VFX artists, technicians, and producers who have specific experience with the ILM workflow.
“There is a widespread lack of diversity in the industry, and we are excited to leverage our global expansion in this game-changing workflow to hire and train new talent, providing viable, exciting, and rewarding jobs across many of our locations,” ILM vice president of operations Jessica Teach said in a press release. “We believe this program can have a multiplier effect, attracting even more diverse talent to the industry and creating a pipeline for visual effects careers. We know that bringing more diversity into the industry is a critical part of strengthening and expanding our storytelling potential.”
Thor: Love and Thunder is slated to arrive in theaters on February 11, 2022.
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