Visual effects artists typically toil far away from the spotlight. Sometimes if they do their job properly, their work is totally invisible. As a result, they rarely get the credit they deserve. In modern Hollywood, they are totally indispensable and largely unappreciated.
But now Disney+ is getting a new documentary series that will put the focus squarely on the artists behind the special effects of your favorite movies and shows. The streaming service announced today (in honor of May the 4th, naturally) that they are producing Light & Magic, a show about Industrial Light & Magic, the company founded by George Lucas to provide special effects for the Star Wars franchise. ILM is still around 40+ years later, still providing amazing visual effects for Star Wars and loads of other franchises.
The show is directed by a guy who knows a thing or two about Star Wars. Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens, and Solo, directed Light & Magic. Here is how Lucasfilm describes the series:
Granted unparalleled access, Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan takes viewers on an adventure behind the curtains of Industrial Light & Magic, the special visual effects, animation and virtual production division of Lucasfilm. Learn what inspired some of the most legendary filmmakers in Hollywood history, and follow their stories from their earliest personal films to bringing George Lucas’ vision to life.
While the laserdisc and early DVD era were full of material on the making of movies, the move has streaming has put a real damper on special features and behind the scenes documentaries. So something like this is really welcome right now.
Light & Magic, which will run for a total of six episodes, premieres on Disney+ on July 27. Guests of Star Wars Celebration later this month will get a preview of the show at a special panel featuring Kasdan, Ron Howard, and effects greats like Phil Tippett, Joe Johnston, and Dennis Muren.
Sign up for Disney+ here.
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