The new Disney+ docuseries Light and Magic debuts Wednesday, taking you inside the creation of Industrial Light and Magic, or ILM, the special effects company founded by George Lucas to make Star Wars, which has become the industry leader.
It’s directed by Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark writer Lawrence Kasdan, who tells ABC Audio he wanted to focus less of the effects and more on finding the answer to questions like “Who are the people in ILM? Where did they come from?” and “When did they decide this is what they wanted to do?”
He adds, “There was no such thing really, when George first assembled them in 1976…so they discovered this sort of dreamland for them, because so many of them, as you see in the show, started when they were eight years old making these effects movies in their backyard and in their garage.”
Not only did the film business benefit from ILM, but the daily lives of many people too, with Kasdan noting, “In the case of John Knoll, you know, he created a whole world with Photoshop.”
Recalling what it was like at the start of ILM, Oscar winner and Senior Visual Effects Supervisor and Creative Director of ILM Dennis Muren says, “There was no protective environment, like you stay out of here, this is my department. So it was a great literally spirit of the 60’s coming together.”
There’s a quote in the series where someone says despite what people might assume, Lucas isn’t the most technically savvy guy but Muren doesn’t “give a hoot about that.” “
“You know, life is shorter. And I think it’s important to do what you love,” he says. “I’m sure he knows how to use a cell phone and a computer to a certain extent.”
Star Wars is owned by Disney, the parent company of ABC News.
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