As Hollywood cautiously prepares to resume more film productions, the groundbreaking LED set created for The Mandalorian might be Disney’s magic bullet for getting its Marvel movies back on track.
Despite the pandemic, the hit bounty hunting series never wavered from its course and will premiere its second season in October. Showrunner Jon Favreau is also confident that the third season will have a smooth ride, thanks to the StageCraft technology that Industrial Light and Magic built for the show. That success has prompted Disney to aggressively expand StageCraft to its other productions starting with Thor: Love and Thunder. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that director Taika Waititi worked on the first season of The Mandalorian and has experience with the filmmaking tech.
Like its predecessor, Love and Thunder will film in Australia where ILM is hard at work installing a new StageCraft set at Fox Studios Australia. Installations are also being built in Manhattan Beach in California, where The Mandalorian currently films, and Pinewood Studios in London. However, ILM is significantly upping the game when it comes to the new sets. Via The Hollywood Reporter:
According to the company, the newest stages are larger, use more LED panels than ILM’s original stage and offer higher resolution. “When combined with Industrial Light & Magic’s expert visual effects talent, motion capture experience, facial capture via Medusa, Anyma, and Flux, and the innovative production technology developed by ILM’s newly integrated Technoprops team, we believe we have a unique offering for the industry,” said Rob Bredow, head of ILM.
In essence, StageCraft is a massive room with wall-to-wall LED screens, which allowed The Mandalorian production to swap out photorealistic locations on the fly. Often referred to as “The Volume,” this new technology, which relies heavily on the same engine that powers Fortnite, was featured heavily in Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian, and its results were impressive. Numerous sequences from The Mandalorian that appeared to be shot outdoors or on location were actually created in The Volume, and it’s almost impossible to notice even after seeing the backgrounds change before your eyes.
Needless to say, the ability to effortlessly switch locations and set designs will be a major asset as film productions seek to minimize travel and take necessary precautions in this new pandemic age.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)