Even casual movie lovers tend to know about ILM, or Industrial Light & Magic, the famous special effects unit that handled the original Star Wars trilogy on its way to becoming the most in-demand VFX creator in Hollywood. Fans have gasped at their innovative effects for 45 years, and now, they will get a chance to learn about the men and women who made ILM what it is today. Disney+ has released the first trailer for Light and Magic, a new six-part documentary series that chronicles the story of ILM from the late ’70s to the present. So, it’s fitting that the show is bookended by the original trilogy and The Mandalorian.
George Lucas is prominently featured in the trailer, since he was the founder of ILM. Fans may not realize just how big of a role ILM has played in the advancement of visual effects, but the trailer reminds us that Pixar and Photoshop were both created as part of ILM’s drive to improve its craft. And the innovations continue to this day, with the groundbreaking digital backdrops ILM created for The Mandalorian and its other Star Wars shows on Disney+.
Screenwriter and director Lawrence Kasdan helmed Light and Magic, which is appropriate, since he worked on many of the films featured in the show, including the original Star Wars trilogy and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Ron Howard is executive producing the series, and he is also glimpsed in the trailer as one of the featured interviews alongside current Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy.
The trailer also makes it clear that Light and Magic will also feature some of the effects artists who don’t share the limelight with the famous directors and producers. But without their contributions, the movie magic of today simply would not exist.
All six episodes of Light and Magic will premiere on July 27 on Disney+.
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