End of an FX Era

The physical production unit of Industrial Light and Magic has been sold off and renamed to Kerner Optical. This unit was/is responsible for all model-based special effects and will subcontract back to ILM when needed.

With the shift to digital effects, Lucasfilm feels it is no longer cost-effective to do practical effects.

7 replies on “End of an FX Era”

  1. Such a pity
    I’ll editorialize down here.

    Seems a pity to let it go. Keep in mind these are the guys that brought us both Death Star battles, AT-ATs, and Jabba’s Sail Barge. Not to mention the first iterations of the USS Enterprise on the big screen.

    Ah well. Best of luck the guys and gals at Kerner!

  2. :(
    It’s sad that a company known for pushign the envelope in special effects is willing to accept making every movie look like a video game in order to save a few bucks.

  3. No longer cost effective….
    I’m sorry, but I watch Episode III and I have to ask how much better could it have been if Lucas had thrown some of that visual effects money into scriptwriting?

    Its not all about the digital! Rule number 1 of everything, don’t forget what you already know! Just because digital effects is new and cool and wonderful doesn’t meant its better. Yes I saw that episode of SG-1 the other night.

    Just list to the SFX guys DVD commentary for Aliens vs Predator. For those of you who don’t have access, here’s the short version; The costumes were great in that movie, as were the CGI, but both had unique tells. But they cut between them so fast you could never keep track of what was what.

    For example, and Alien might leap out of the shadows at the camera. That was a CGI alien. The camera cuts to a Predator as he is tackled by said alien, which is now a man in a suit. The faint lighting artifacts you saw on the CGI alien aren’t there on the costume alien, and looking for them, distracts you from the noticing the way the latex hangs on the stuntman.

    Doesn’t this seem like a very powerful way to tell a story?
    Rather than rely on a single toolbox?

    • Great image….
      Which appears to be taken down the street from my sister’s house. How strange.

      • Re: Great image….

        Which appears to be taken down the street from my sister’s house. How strange.

        Well, it is from the promotions for the new Battlestar used on the Space channel here in Canada…

  4. Not Dead Yet
    Yep, it is no longer cost effective for them to keep it inhouse, but Kerner will have prefered contractor status for physical fx that ILM uses.

    I think the melding of analog and cg fx seems to be better than all cg, but the process is still evolving. I have HUGE respect for pioneer film magicians. The masters of the golden era of film are passing the torch.

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