Cinema is light and magic. Although over the past few decades we have grown accustomed to knowing the ins and outs of a shoot and the creation of the special effects of the great blockbuster movie the sagas that populate our favorite billboards or streaming platforms, sometimes it never hurts to look back and understand how everything was forged. Although special effects have always existed, in one way or another, the creation of star wars from george lucas, needed the most innovative and creative tools and technology of the time to come to fruition. and oh, beyond recent controversiesThere is a whole story that deserves to be told.
Light & Magictitled in Spain as Light & Magic: A not so distant dreamlooks back at the creation of this emblematic studio and how the talents brought together for this project that will change everything in 1977 would pave the way for a cinematic revolution which still persists today. In Vandal we were able to preview the Disney+ docuseries -premiering July 27 exclusively- and We’ll tell you if it’s worth it.
The most detailed documentary about the company that changed the film industry
Let’s start with the obvious. Industrial Light & Magic was founded with a compelling need: to provide solutions to the problems faced by George Lucas in the making of your film. Now enter the genesis of Star Wars: A New Hope This would give for a full-fledged article, since this gestation and this filming were a perfect storm. Lucas, who observed that there were many limits in the world of special effects, I wanted star wars It didn’t seem like a cheap movie and he worked side by side with top industry experts to build the company that would be the benchmark in the film industry. It may seem like a minor matter now, but so far and with the exception of bands like 2001: A Space Odyssey, movies with a space frame did not look too good. I knew there was room to go further and raise the bar of what the viewer saw on screen.
Teaming up with the indomitable John Dykstra, George Lucas assembled a team of students, artists and engineers to bring the vision he had in mind to life.by granting them with the money of their pocket the tools necessary to create the revolutionary special effects which would become synonymous with the original film of star wars and its sequels. Light & Magic shows, in unusual detail, how creatives of the stature of Phil Tippett, Dennis Muren or Joe Johnston -among many others- were collaborate, show their respective talents and crystallize the revolution that was created in this industrial warehouse.
Light & Magic serves as a kind of how it expanded from galactic production, yes, but at the same time it’s a dissection of the foundation and evolution of this company dedicated to the production of practical and digital visual effects, following the stories of the people behind the best and most fascinating tricks that have captivated audiences for decades. There is a sentence that sums it up perfectly leitmotif of all the docu-series: “If you offer these guys a pizza and a beer, they’ll do anything.”. And that’s how. Although we now think of huge offices with hundreds of state-of-the-art computers processing a scant one-second image of blockbuster in turn, more than forty years ago, the reality was very different. The production, which has several episodes at Disney+, focuses on the union of these great creatives, artists and craftsmen of special effects, explaining to us how they built the models, sets or creatures of very important bands of the Seventh Art through anecdotes or never-before-seen pictures.
A documentary full of anecdotes and first-hand accounts
Perhaps the most vivid, moving and special moments in the docuseries are precisely when the actors open up to the viewer, reflecting their fears, doubts and exploits in some of cinema’s most iconic sequences. Have you ever wondered how the AT-AT attack on Hoth was designed in the Mythic The Empire Strikes Back? To what extent does the persecution of fast bikes of return of the jedi? And the shocking final shots of Fighting spirit? Over the course of a decade, this group of teenage friends’ traditional special effects would eventually evolve into the digital revolution, moving from a ramshackle garage in California to forever changing the course of celluloid – in all the senses – from San Francisco Francisco. This clash of tradition and craftsmanship with digital and innovation is very well documented, with the usual squabbling and giving up along the way.
However, Industrial Light & Magic would become the touchstone of the cinematic revolution of the mid-1980s.with well-known examples such as Terminator, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, as well as the most recent episodes of Marvel or Harry Potter. under the direction of Laurent Kasdan -writer of some of the best deliveries of star wars-, the series cuenta con la participation de Brian Grazer y Ron Howard en calidad de productores ejecutivos, y como os decimos, est trufada de interviews y declaraciones muy variadas con las que podemos obtention una hagiografa de varias de las figuras de la reference del sector de special effects.
Kasdan knows how to put a magnifying glass on Lucas’ complicated business and how they had to design, almost from scratch, the way to unleash the imagination poured into the original storyline of the galactic epicbut it also perfectly represents the evolution of Industrial Light & Magic as an independent company capable of accept work outside of Lucasfilm and its affiliates in other titanic film productions led by directors such as Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay or James Cameron. It is the pursuit of these new limits, those capable of shaping the future of an entire industry, which has allowed it to overcome the stop-motion bringing the monsters and dinosaurs of these productions to life, creating the most disruptive special effects by computer, or what made the transition from traditional celluloid editing to the digital revolution. From the construction of the Death Star in the middle of the street in the most industrial district of California to the creation of the Volume and the virtual sets seen in The Mandalorian.
We may know many of the milestones or key moments in the study – such as the arrival of Ed Catmull or John Knoll-, but Light & Magic allows us to witness many untold stories firsthand, showing us that behind every shot or sequence hides a person with concerns, fears and desires inherent in every human being. The final feeling conveyed by this ambitious docuseries is similar to what we saw in the masterpiece of peter jackson, The Beatles: Come Back –which we talked about at length in our review-, since he knows how to take the viewer into the ins and outs and the most hidden and forgotten corners of the most influential Hollywood films, inviting him to be part of their interiorities. Whether you like cinema in its most general aspect or whether you are a completist or adept at creating special effects, Light & Magic It is an authentic gem with which to enjoy and delight. It is magic.
We’ve seen the docuseries Light & Magic in early access via the Debut platform thanks to the kind authorization of the agency Way to Blue and Disney Spain.