The Magicians of Industrial Light & Magic

Illustration for article titled The Magicians of Industrial Light  Magic

The Industrial Light & Magic team has been responsible for some of the most iconic scenes in modern movie history. Their magic has graced Star Wars, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark and more. Here's a peek behind the curtain.

Advertisement has an incredible set of shots showing the ILM team at work on various movies, from the miniature models of Empire Strikes Back and E.T. to the CGI raptors of Jurassic Park. Of the Hoth scene above, ILM guru Dennis Muren explains:

Here, stop-motion master animator Phil Tippett [center], Mike Pangrazio [right], and I stand between two incredible matte paintings used to depict the windswept snowscape of Hoth. Pangrazio, a legendary I.L.M. artist, painted many such paintings during the production of The Empire Strike Back to allow for scenic vistas, practical sets to be extended, or, in this case, a stop-motion puppet of a Tauntaun and rider to be inserted for a story point.

Illustration for article titled The Magicians of Industrial Light  Magic

Really fascinating stuff. And while you might think that these photographs would take away from the finished product, seeing the delicate work that goes into the shots has some special magic of its own. Don't miss the rest of the shots at [VanityFair]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



I'm never going to be able to watch The Empire Strikes Back again without thinking of Mike Pangrazio's head eerily floating above the horizon behind the Tauntaun.

Is it odd to anyone else that they are all looking in different directions? It makes them look like part of the scenery.

Speaking of the scenery, I always love the dabs of paint underneath matte paintings in photos. A very nice breakdown of the color scheme used in each scene (some CG matte painters still do this!).