All throughout the production of the Disney + series Mandalorijanac, I have heard the rumors of revolutionary technology used to create the first Star Wars live television show. Manufacturer Jon Favreau he spoke briefly about the process while working in print, mentioning that the series uses new technology that creates virtual wallpapers using large, high-resolution screens. The director would rather have more audience focused on the story than on the technology, so we probably won't see any real features in the background of the scene until after the first season appears in full (especially, Favreau took the same approach for The Jungle Book and Lion King).
I watched the first two episodes Mandalorijanac repeatedly and tried to find stitches. Where is this technology used? Which is practical, and that is generated almost on performance, captures "volume" in soundstages alongside James Cameron Avatar sequels?
Yesterday, I attended a panel discussion "Women of Lucasfilm – what drives you?" At the Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles to support Star Wars: The Rise of the Skywalkers, It was wonderful to hear the stories women bring Star Wars into the next decade and beyond.
Late in the panel discussion, the conversation turned George Lucas"The fearless innovation that has been a part Star Wars DNA. Remember, ILM was created to help revive galaxies far, far away. A panel of dream women on the panel spoke for more than 15 minutes about how this new technology could change television and cinema forever. And the director Deborah Chow discussed the possible use of this new "Stagecraft" technology in the upcoming Disney + Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series.
Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, has been involved in several major works of cinematic innovation, including Jurassic Park, Some progress has been made at Lucasfilm, but the biggest may not be seen on the big screen. WITH Mandalorijanac, had the "foundation of a good scenario" that allowed them to "push the technology":
"Jon Favreau and I went into Disney and said, we'd like to try that. They said, what exactly?" And we said we weren't exactly sure. We have no idea how much it will cost, and we have never built anything with the technology we now call "Stagecraft" inside ILM, but it's basically a projection system on screens, and it's a real innovation that when you move the camera inside this space, the parallax changes . So all of a sudden you are in an environment that actually starts to behave the same way as in a real 3D environment like this. "
Kennedy told the story of a Walt Disney CEO visiting the set and didn't even realize he was in a virtual environment created with this new technology:
"It was really funny when we had a Walt Disney CEO early on in the process because it's one of those things that is hard to explain until you get into the environment to see how it works. And he came in and looked around. and he said, Jon, I thought you weren't going to build anything. And he had no idea he was standing in a virtual set. That's incredible. "
This new cinema technology is changing the way they approach the future of television and movies:
"This means that if you want a big stage shot in Iceland and you don't want to take 700 people, you spend four months preparing the set because you just want to make an establishment and you can get everyone back on stage interior photography, which becomes very significant on big, huge projects and small projects. The interesting thing with the Mandalorian is the fact that we tested this technology within television, not on the big screen, the way we felt we could take a big risk, but not a huge risk. "
Kennedy mentioned Mandalorijanac first performed in Hollywood last week, as an example of the quality of technology being held up on the big screen: "We now know that this technology works for the big screen as well."
"What we call a game changer, this is how it happens: you have a story that offers you the opportunity to do it differently and push technology that you know is right on the edge. We are extremely happy with Lucasfilm because we have ILM in our company. And that is defined the company from the time George created Star Wars. Star Wars creates ILM. And so, ILM is still at the forefront of this type of innovation, because we are constantly telling stories with pleasure in the pursuit of technology. This is what it is. "
When the panel moderator and Star Wars Show host Andi Gutierrez they educated fans by asking them where they shot some of the outdoor scenes Mandalorijanac, Kennedy paused, "You can say Iceland. But there was only one person [shooting it]".
Lynwen Brennan, Lucasfilm EVP and Managing Director, explained that Stagecraft comes from the need to make big, larger-than-life scenarios on the small screen:
"Stagecraft really came from the need, from the idea of how to approach it differently and the scope and scale of the movie Star Wars, but in the television schedule and the amount of content we have to create and built on some of the innovations ILM has done before. we used the blocks to use LED screens for lighting and reflection. With Kathy and Jon's encouragement, we really pushed her to the extent that we could take her. "
It is not the same technology used Solo: A Star Wars Story and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but the next evolution of that. Kennedy explains:
"Some devices used LED screens Rogue One, for example, but mostly we just used it for lighting, and we replace the images [CG], and it was more traditional. And then when we went Solo we used very high-end laser projection. And this is the next repetition. "
Kennedy adds an interesting little detail about the material used to create the screen:
"But I'll add one more thing I didn't know about that and it's an interesting little thing. You have to grow crystals on those screens. Who knew? You have to wait five years for the crystals to grow. And the crystals mean a limited number of screens. Not only do they you have to grow, but even if you have the volume, it is important that you have the same stack of LCDs so that all the crystals come together. And then, as they transmit light, they then pass over the entire passage to earth crystals, then curate which refract light , so it's quite a process. "
So now it's a sound scene, a volume to capture a performance like the one James Cameron used on Avatar films, is wrapped with these high resolution LED screens that show footage either taken on location or "in combination with CG environments". Brennan further explains:
"We can have a camera perspective too, but that means you can switch from Iceland to the desert in one go [minute] from set up to set up so it really changes the course of production. I think it helps because the actors are not in the sea of green. They actually see the environments in which they reside. And add to that, after the doll and they get the characters to act in the environments they are in and I think that is changing. "
Because of this, the production process is longer and more active, and Kennedy praises director Deborah Chow as the kind of filmmaker he was created for:
"This really requires [a filmmaker] like Deb planning. This is not for someone who violates it. You absolutely have to plan ahead because basically what you are doing is taking a lot of post-production and putting it into pre-production. You need to know your story, you need to know what those limitations are, you need to know what those effects of the shot are in order to be put on screen. So Deb can talk about it practically, but it's really planned. "
Deborah Chow became the first female female solo shop Star Wars director with his work in two episodes Mandalorijanac (upcoming third and seventh chapters) and has since been hired to lead Disney + Obi-Wan series, She tried to explain the complex procedure on the board:
When I first started, they were still testing a lot, we didn't even know how much we could use or how successful we would be. But as a director, it's a whole different process because we've previewed the entire episode. So, I was there a few months in advance and I was reviewing everything and we were cutting everything together as if it was a real edit. We did this for technical reasons, but it was actually an amazing storytelling tool because we can look like literally cutting it and go on it doesn't work or this works.
And from there they would take what we imagined was too high, they would go to photograph material, such as the environment in Iceland, and then they could adjust the lighting, adjust the environment and then it would appear on screen on the day of the shoot and then record in the camera. And a lot of it was amazing to have practical elements. So if you wanted to have a foreground or didn't have a practical set, and it was often aligned so perfectly that the screen would take over. So, it was kind of amazing.
I think one of the most interesting things with this technology and where it goes is, does it seem to me that the future is that it allows you to tell the story in a slightly different way, like we could suddenly do a magic clock all day long. You can do things you just can't. There were times when I worked with my DP and where there was a danger of becoming too perfect. To control it too much and it looks too nice.
So in the future of Stagecraft, does the director leave the soundstage for location scouts at all? Is this even necessary? Chow joked that "the best thing in the world is not to be in a transponder ever." She continued:
"They show you a virtual environment and you would choose a lens. I mean, literally, we would start with concept art. We have Doug Chiang and we would look and then we have DP. … So basically, let's say we shot a room in the Mandalorian, and Andrew Jones, the production designer, decided they liked a lot of subway references in LA so they only use texture and something. sent people doing 3D photos in very high resolution. They have the environment, and then that environment would go into 3D, and we would start manipulating to start building it from there. "
The result is a virtual 3D environment that can be displayed in real time from a camera perspective:
"It also actually allowed us to have an environment in 3D so we could do virtual scouts so we would have days where the whole team would be, we would have DP production designers, Jon, Dave Filloni and everyone in headphones flying together around the same set, and we can set up the cameras and put the lens in and say, well, this is what I mean and we can all see it, and we're actually looking at it in a set together. "
Kathleen Kennedy asked Chow how the new technology could affect her next project, the Obi-wan Kenobi TV series, by teasing the bone. She replied:
"For starters, I love technology, but I was a total convert. I actually feel like Jon has spoiled me because now everything else will be different from all the tools we had. I would love to follow the model … There are things we have for Obi-Wan where I can't help thinking, especially for a good part of it, you have scenes where you need humongous scope and you need it to have quality, but that's just maybe a page. So you don't go back to that place for two months, so in those cases the volume is perfect. For me, I would use that all the time. There are a lot of adjustments to my thinking, and things that I went through as a rule you wouldn't normally think of as a director are possible, because it would look like it would take us two weeks for a page if I do this, you can do it at volume. You can get the range and you can get the size of it. So, it just completely changes the way you practically start thinking visually. "
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