Crafting Crait: ILM’s VFX supe on how Rian Johnson wanted to go ‘redder, redder, redder’

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Scenes of ships darting across a salt flat-like looking environment and tearing up shards of red crystals permeated the early trailers for The Last Jedi. But what was this world, and what was the major battle teased there?

The final film revealed the location to be Crait, the location of an old Rebel base where the Resistance now seeks refuge to send out a message for help. But the First Order launches a swift attack, and a battle along, and even below, its white surface plays out. Here’s overall visual effects supervisor Ben Morris from Industrial Light & Magic on what was required to bring the exciting Crait sequence to life – including its incredibly distinctive redness. Continue reading Crafting Crait: ILM’s VFX supe on how Rian Johnson wanted to go ‘redder, redder, redder’

How to: Rey & Kylo vs. Snoke’s Elite Praetorian Guard

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The moment Rey and Kylo Ren take on Snoke’s Elite Praetorian Guard’s is one of the many highlights from Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. I’ll have more on how Industrial Light & Magic crafted Snoke soon, but here’s overall visual effects supervisor Ben Morris on how that lightsaber fight scene, which was overseen by ILM London VFX supe Mike Mulholland, came to be, including the curtain of fire surrounding them and the weapons used by the guards. Continue reading How to: Rey & Kylo vs. Snoke’s Elite Praetorian Guard

ILM’s ‘The Last Jedi’ visual effects supervisor on how that Holdo hyperspace scene surprised even him

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In the coming days I’ll have a bunch of coverage of the visual effects of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, based on a visit I made to ILM London just before Christmas. First up is a look at that stunning and surprising hyperspace moment when Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) slams the Raddus – mid-hyperdrive – into Supreme Leader Snoke’s ship, the Supremacy.

The resulting white streak of an explosion is a heart-wrenching moment of sacrifice played out in complete silence. Overall visual effects supervisor Ben Morris from ILM initially thought the sequence might involve a ton of complex destruction effects simulations, but director Rian Johnson had something else in mind. Continue reading ILM’s ‘The Last Jedi’ visual effects supervisor on how that Holdo hyperspace scene surprised even him