Oscar-nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks is about to unveil her newest documentary. The Imagineering Story is a six-part documentary series which tracks the history and evolution of Imagineering in Walt Disney theme parks, and it serves as a sort of spiritual follow-up to her 2007 film The Pixar Story, which chronicled the genesis of that company and its eventual rise to creative dominance. But this series has a special resonance for Iwerks.
Leslie is the granddaughter of Ub Iwerks, Walt Disney’s original business partner and the co-creator of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Her father was Don Iwerks, a former Disney executive and Oscar winner for his technical contributions to the film industry. Because of her family connections, Leslie was taken behind the scenes of Disney parks as a child and got to see behind the curtain as these engineers were creating new additions to “The Happiest Place on Earth.” I sat down with Iwerks a couple of weeks ago to talk to her about her new documentary, how she’s trying to share some of the wonder she felt as a kid, the definitive Disney theme park attraction, and more. Read More »
Leslie Iwerks, the Academy Award and Emmy-nominated filmmaker behind The Pixar Story, has been secretly working on a major documentary about the video game industry.
If you looked at Iwerks’ IMDb page over the past 18 months, you’d see an in-development project referred to only as “Untitled Enterprise Documentary.” On the official website of her production company, the documentary is listed as “confidential” and the following vague synopsis is given: “Iwerks & Co. has delved deep into one of the highest profile entertainment entities to document the company’s dynamic push to transform and buck the trends of the established industry.”
But this week, we learned a bit more about this secretive project. It turns out that this movie is about one of the biggest gaming companies in the world: League of Legends creator Riot Games. And with that revelation comes some recent baggage.
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You may remember Academy Award and Emmy nominated director Leslie Iwerks from her fantastic documentaries on cinema: A Pixar Story and Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible. If you haven’t seen them, stop reading this and go find them. She’s also from a family of multi-generational Disney legends — the daughter of Disney Legend Don Iwerks and granddaughter of Ub Iwerks, the animator and co-creator of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. At D23 Expo, it was announced that Iwerks’ next documentary, coming in 2016, will focus on Walt Disney Imagineering — the company responsible for developing and designing all the magic in the Disney theme parks, ships and resorts worldwide. The teaser trailer is online and available to watch after the jump.
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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we get it on with our English teacher, realize the urban legend of a missing organ is not without some truth, cheer on a true strongman, get Citizen Kane‘d, and get indie with a little comedy.
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Last month it was revealed that Encore would be airing a documentary about Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects company which has been around for thirty-five years now, after being started by George Lucas to create effects for Star Wars.
The documentary is directed by Leslie Iwerks, the filmmaker who made The Pixar Story (an awesome documentary in its own right). Both of these films were shot/produced in cooperation with the respective companies involved, which is both good and bad — yes, they are given unprecedented access to the company and people involved, but at the same time the documentary might avoid controversial bits and tell the glossier publicized history of the company. That said, I’m still very excited to see the film.
Tom Cruise narrates the doc, which also featurse interviews with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau as well as many other producers and actors. Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible airs November 12th on Encore. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer for the film.
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I doubt I need to tell you much about Industrial Light & Magic, at least with respect to the basics. The venerable effects company has been around for thirty-five years now, after being started by George Lucas to create effects for Star Wars. The company quickly became the premiere effects company in the world, and has set the standard for the transition from practical to digital effects, and every manner of blending the two.
Now there is to be a documentary about the company, directed by Leslie Iwerks, the filmmaker who made The Pixar Story. Tom Cruise narrates the doc, which will also feature interviews with George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau as well as producers and actors. (What, was James Cameron busy?) No word on whether this will be a broad, glossy overview or a nuts and bolts history lesson. I’d expect the former, but maybe we’ll get lucky.
Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible airs November 14th on Encore. The full press release is after the break. Read More »
I’m a huge Pixar fanatic, if you couldn’t tell from our extensive coverage to their upcoming film WALL-E. A few months ago we featured the book To Infinity and Beyond! The Story of Pixar Animation Studios in our Cool Stuff feature. But what many people don’t know is the book is actually based on interviews and research by Leslie Iwerks, who has compiled everything into an 87 minute documentary. The Pixar Story has played at numerous film festivals, and will be premiere on STARZ movie channel on April 22nd at 10:00pm eastern time. The film’s trailer is now online, watch it below.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/thepixarstory.flv 460 252]
Discuss: Is The Pixar Story a story worth watching?