How Lucasfilm’s New “Stagecraft” Tech Brought ‘The Mandalorian’ to Life and May Change the Future of TV
Posted on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 by Peter Sciretta
All throughout the production of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, I had heard rumblings of the groundbreaking technology being used to create the first-ever Star Wars live-action television show. Producer Jon Favreau has talked briefly about the process while doing press, mentioning that the series makes use of a new tech that creates virtual backgrounds using large high-resolution screens. The filmmaker would rather have audiences concentrate on the story than the tech, so we won’t likely see any real behind-the-scenes features on the technology until after the first season airs in its entirety (Notably, Favreau took the same approach for Jungle Book and Lion King).
I’ve watched the first two episodes of The Mandalorian multiple times now and tried to find the seams. Where is this tech being used? What is practical and what is being generated virtually on a performance capture “volume” in the soundstages next to James Cameron’s Avatar sequels?
Yesterday, I attended a “Women of Lucasfilm—What Drives You?” panel discussion at the Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles in support of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It was wonderful to hear stories from the women who are bringing Star Wars into the next decade and beyond.
Late into the panel discussion, the conversation turned to George Lucas‘ fearless innovation that has been a part of the Star Wars DNA. Remember, ILM was created to help bring a galaxy far, far away to life. The female dream team on the panel spoke for over 15 minutes about how this new tech could change television and cinema forever. And director Deborah Chow talked about possibly using this new “Stagecraft” technology in Disney+’s upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi tv series.