The Rise of Skywalker Visual Effects Supervisor Interview

There’s one particularly telling and effective moment in The Skywalker Legacy, the feature-lenght documentary that’s included on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker home release that sums up much of the ambivalence and consternation that some had with J.J. Abrams’ return to the Star Wars universe. After showing the intricate construction of a giant, practical snake monster, the doc cuts back to footage of Jabba The Hutt, that old analogue beast that slithered its way into our hearts. The sentiment is clear – we’re making movies like we used to! A celebration of practical effects, the dripping of k-y jelly to give viscosity just like the old costume days, it’s all there. There’s excitement on set, everyone talking about how amazing it looks, how lifelike, how this is how you’re supposed to do movies like this.

Cut to Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett who shatters the myth, letting us know the creature was replaced by a CGI version in post.

Guyett’s resume is mighty. Having made his bones on groundbreaking films like Twister and Casper, he helped Spielberg bring the events of D-Day to screen in Saving Private Ryan, helped bring to life the best looking film in the Harry Potter series, Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban, and even made the theatrical version of Rent feel more than a stage production. Guyett has had many collaborations with Abrams – from the Star Trek Reboots through The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker (he was even second unit director on the former), as well as working with George Lucas on Episode III to round off the prequels. He’s in a unique position to speak to these changing landscapes of epic filmmaking.

We spoke at length about the apparent contradictions and indulgences in making a Star Wars film, and he made the case for why nothing was wasted and all contributed to the final presentation. He was erudite and open to the discussion, making for a dream conversation with a man who quite literally has helped shape what amazes us on screen for decades.

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Star Wars The Force Awakens Kanjiklub

The now-Oscar-nominated VFX team of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is making the press rounds, and they’ve got a lot of interesting details to share. After the jump:

  • A fan reimagines The Force Awakens as a high school saga.
  • Does the Force Awakens score hint at Rey’s parentage?
  • The Force Awakens crosses $1 billion at the international box office.
  • Was Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace?
  • Confirmed: BB-8 was giving Finn a thumbs-up, not flipping him off.
  • Meet Cailey Fleming, who played young Rey in The Force Awakens.
  • Here’s how the Star Wars crew brought BB-8 to life.
  • More Easter eggs have been revealed by the VFX team.
  • Get a detailed description of a deleted scene featuring Maz Kanata.
  • Flip through hi-res stills of Unkar Plutt, Admiral Ackbar, and more.

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neal Scanlan creature shop Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is filled with practical effects, costumed creatures and puppets. Some of the practical effects are so good that you probably believe they were created inside the computer. After the jump, you can read an excerpt from my conversation with Neal Scanlan — creature & droid effects creative supervisor, creature shop concept designer, creature shop head — and SFX supervisor Chris Corbould. (The full interview will be posted in February). In the excerpt, Scanlan and Corbould reveal some of the invisible practical effects of The Force Awakens and more.

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star wars: the force awakens

J.J. Abrams and Disney (smartly) pitched Star Wars: The Force Awakens as a throwback to the original trilogy (the movies that most fans of the franchise loved) and a lot of the behind-the-scenes footage focused on the return to practical effects. But anyone who has seen the movie knows The Force Awakens also has its share of CG visual effects. And this morning, Force Awakens was nominated for Best Visual Effects for this year’s Academy Awards.

What might surprise you is that The Force Awakens actually has more visual effects shots than Star Wars: the Phantom Menace. Not only that, while The Phantom Menace had more miniature work than all of the original trilogy films combined, The Force Awakens features not one miniature. But unlike Phantom Menace, a lot of the CG work is invisible. Learn more after the jump.

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‘Star Wars Episode VII’ Crew Announced


As the Disney earnings call approaches, Disney finally decided to announce publicly that screenwriter Michael Arndt was officially off Star Wars Episode VII, and that director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are busy working on the current screenplay. (If you havent yet, read more about that here.) But the press release also featured details of the crew that is on board for the upcoming sequel. Lets take a look at the list of names after the jump.

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