ILM, Kathleen Kennedy, and Star Wars Episode VII

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ILM, Kathleen Kennedy, and Star Wars Episode VII

star wars, episode 7, visual effects


When the announcement of Disney taking over Lucasfilms and their in-house visual effects team ILM came, it blew socks off the internet. Nobody saw that coming. But then when the announcement of Kathleen Kennedy as the new president came, there was no surprise at all.  And that was followed by the announcement of the Star Wars Episode VII being released in the month of May 2015 which had every Star Wars fan blessing them to heaven and back.

Step one was to woo director J.J Abrams as the hand behind the making of this movie and since then many changes have been implemented on how these movies were approached after the original trilogy. Things have just been on the roll since then. One of the biggest complaints that the old school Star wars fans had with the visual effects in prequels was that Lucas over used CGI and animation. The puppets and droids were replaced by computer graphics. Even the beloved Yoda puppet was retired. A lot of the action was shot in front of a green screen. But it looks like things are looking up for the old school fans now. Kennedy and team have bought into a more combined style of practical and CG bring in more authenticity to this episode. This is what she went on to tell the crowds at the Star Wars celebration Europe.

The conversation we’re having all the time now about ‘Episode VII’ is how much CGI.  We’re looking at what the early Star Wars films did; they used real locations with special effects. So [for ‘Episode VII’] we’re going to find some very cool locations, we’re going to end up using every single tool in the toolbox.

She also proceeded to say that,

I was amazed yesterday and looking at what the fans are doing,” referring to some of the presentations and displays of Celebration Europe. “Using model makers, using real droids, taking advantage of the artwork that you can touch and feel, we want to do that in combination with CG effects.

She also gave the crowds another bit of news to celebrate upon by confirming that Williams would composing the score. There was still more chew upon when she said that they were looking to create some really cool new characters.

Brennon spoke out about how the practical approach will only make things easier for the visual effects team saying that,

What it does for us in visual effects is it also gives us something to build upon. It gives us something to ground our visual effects with. Not only in the shots that have practical sets that we’re expanding on, or putting a creature into, it also gives us a really strong aesthetic that we know to follow in shots that are all-CG. 

If that wasn’t all too much of a surprise, here is another little happening that will blow your mind. Not only has Kathleen got people embracing the new style for the movie, she has also got many to admit that they need to be looking at the privacy details for this movie in a different light. Kathleen said that with a franchise as big and popular as the Star Wars and with the internet being what it is, it is absolutely impossible to keep the happenings of this movie a secret. That is why they are going to be giving the crowds a peak at what is happening every once in a while!

That is it for today on the visual effects of Star Wars Episode VII. But stay in touch, you will be hearing more from us again and soon!