Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) is an Academy Award-winning motion picture visual effects company that was founded in May 1975 by George Lucas and is owned by Lucasfilm. Lucas created the company when he discovered that the special effects department at 20th Century Fox was shut down after he was given the green light for his production of the movie Star Wars. The studio originated in Van Nuys, California, later moved to San Rafael, and is now based at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio of San Francisco.
Lucas wanted his 1977 film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope to include visual effects that had never been seen on film before. He first approached Douglas Trumbull, famous for 2001: A Space Odyssey. Trumbull declined, but suggested his assistant John Dykstra. Dykstra brought together a small team of college students, artists and engineers who became the Special Visual Effects department on Star Wars. Alongside Dykstra other leading members of the original ILM team were Ken Ralston, Richard Edlund, Joe Johnston, Phil Tippett, Steve Gawley, and Jeff Mann.
When making The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas reformed most of the team into Industrial Light & Magic in Marin County, California. They have since gone on to produce special effects for nearly three hundred films, including the Indiana Jones series, the Harry Potter franchise, the Jurassic Park franchise, the Back to the Future trilogy, many of the Star Trek films, Ghostbusters II, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, the entire set of Terminator sequels and the Transformers films.
In addition to their work for George Lucas, ILM also collaborates with Steven Spielberg on nearly every film that he directs, and for many that he produces as well. Dennis Muren has acted as Visual Effects Supervisor on many of these films.
Additionally, the company has created less noticeable effects - such as widening streets, digitally adding more extras to a shot, and inserting the film's actors into famous photos - in movies such as Schindler's List, Forrest Gump, Snow Falling on Cedars, Magnolia, and several Woody Allen films.
ILM established their use of computer-generated imagery when they hired Edwin Catmull from NYIT in 1979. John Lasseter worked for ILM in the early 1980s as a computer animator. The computer graphics division, now known as Pixar, was eventually sold to Steve Jobs, and went on to create the first CG animated feature with Toy Story.
ILM, rather than hide behind barbed wire and high fences, operated from an inconspicuous property in San Rafael, California until 2006. The company hid in plain sight and was known to locals as Kerner Optical. In 2006, when Lucas decided to move locations and focus on digital effects, a management-led team bought the five physical and practical effects divisions of Industrial Light and Magic. The new company, home to the George Lucas Theater, is called KernerFX and continues to provide physical effects for major motion pictures, often working with Industrial Light & Magic.
Template:As of, ILM has received 16 Best Visual Effects Oscars and 23 additional nominations. It has also received 20 Scientific and Technical Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in recognition of the critical role the company's advances in technology have played in the filmmaking process.
- 1975: Resurrected the use of VistaVision; first use of a motion control camera (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)
- 1982: First completely computer-generated sequence (the "Genesis sequence" in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
- 1985: First completely computer-generated character, the "stained glass man" in Young Sherlock Holmes
- 1988: First morphing sequence, in Willow
- 1989: First computer-generated 3-D character, the pseudopod in The Abyss
- 1991: First partially computer-generated main character, the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day
- 1992: First time the texture of human skin was computer generated, in Death Becomes Her
- 1993: First time digital technology used to create a complete and detailed living creature, the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, which earned ILM its thirteenth Oscar
- 1995: The first fully synthetic speaking computer-generated character, with a distinct personality and emotion, to take a leading role in Casper
- 1995: First computer-generated photo-realistic hair and fur (used for the digital lion and monkeys) in Jumanji
- 1995: First to put visual effects for live-action sequence into a 2D cartoon in Balto
- 1996: First completely computer-generated main character, Draco in Dragonheart
ILM Selected filmography Edit
|1977||Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope|
|1980||Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back|
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Starman (also co-produced the film)
The Money Pit
Harry and the Hendersons
Joe Versus the Volcano
Flight of the Intruder
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (TV) (1992-93)
The Hudsucker Proxy
Village of the Damned
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Mission to Mars
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (Video game)
Tears of the Sun
Along Came Polly
Are We There Yet?
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Iron Man 2
- Star Wars live-action TV series (TV) (2010/2011)
- Endhiran (2010) (Indian film)
- Transformers 3 (2011)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010/2011)
- Interstellar (2011)
- Rango (2011)
- Jurassic Park IV (2012/2013)
- The Event (2012)
- The Avengers (2012)
Template:Trivia It was in the late 1980s when Adobe Photoshop made its first appearance on the world stage. It was used at the Industrial Light & Magic studios as an image-processing program. Photoshop was created by ILM Visual Effects Supervisor John Knoll and his brother Thomas as a summer project. It was used on The Abyss. The Knoll brothers sold the program to Adobe shortly before the movie's release.
Adam Savage, Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci of Mythbusters fame have all worked at Industrial Light & Magic.
Industrial Light & Magic is also famous for their commercial work. Their clients include Energizer Holdings, Nike, Coca Cola, Pepsi, Budwiser and other companies.
Actor Masi Oka worked on several major productions of ILM as an animator, including Revenge of the Sith before joining the cast of the NBC show Heroes as Hiro Nakamura. Oka still works at ILM.