by Nic Divischek | 5th January 2016
Star Wars has become a household name. We grew up with it, some have changed their religion to Jedi and now more than 30 years after the first Star Wars movie came out, Director J.J. Abrams gave us a piece of childhood back. The franchise phenomenon was rebooted with spectacular visual effects and excellent editing. Here are some of the spots where you can get a behind the scenes look at the Post-Production of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Post-Production of Star Wars: A Webinar Avid have brought out a free webinar on how Bad Robot went about their Post-Production workflow for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Registration is for free and you can watch the webinar here [EDIT: We had to remove the embedded video following a request from AVID – please head over to their site to see the the full discussion!] The greatest thing about the new Star Wars was the use of practical effects. In an interview with Thompson on Hollywood at San Diego Comic-Con, production designer Darren Gilford discussed how they used old school special effects at every opportunity, trying to replicate the way George Lucas did things on the first film back in 1977. He said: J.J.’s mandate from day one was authenticity and being as true to the original trilogy as possible. And he felt the prequels were flawed by the fact that they had every [CG] tool known to mankind and used everything at their disposal. I use the metaphor of disco when the synthesizer came about and everyone was using it in any way possible. And I think J.J. wanted to reconnect with how the original films were made. They shot as many visual effects in-camera as they possibly could. This meant building extensive sets, big models, and using matte paintings instead of relying on the green screen technology that was so prevalent in the prequels. They also used flat forced perspective paintings to do things like make a hallway or corridor appear longer than they actually are. But not only visual effects were done in a more practical way, the editing process by editing stars Mary Jo Markey, ACE and Maryann Brandon, ACE went through some vigorous stages. The post setup in the Santa Monica office of J.J.’s Bad Robot Production is organized around the four Avid Media Composer suites for Maryann and Mary Jo and their assistant editors, Julian Smirke and Matt Evans, all connected to an Avid ISIS network, which began at 64TB and grew considerably as post proceeded. You can read an exclusive interview with the two editors on Creative Cow [Link].Read more
by Tim Fok | 6th August 2014
Wall Street Journal recently caught up with Director JJ Abrams to discuss the latest Star Wars film. The Sci-fi specialist discuss’ the standard for cinema, and how he is among the few (certainly within this genre) to utilize the use of 35mm film stock. A franchise with a track history for use of ground breaking technology; producing the first film screened on digital projectors, and one of the first films to be shot entirely digitally. Episode VII (due for 2015 release) takes a reverse gear and is being be shot entirely on 35mm film stock. The latter sentence perhaps needs a prefix, as much of the film due to its genre will make use of visual effects, and therefore digitally produced. But despite this, JJ Abrams insists that the analog workflow holds merit and is important into retaining the aesthetics of such a pinnacle cinema series. When questioned about the large amount of digital use within his 35mm film workflows: “Movies like “Star Trek” and “Star Wars,” you have so much that will be created or extended digitally, and it’s a slippery slope where you can get lost in a world of synthetic. You really have to keep away from that, especially with “Star Wars,” which I wanted very much to feel like it is part of another era.” It’s no secret that 35mm is a dying medium, which is no surprise with the advancements of digital cameras and expense of analog film. Yet JJ Abrams re-emphasises the importance of the golden cinema standard. “I’m actually a huge fan of digital as well. I appreciate how that technology opens the doors for filmmakers who never had access to that level of quality before. However, I do think film itself sets the standard for quality. You can talk about range, light, sensitive, resolution — there’s something about film that is undeniably beautiful, undeniably organic and natural and real. I would argue film sets the standard and once it’s no longer available, the ability to shoot the benchmark goes away. Suddenly you’re left with what is, in many cases, perfectly good but not necessarily the best, the warmest, the most rich and detailed images.” -JJ Abrams talking to the WSJ. The expense for such a blockbuster with heavy digital influence would no doubt be lightyears cheaper in a completely digital workflow; it just goes to show the extent of many purists views on the film v digital debate. via/ The Wall Street JournalRead more
by Jared Abrams | 13th April 2010
Rick McCallum from Lucasfilm was nice enough to chat with Cinema 5D for a few minutes here at NAB 2010. Rick is really down with digital. He was one of the first Big Shots to use the DSLR’s for cinema work. His involvement with DSLR’s really put them on the map.Read more
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