February 20, 2020

Watch How 'The Mandalorian' Literally Moved Mountains with StageCraft

How The Mandalorian Moved Mountains
This Making of The Mandalorian video further Illuminates its astonishing innovations

During the ambitious production of Catch 22, legendary director Mike Nichols wanted to shoot only during "the magic hour." He had a lot of cache at the time (hey, it's not often you are coming off making The Graduate), so he was allowed to do this.

But it was kind of crazy because it meant paying a star-studded cast and full crew to wait around and do... whatever... while only working about 3 hours a day. Stories included the biggest names at the time spending their days playing tennis or swimming while waiting around to shoot, all on the production's dime. 

Hollywood sure has changed. 

Mandolorian StageCraft
Director Deborah Chow, The Mandalorian, and Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) discuss the scene inside the StageCraft Volume during production on ‘The Mandalorian’.Credit: Image courtesy of industrial Light & Magic. © & ™ LUCASFILM LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Filmmakers have long struggled to make the minutes count when it comes to exteriors, and the special kind of lighting provided by those specific times of the day. 

The innovations developed by Industrial Light & Magic and Epic Games for The Mandalorian have completely changed all of that. As DP Baz Idoine said, to paraphrase, "now you can shoot a 10-hour day at dawn"

We wrote about StageCraft and the amazing tech involved in this show when we covered this excellent piece in ICG by Kevin H. Martin

What's exciting and new now is this video where the creators and craftspeople involved talk about the process. More after the jump. 

Watching the video helps put into perspective what they referred to as the "legacy of innovation" present on this show. The Mandalorian didn't just launch Disney's massive streaming service, it employed a bold new strategy in visual storytelling that will surely open up doors for filmmakers at every level soon enough. 

What do you think? Can you tell or feel when the set is an LED? Is it as big a step up from greenscreen shoots as everyone suggests? Or would it still be best to grab a nice 35mm stock and shoot in Monument Valley?      

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