Filming The Mandalorian didn’t mean traveling to the perfect icy landscape, or rocky canyons to shoot in. The folks behind the hit Star Wars TV show could create them on the spot, and place their actors in them with the help of an LED wall 21 feet high, and 75 feet in diameter. Seven machines pump out visuals crafted in Epic’s (the makers of Fortnite) Unreal Engine according to ILM. Here’s a short video showing us the new tech in action.
Jon Favreau (creator and exec producer of The Mandalorian) was all praise for the new technologies that brought The Mandalorian to life – “I think are going to have a lot of impact on the way television and movies are made moving forward,” says Favreau.
The impacts are many. Say the environment in the background isn’t quite right. Maybe that mountain would look better if it was moved to the right. You can slide it over in real-time and do another take. And that’s only the beginning. With the LED wall doing most of the heavy lifting for the background set, scenes on different worlds can be shot on the same day. Shoot Mando strolling around on an icy planet in the morning and wrap up with a canyon shootout on a desert planet in the afternoon.
The behind-the-scenes video shows how The Mandalorian crew took it a step further by building partial sets that help sell the world for us watching at home. Plus, it has to be an even better experience for the actors. Instead of staring at a green screen trying to imagine where their character is, they can see it.
ILM’s John Knoll also said the LED walls helped big time when shooting vehicles traveling through intricate sets. We see a couple of examples in the video with the Speeder Bikes and when Mando is on top of the TIE Fighter in the final episode.
It’s pretty crazy what the folks behind The Mandalorian were able to pull off in Season 1. Now that they know the ins and outs of the tech, I’m even more pumped for Season 2.
“It’s a game-changer for filmmaking,” says Rob Bredow, Executive Creative Director & Head of ILM.