Compared to the two Marvel Studios shows that have come before, Loki has bounced all across both time and space. In one episode, Tom Hiddleston’s eponymous antihero even traveled to an alien planet in the midst of the apocalypse. With the recent popularity of The Volume from Industrial Light and Magic, many thought the technology may have been used for the Disney+ show. As Loki production designer Kasra Farahani tells us, he and his team opted not to use it at any point in production because it didn’t align with their objectives.
Despite being a mainstay on The Mandalorian, Farahani says the mega-screen “just wasn’t creatively super-relevant” for what the show was doing.
The Volume — or StageCraft LED services, as ILM officially calls it — is a massive screen set up on a soundstage indoors. Because of the size of the screen, combined with ultra-high resolution graphics, The Volume allows filmmakers to essentially change environments at the click of the mouse. Instead of using practical sets, crews could place actors against a variety of backdrops, helping save time and money in post-production with visual effects vendors.
To date, ILM has developed four Volumes in total — the first one at Manhattan Beach Studios, another in London at Pinewood Studios, and a third at the Disney-owned Fox Studios Australia. The fourth is a second screen at Manhattan Beach.
“With StageCraft, we have built an end-to-end virtual production service for key creatives. Directors, Production Designers, Cinematographers, Producers, and Visual Effects Supervisors can creatively collaborate, each bringing their collective expertise to the virtual aspects of production just as they do with traditional production,” ILM general manager Janet Lewin previously said of the technology.
ILM Chief Creative Officer Rob Bredow added, “Over the past 5 years, we have made substantial investments in both our rendering technology and our virtual production toolset. When combined with Industrial Light & Magic’s expert visual effects talent, motion capture experience, facial capture via Medusa, Anyma, and Flux, and the innovative production technology developed by ILM’s newly integrated Technoprops team, we believe we have a unique offering for the industry.”
Five episodes of Loki are now streaming on Disney+. If you haven’t signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.
What have you thought of the Hiddleston-starring series so far? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!
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