b&a podcast: Rose Duignan and Hal Hickel on the history of ILM

The early days of ILM, the practical-to-digital transition, and the latest innovations at the studio.

If you’ve seen the documentary Light & Magic, then you will have heard a little about the history of ILM already from this week’s guests on the befores & afters podcast: Rose Duignan and Hal Hickel.

Duignan was an early hire at ILM, working on the production staff for A New Hope, then returning to be ILM’s production supervisor for Return of the Jedi and several other films, and later at Kerner Optical. And she worked in the marketing department at ILM. Duignan is also a film and documentary maker.

Hal Hickel started at ILM in 1996, with his first role being an animator on The Lost World: Jurassic Park. He is now the studio’s animation director, with several recent credits on a number of Star Wars-related projects, including The Mandalorian. Hickel won an Oscar for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

In this discussion with Ian Failes from befores & afters, Duignan and Hickel discuss everything from the creative atmosphere at ILM to the key periods of transition for the company (including the latest venture into virtual production), and we even get into the nature of digital humans in this chat. There’s a lot of fun stories shared by both guests, hope you enjoy!


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