Archives for August 11, 2022

Light & Magic * This Series Will Blow You Away As It Peeks At Some Of The Greatest Special Effects Used In Cinema History

Granted unparalleled access, Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan takes viewers on an adventure behind the curtains of Industrial Light & Magic, the special visual effects, animation and virtual production division of Lucasfilm. Learn what inspired some of the most legendary filmmakers in Hollywood history, and follow their stories from their earliest personal films to bringing George Lucas’ vision to life. The series is directed by Lawrence Kasdan, and the executive producers are Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Justin Wilkes, Lawrence Kasdan, Kathleen Kennedy and Michelle Rejwan.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Heather S. comments, “Light & Magic is a documentary series that will blow you away! Go behind-the-scenes with renowned filmmakers and take a peek at some of the greatest special effects used in cinematic history.” Samantha P. adds, “You can venture behind the scenes of movies created by Lucasfilm, the legendary company founded by George Lucas, which makes all of their Star Wars films and more. Discover how movie magic, or the creation of special effects, is made in each of the six 1-hour episodes.” Selene W. wraps it up with, “If you have any interest in the behind-the-scenes of making Star Wars, special effects or digital imaging, then Light & Magic is a series not to be missed!…Experience what inspired some of the most legendary filmmakers to let their imagination soar into any galaxy or dimension beyond.” See their full reviews below.

Light & Magic 

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Light & Magic is a documentary series that will blow you away! Go behind-the-scenes with renowned filmmakers and take a peek at some of the greatest special effects used in cinematic history. 

Light & Magic introduces audiences to the VFX company, Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm, who have produced many of the greatest special effects in movies. George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and James Cameron are just a few of the filmmakers that talk about their experience working with Industrial Light & Magic and how this visionary company changed the way films are made. 

This series has something for everyone. Never-before-seen content from Titanic, Harry Potter, and Avengers is provided in Light & Magic. Rare sketches and concept art are shown, and it’s enough to thrill even an average fan. Hearing how all of these blockbusters like Avatar and Jurassic Park came together firsthand from the filmmakers is incredible. Directors who have taken the world by storm explain in detail where their visions came from and how Industrial Light & Magic helped the visions come to life. By the end of the series, viewers will feel like they worked on the movies themselves. The show, featuring several testimonials and anecdotes from the films’ editors, producers and VFX artists, helps audiences truly understand how it “takes a village” to make a movie. For any aspiring young actors, cinematographers, and directors, Light & Magic is a must watch. A standout piece of the series is the introduction of the StageCraft, the immersive and adaptable video screens used in shows like The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi. It just goes to show how much technology has evolved over the decades and how George Lucas and Lucasfilm have been instrumental in its evolution.

The purpose of Light & Magic is to engage its viewers with tales of how green screens and VFX began, and how various technologies have impacted and revolutionized cinema.

I give Light & Magic 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. All six episodes of Light & Magic premiere on July 27, 2022, exclusively on Disney+.


Light & Magic

By Samantha P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Light & Magic is a good docu-series to watch, especially if you have ever dreamed of making movies. You can venture behind the scenes of movies created by Lucasfilm, the legendary company founded by George Lucas, which makes all of their Star Wars films and more. Discover how movie magic, or the creation of special effects, is made in each of the six 1-hour episodes.

This series showcases the filmmakers from Industrial Light and Magic, which is the special effects division of Lucasfilm. Light & Magic delivers a deep understanding about the background of some very popular movies, including Star Wars, Transformers and Indiana Jones. It shows how the filmmakers persevere even when things are hard and seem almost impossible. The filmmakers have faith in their vision and share how they follow their dreams when other people say it’s not going to work out. It’s inspiring for anyone who wants to work in film or other ambitious creative endeavors. Light & Magic mostly focuses on George Lucas’ vision, Star Wars, since he’s the founder of both Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic, and it is directed by Lawrence Kasden.

In a series that is all about making great movies, of course the production value is great. The music enhances the mood, captivates the audience, builds tension, and makes the resolution more clear. Dramatic music plays as the filmmakers explain how their project wasn’t working out, but energetic music plays when the problem works itself out in the end. These episodes feature over 13 people, including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Dennis Muren, Ron Howard and many more. These are industry experts that any aspiring filmmaker should know about as they begin their own journey in making movies. Light & Magic also shares many clips from movies as examples to help bring their points to life for the audience.

The message of this docu-series is to persevere even when you are doubtful. This message is something that anyone can relate to, but especially artists who must have faith in their vision. Even people who created great hit movies have once doubted themselves, and new filmmakers can relate to that idea.

I give Light & Magic 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. All six episodes are available on Disney+ beginning July 27, 2022.

Light & Magic 

By Selene W., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14 

A long time ago in a galaxy, or warehouse, far, far away from a massive studio, a brave alliance of technological wizards challenged the creativity and standards of special effects in the motion picture industry.  These unsung heroes came together and accepted the visionary challenge and used their ingenuity to create and build Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) which is an iconic part of the Star Wars’ lore.

If you have any interest in the behind-the-scenes of making Star Wars, special effects or digital imaging, then Light & Magic is a series not to be missed!  The archival footage gives viewers a peak behind the wizards’ curtains into creating movie MAGIC and collaborative storytelling.  Experience what inspired some of the most legendary filmmakers to let their imagination soar into any galaxy or dimension beyond.

Interviews with legendary directors including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis and Jon Favreau add to the depth of this series and truly illuminate how instrumental digital filmmaking has become to storytelling. The rebel alliance at ILM created a digital revolution in the film industry which expanded into other areas of industry as well, which truly was life changing for many. Viewers get to experience snippets of various special effect scenes from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Terminator, Forest Gump, Jurassic Park and Mandalorian to name just a few! These groundbreaking artists under the guidance of visionary George Lucas show us that, just because something hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Lawrence Kasdan directs this documentary series and is in a unique position to guide us through the history of imagination and technological change.

The essence of this series illustrates that anything is possible.  This ragtag group of artists accomplished things together that were light years ahead of current standards.  Their hard work and dedication to the project and their craft truly produced something that is still magical today.

I give this documentary series 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults.  The six episode series launches on Disney+ July 27, 2022. Don’t miss the magic and incredible journey behind the scenes!

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