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Industrial Light & Magic Lab Experience Lab (ILMxLAB) A.K.A. Star Wars Virtual Reality Development Studio


If you ever seen a Star Wars Film or a Indiana Jones film, you were enjoying a LucasFilm Ltd. creation. They have been in the storytelling business since 1971, when George Lucas founded the studio. Their dedication for telling inspiring and imaginative stories through film, has undoubtedly made them a respected pioneer in the entertainment industry. In 2012, the Walt Disney company, acquired LucasFilm Ltd. The recent Star Wars: The force awakens, came out of this acquisition.

LucasFilm also created a subsidiary company, dubbed Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). They specialize in conceptual design, special effects and full-scale digital productions. You have seen their works in 007: Spectre, Hitman: Agent 47, Ant-Man, The Martian, Transformers and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Numerous awards, such as Academy Awards of Scientific Engineering/ Technical Achievement, British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), Visual Effect Society, among others have been granted to them. ILM is currently stationed in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver and London.

Skywalker Sound is another subsidiary of LucasFilm, which specializes in binaural “real-life, organic sounds to developing new techniques in sound presentation.” You’ve heard their work in the “pulsating hum of a light saber,” and the terrifying sounds of Tyrannosaurus Rex in Jurassic Park. The companies foundations lies in Ben Burts revolutionary work on Star Wars: A New Hope. They are currently stationed in Skywalker’s Ranch, surrounded by other genius minds.

Because of their on-going effort to create compelling stories, a new company was born from LucasFilm Ltd., Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sounds. ILMxLab (a.k.a. Industrial Light & Magic Experience Lab), was created to research and develop new ways to tell stories, through mixed (virtual & augmented) reality.

Since the rise of Virtual Reality and it’s appeal to the mainstream, it became apparent to LucasFilm that people are going to want access to the Star Wars world. this propelled them to get the best professionals for the job, to re-think the way cinema productions tells stories and the various experiences/perspectives VR will offer.
As stated by them, ” as this new dimension in storytelling unfolds, ILMxLAB will develop virtual reality, augmented reality, real-time cinema, theme park entertainment and narrative-based experiences for future platforms.”

Better for the original Studios bringing the Star Wars franchise to life, than someone else. Honestly, I’ve always wanted to talk to Chewbacca and traverse the desert planet ‘Tattoine,’ in my own speeder bike. It is not clear when you’ll be able to experience Star Wars in VR, but as more people adopt VR, it will be a sought after experience.

You can learn more about ILMxLAB here or visit LucasFilm’s website for other projects they are working on.

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