Watched The Mandalorian? Those Special Effects could mean the end of green screen

If you’re a Star Wars fan, this is a TV series you simply need to watch. Created by Jon Favreau (yes, the guy from Spider Man), it’s been released on Disney +, which is now available in the UK for £5.99 a month. Of course, the “real” fans have “acquired” the programme through “other” methods already, but that’s not diminished the success of the show.

Jon Favreau (left)

What has perhaps amazed people the most is that 8 episodes of around 30 minutes each, with such high production values and special effects, could even be considered for a TV show. It had around a $100 million (£77.15 million) budget and, if you add all the episodes together, it’s around 5 hours long. Compare this to the $275 (£212.18 million) budget for just over 2 hours of “The Rise of Skywalker” at the movies.

If you’ve watched it, you can’t fail to be amazed at the effects and how immersive everything is. What is surprising, though, is how the effects were done. Remember back in the old days? When filmmakers used studio-based actors in front of cinema screens showing background imagery?

The film “Airplane!” famously lampooned this in the scene below…

It worked in the old black and white films, but looked far less amazing in newer movies. For “The Mandalorian” those clever people from Industrial Light & Magic have been brought back and they’ve rebooted this technology. They’ve shoved it in a very magical blender and created a real-time 3D projection system. It’s called “Stagecraft” and is basically an insanely large LED wrap-around screen which shows anything you desire. It can also be hooked into the cameras on-set so that images move as the camera does – adding perspective and a full virtual on-demand “set”.

This could blow away green screen technology in the future, but it’s perhaps best to see it in action…

I thought this was all pretty cool. Physical bits of set up front, a realistic environment that can be seen by the actors and the cameras – all thanks to an ultra-bright LED screen.