Lucasfilm General Manager Explains Why The Perfect Storm With George Clooney Was Such An Important Movie

Formed in 1975, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a division of the production company Lucasfilm, has been a major player in the realm of visual effects. From what was shown off in the first three Star Wars movies to the game-changing work done on Jurassic Park, if you’ve watched an effects-heavy blockbuster from the last several decades, there’s a decent chance that ILM worked on it in some form or fashion. For Lynwen Brennan, executive vice president and general manager of Lucasfilm, she sees the George Clooney-led The Perfect Storm as a movie that wasn’t just important for the company, but VFX history overall.

I had the opportunity to speak with Lynwen Brennan as part of the press event for the docuseries Light & Magic, which explores ILM’s origins and its impact on the film industry., and can be watched in its entirety with a Disney+ subscription now. During our chat, I asked Brennan what she considered to be ILM’s greatest technical achievement, whether that be a character, creature, ship or simply a general effect. She started off by saying the following:

There’s so many and it’s constantly evolving and constantly changing. My easiest answer to that is the last one we did because every day in this job, we start at the beginning thinking, ‘How we’re gonna do that?’ Because everything that comes to us is really about solving a story problem or getting something on the screen that’s in a director’s head, but we have no way of doing it. My favorite is the one that we’ve just done, because then you have that euphoria of knowing that you pulled it off. Over the time, I often think it’s the ones that we know were the hardest to get done. So whether that be the water in Perfect Storm, because if you think at the time that we were doing Perfect Storm, digital water wasn’t really a thing. And we took on a film where digital water was the main character in the film and had to do it in a believable way. Everybody knows what water looks like. They don’t necessarily know what a monster looks like. So you can get a lot away with a lot more with a monster.

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