The second of the Lucas/Spielberg Indiana Jones epic is set a year or so before the events in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indy needs to retrieve a precious gem and several kidnapped young children on behalf of a remote East Indian village.

ILM created 140 shots for this film, including the action-packed mine cars sequence, which took four months to complete and includes more than a third of all of the effects shots in the film. The lava was generated by shooting a mixture of red-tinted glycerin and water illuminated from beneath.

In order to film the chase sequence, ILM’s camera engineering department heavily modified a 35mm Nikon F3 SLR body with custom machined parts and custom film magazines, as well as a stepper motor to drive the action. Dubbed the NikonFlex, the tiny camera system rode the miniature mine car tracks on an aluminum dolly, capturing the action along the way.

ILM’s team was honored with the Academy Award® for Best Visual Effects for their contribution to the film.

Steven Spielberg
ILM Visual Effects Supervisor
Dennis Muren
ILM Animation Supervisor
Charles Mullen
ILM Visual Effects Art Director
Joe Johnston