For George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, ILM provided virtual production services via ILM StageCraft as well as post visual effects work. Our visual effects team was responsible for terrestrial visual effects work depicting the fictional Barbeau Observatory and views from within as well as the lake crossing and flashback sequences.

ILM’s StageCraft team and on-set visual effects supervisor worked closely with Clooney, production designer Jim Bissell, and cinematographer Martin Ruhe to construct a bespoke StageCraft LED installation built into the set itself. The team captured real photography of Iceland’s Vatnajökull glacier which served as the backdrop for all views out the windows of the observatory and also provided naturalistic lighting for the scene itself. In all, four different times of day were captured, daytime, nighttime, dawn, and dusk, and a digital survey was also conducted to allow the StageCraft team to manipulate the environment and event the amount and density of the snowfall in three dimensions tracked to the director’s camera. Overall StageCraft allowed the production to capture 100 of the visual effects shots in-camera. Using a traditional greenscreen approach would have yielded far less effective shots as the interactive reflections lent a high degree of realism to the scenes.

George Clooney
ILM Visual Effects Supervisor
Mark Bakowski
ILM Executive Visual Effects Producer
Jill Brooks
ILM Visual Effects Producer
Georgina Street