While dropping the news that he'll voice Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro's stop-motion animated Pinocchio, Ewan McGregor also offered up a little insight into his upcoming Disney+ Star Wars series set to start filming early next year (knock on wood, as he literally does during the interview), in which he'll reprise his Obi-Wan Kenobi prequels role.
"I do know sort of what it will be about, but I'm not going to tell you," McGregor said in an interview with ACE Universe when asked about the Disney+ series. That's not exactly surprising, though, since everything involving this (or almost any, for that matter) big franchise is secretive and mysterious until they decide it's not. The insight here is that they'll be using some of the cutting edge virtual production technology that was used to make The Mandalorian, and that means McGregor is going to "enjoy it all much more" than he did filming the Star Wars prequels.
"We shot the first one on film and we shot the second one, when we got to Australia, on the then-new HD cameras, which were pretty primitive compared to what they are now," he said, recalling his experiences filming Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Episode II: Attack of the Clones. "So it was quite technically complicated, I remember. Just all blue screen and green screen, so it was hard to imagine it. But nowadays, things have moved on so much. A lot of what you see is going to be what we see on the set."
It's amazing what a difference a couple of decades will make.
"If you've seen any of the behind-the-scenes on The Mandalorian series, they employ that incredible screen," McGregor continued. "I don't even begin to know how it works, but it's pretty amazing. So if you're on set, and you're in a snowscape or something, well, when you look around, you see that. It makes you feel like you're in the place. I think it's going to feel realer [sic] for us. I think we'll be using some of that technology on our show — which is untitled as yet."
You can check out the astounding tech in The Mandalorian behind-the-scenes vid below:
The technology is called The Volume (formerly called StageCraft), and it's kind of mind-blowing. It almost completely reverses the old CGI process of filming actors and then digitally creating their environment in post-production by hearkening back to the even-older process from the earliest days of cinema when they would just act in front of a matte painting.
Now, with amazing and giant LED screens, they can build the 3D environment first, the kinds of sprawling virtual worlds created for video games, and then bring the actors in to perform within it. No more will McGregor have to look at a blank green wall and try to pretend he knows what he's supposed to be seeing or where he's even supposed to be. It also allows for a set to be changed in seconds rather than hours or days. As seen in the video above, if you need to move a mountain in the background, you can do it instantly.
That's a hell of a matte painting.
McGregor then gave a shout out to some fan art that suggests the show should be titled Hello There, based on his line from Revenge of the Sith that became meme fodder. Doubtful that they'll go with that one for the yet-to-be named or slated series — no matter how hard he lobbies for it.
(via ACE Universe)