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ILM To Sell Physical Production Unit

Industrial Light & Magic is in discussions to sell its physical production unit, the legendary unit that works with models, miniatures and stage work, VARIETY reports. The sale would mark the end of an erabeginning as the unit that produced the effects for George Lucas' original STAR WARS moviesand solidify ILM's status as a digital effects house.

The purchaser is Mark Anderson, a model maker who has worked at ILM for more than 15 years. The unit will be renamed Kerner Optical, for its location at ILM's former headquarters on Kerner Ave. in San Rafael, California, and will focus on all physical production. Kerner Optical will become a preferred subcontractor for ILM.

ILM's physical production unit never made the move to Lucasfilm's new headquarters at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco's Presidio.

ILM informed its employees of the move on June 13, saying it hoped the deal would be finalized within 60 days, though it has yet to close.