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ILM Enters 3D Animation Game

George Lucas' special effects powerhouse Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has announced plans to expand into the animation game, creating 3D computer-generated films and television shows. These new projects will be co-productions with various major studios. Three years ago, ILM had planned to make the CGI animated FRANKENSTEIN with Universal but that project fell through due to creative differences. Patty Blau has been named senior VP of production for the animation division. Previously, Blau served as president of feature production. "Now we're really putting our weight behind it. We want to produce projects that will showcase the depth of creativity in ways, which have previously been unexplored. We're disappointed FRANKENSTEIN never went ahead." The 80 current ILM effects wizards are creating effects for Warner Bros. upcoming THE PERFECT STORM and SPACE COWBOYS, along with Universal's THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE. The company has several internal projects in the works, "but we're talking to other studios about taking on their projects," Blau said. "We'd still partner with studios even if we did produce our own in-house projects. We feel there's a lot of room to explore out there." This approach is very similar to Pacific Data Images move from effects house to producing animated features like DreamWorks ANTZ.

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