As season two swings towards us, the makers of that first multi-nominated season look back at those episodes and the opportunities offered by the second, and one of those is Greig Fraser, the cinematographer behind Rogue One and The Mandalorian who disucsses that amazing new technology.
DEADLINE: You came to The Mandalorian, having shot Rogue One in 2015. But what was it that excited you about the prospect of tackling the first Star Wars TV series?
GREIG FRASER: It’s funny because Rogue One’s very related to this. We did a lot of the work of the spaceship stuff on the precursor to what is The Volume. Rob Bredow and I shot some tests on that, to see if it was feasible to actually use LEDs as the walls of the studio. Effectively, the thinking was that if it emitted light, then you could change it, and it could become any background that you wanted. So, that was what excited ILM about it.
But what excited me about it was actually what [the Volume technology] would become. This has become a very, very powerful lighting tool, and if you combine a really powerful lighting tool with a really powerful tool that creates backgrounds in camera, then you have basically the perfect recipe for a perfect storm of post-production, and pre-production and shoot.
That was 2015, when we shot that. But since then, I’d been keeping in touch with the team at ILM, and there was talk about the first TV show, that Jon Favreau was going to showrun. And of course, Jon has a really long history of being very innovative himself, in terms of the technology. So, it seemed like a really good marriage between the concepts that ILM, Lucasfilm and myself were talking about all those years ago, and bringing a live-action element in front of these screens.