Loki’s production designer reveals why they opted not to use the cutting-edge VFX technology innovated by another Disney+ series, The Mandalorian.
Loki’s production designer Kasra Farahani reveals why the show didn’t use the advanced VFX technology innovated by another Disney+ series, The Mandalorian. The MCU’s third series follows Tom Hiddleston’s mercurial villain after he messes with the Sacred Timeline by stealing the Tesseract during the Avengers’ time heist in 2012. After being apprehended by the TVA, Loki’s solo series finds him forging a bond with Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) and setting off on a time-traveling adventure in which he encounters multiple variants of himself, including Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino).
Unlike Marvel Studios’ two previous shows, WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki has jumped around various points in both space and time. Episode 3 finds Loki and Sylvie on the doomed moon of Lamentis-1 in the year 2077. Last week’s episode, “Journey into Mystery,” finds the duo at the end of time, a purgatory-like place called the Void. There, they battle a massive cloud-like creature called Alioth before heading to a citadel that lies beyond. Case in point, the show is replete with numerous fantastical and sci-fi elements, which require copious amounts of set design and special effects work.
Because of its sci-fi setting, many assumed Loki would utilize The Volume just like its Disney+ counterpart The Mandalorian, which actually innovated the technology and uses it to film almost the entirety of the series. However, Loki’s production designer Farahani and his team decided not to use the cutting-edge technology for the Marvel series because it didn’t coordinate with their goals. According to Comicbook, Farahani says it “just wasn’t creatively super-relevant” for Loki.
The Volume, also referred to as StageCraft LED services, is essentially a 360-degree virtual set within an indoor soundstage popularized by The Mandalorian. Created by the VFX company Industrial Light & Magic, the technology’s combination of ultra-high res graphics and massive LED screens allow filmmakers to instantly change backdrops at the press of a button. The technology has not only created hyper-realistic scenery on screen but has also allowed actors to become more immersed on set.
Instead of using The Volume, Loki opted for more traditional practical sets, which require production designers and crew to physically create the sets, oftentimes within a studio. To date, ILM has built four of these virtual sets around the world. While Loki opted not to use any of them, one was actually built at the Disney-owned Fox Studios in Australia to be used for another Marvel production, Thor: Love & Thunder. Even though Loki didn’t utilize the technology, that’s not to say the special effects in the series are lacking. Marvel has clearly spent a lot of time and money on the reality-bending series’ special effects, so while The Volume could have amplified the visuals, it may have not been necessary.
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