ILM’s Model Shop Splits Off

Now that Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has focused its efforts solely on digital work, its model and physical effects unit has set up shop as Kerner Optical LLC. Based in San Rafael, Calif., the new production company has officially opened for business having recently completed its purchase from George Lucas’ house of magic.

Kerner Optical was founded by Mark Anderson, Kevin Duncan and Yuska Siuicki. An 18-year ILM veteran, Anderson will serve as CEO of the new entity, which houses a model and creature shop, a special effects/pyrotechnical effects facility and fully operational stages for interior and exterior filming. The company also offers stereoscopic 3D and blue/green screen capabilities, and fully customizable camera, motion control, lighting and grip packages.

According to ILM president Chrissie England, the company had been struggling to keep the employees of its physical production departments employed on a regular basis. Now the unit will be able to work for other production companies while continuing to handle effects work that ILM. The non-exclusive agreement has already allowed Kerner Optical to work on the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: The Ends of the World, Transformers and Evan Almighty.