The story behind the CG characters in Rogue One is something we’re all dying to know more about. So far, there’s little not covered in this link or this link, but I had one lingering question to ask John Knoll when I spoke to him today.
Knoll is the Chief Creative Officer at Industrial Light and Magic, as well as the person who first pitched Rogue One, and a producer on the film. It was he and his team, which included Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould among many others, who helped bring the New Hope versions of Tarkin and Leia to the film.
However, Knoll noted in another article that, if the effects had not worked, there were fail-safes, such as recasting the roles, shooting around the characters, or making them holograms. Since so much has been made of the decision to not go that route, I was dying to know: Who made the ultimate decision that the risky effect was, in fact, working, and the filmmakers did not need to go in another direction?
The answer shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Here’s Knoll:
Some of it was my just asserting that, “No no no, let’s not pull the [plug] on this, we’re going to get there, this is going to work.” But ultimately the decision was Kathy’s whether she thought it was working well enough to stay close up, full screen, for a duration.
“Kathy” meaning Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. So anyone who has complaints about the effects can take them up with the woman in charge.
We’ll have more from Knoll, Hickel, and Corbould next week.