Did you know that the Force was once strong in the San Fernando Valley? You could even say it was so strong because it was once the birthplace of the Millennium Falcon, the X-Wing Fighter, the Imperial Light Cruiser and the Death Star. Who knew that in a galaxy, far, far away was only right in our backyard?
In 1977, the original location of Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) was at 6842 Valjean Avenue in Van Nuys, CA, within the proximity of the Van Nuys Airport. ILM was the special effects studio founded by George Lucas to create the iconic Star Wars film that started it all.
While Lucas filmed the live action portions of Star Wars in Tunisia, Tika, London and the Death Valley, the ILM crew in that industrial warehouse created, designed, and shot a multitude of special effects scenes for the film, including Luke Skywalker and company’s attempt at destroying the Death Star. They used digital motion control photography developed by John Dykstra and his team—employing small models and slow-moving cameras to create their magic. The motion control camera used to shoot these groundbreaking effects was later called Dysktraflex.
Some historic photos of the warehouse during production can be viewed at roadaffair.com/Star Wars Locations.
Unfortunately, after Star Wars, Industrial Light and Magic moved to Northern California in San Rafael. However, John Dykstra formed his own company, Apogee, Inc. and stayed at the location for another 16 years. Fast forward to present day, the local landmark now houses Neiman and Company, an architectural sign fabrication company founded by industry icon Harry Neiman.
My Valley Pass, the San Fernando Valley’s #1 Visitors Guide, will be taking us back in time to where the magic of Star Wars started. In celebration of Star Wars Day, they will be showing Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in the parking lot of Neiman and Company, at the original location of Industrial Light and Magic. The movie screening, a part of their ongoing series Movies on Location, will be held on May 4th at 6:00pm.
A limited number of VIP tickets will include a tour of the former ILM facility as well as an upgraded director’s chair in a preferred seating area. General tickets are also available for purchase. All seating, including VIP, is on a first come, first served basis.
To purchase tickets or for more information on events in the San Fernando Valley, visit the My Valley Pass website.
May the Fourth be with you!