Episode 2: The Walt Disney Studios – Global Marketing and Virtual Production

 

ON THIS EPISODE OF LIFE AT DISNEY

Walt Disney Studios is the core of where The Walt Disney Company started nearly 100 years ago. Today it brings quality movies, episodic storytelling, music, and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. This week both our guests hail from our Disney Studios content team, Nicole Roberts, Senior Manager of Global Marketing, and Ian Milham, Virtual Production Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Our guests take us behind the scenes of their roles, by sharing all the moving parts that go into creating global marketing campaigns, the virtual production process used on The Mandalorian, and how technology is creating new and exciting roles within Studios.

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ABOUT THE GUESTS

Nicole Roberts

Nicole Roberts is a senior manager, marketing at Disney Studios Content. In her current role, Nicole helps shape the marketing strategy for Disney live-action movies releasing in theaters and on Disney+. Previously, Nicole was a key member of the team behind the launch of Disney+, working in global brand and content marketing. Before her time at Disney, she served as a marketing project manager at Allied Moxy, a division of Allied Global Marketing, where she worked on campaigns focused on consumer brand industries targeting African American consumers. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a master’s degree in strategic public relations from USC.

 

 

 

 

 

SHOW NOTES

  • 20th Century Studios is an American film production studio headquartered at the Fox Studio Lot. It is part of Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures distributes and markets the films made under the 20th Century Studios banner.
  • Black Is King is a 2020 American musical film and visual album directed, written, and executive produced by American singer Beyoncé. It is a visual companion to the 2019 album The Lion King: The Gift, curated by Beyoncé for The Lion King (2019).
  • Disney+ is a streaming service owned and operated by the Media and Entertainment Distribution division of The Walt Disney Company. The service primarily distributes films and television series produced by The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television, with dedicated content hubs for the brands DisneyPixarMarvelStar Wars, and National Geographic, as well as Star in some regions. Original films and television series are also distributed on Disney+.
  • Disney Internships are paid internships where students will work side-by-side with industry leaders in their field of study. 
  • Disney Launchpad looks for experienced writers and directors from underrepresented backgrounds with diverse and varied perspectives, including but certainly not limited to women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, various religious groups, military veterans, people with disabilities, and others, to produce a short in the Disney Launchpad: Shorts Incubator program.
  • Disney Theatrical Productions is the flagship stageplay and musical production company of the Disney Theatrical Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Studios.
  • Hocus Pocus 2 is an upcoming film directed by Anne Fletcher, written by Jen D’Angelo, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. A sequel to the 1993 film Hocus Pocus. The film is scheduled to be released on Disney+ on September 30, 2022.
  • Lucasfilm is an American film and television production company and a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios. The studio is best known for creating and producing the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as its leadership in developing special effects, sound, and computer animation for films.
  • Marvel Studios is an American film and television production company that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios. Marvel Studios is known for the production of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films based on characters that appear in Marvel Comics publications.
  • Ms. Marvel is a television miniseries created by Bisha K. Ali for the streaming service Disney+, based on the Marvel Comics featuring the character Kamala Khan / Ms. Marvel. It follows Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old fangirl of the Avengers who struggles to fit in until she gains her own powers.
  • Pinocchio is an upcoming American musical film directed by Robert Zemeckis from a screenplay by Zemeckis and Chris Weitz. The film, produced by Walt Disney Pictures, is a live-action adaptation of Walt Disney’s 1940 animated film of the same name, which is itself based on the 1883 Italian book The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. Pinocchio was released on Disney+ on September 8, 2022.
  • Pixar Animation Studios is an American computer animation studio known for its critically and commercially successful computer-animated feature films.
  • Searchlight Pictures is a film studio that is a division of 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios. Founded in 1994 as Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. for 20th Century Fox (later 20th Century Studios), the studio focuses primarily on producing, distributing, and acquiring specialty films.
  • The Walt Disney Studios is an American film and entertainment studio and is the Studios Content segment of the Walt Disney Company. Based at the namesake studio lot in Burbank, California, the studio is best known for its multifaceted film divisions. Founded in 1923, it is the fourth-oldest and one of the “Big Five” major film studios.
  • Walt Disney Animation Studios, sometimes shortened to Disney Animation, is an animation studio that creates animated features and short films for The Walt Disney Company. Founded on October 16, 1923, by brothers Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney, it is the oldest-running animation studio in the world. It is currently organized as a division of Walt Disney Studios and is headquartered at the Roy E. Disney Animation Building at the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California. Since its foundation, the studio has produced 60 feature films, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to Encanto (2021), and hundreds of short films.

 

Headshot of Ian MilhamIan Milham

After 20 years in the interactive entertainment industry, Ian Milham joined Disney at Industrial Light & Magic to help lead the use of the revolutionary StageCraft virtual production process on Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian. He serves as leader of the on-set ILM team delivering photorealistic, in-camera visual effects using real-time environments and an LED volume, and works with productions on creative and technical development and operation of seamless virtual sets and imagery.

After the success of season one of The Mandalorian and the development of season two, Ian went on to help with the expansion of StageCraft worldwide and work with films and shows such as “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania”.

In addition to on-set StageCraft work, Ian is the supervisor of ILM’s San Francisco stage which contributes motion-capture performance and virtual camera work to numerous film, television, and theme park projects.

Before working at Disney, Ian graduated with a BFA in illustration from Syracuse University and began work as a matte painter and real-time environment artist before moving up through the ranks to become an art director and creative director.

 

 

SHOW NOTES

  • Disney+ is a streaming service owned and operated by the Media and Entertainment Distribution division of The Walt Disney Company. The service primarily distributes films and television series produced by The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television, with dedicated content hubs for the brands DisneyPixarMarvelStar Wars, and National Geographic, as well as Star in some regions. Original films and television series are also distributed on Disney+.
  • Grogu, colloquially referred to as Baby Yoda, is a character from the Star Wars Disney+ original television series The Mandalorian. He is an infant member of the same unnamed species as the Star Wars characters Yoda and Yaddle, with whom he shares a strong ability in the Force.
  • Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has set the standard for visual effects, creating some of the most stunning images in the history of film. At the forefront of the digital revolution, ILM continues to break new ground in the field not only in visual effects but now virtual reality, augmented reality, immersive entertainment, and virtual production. Founded by George Lucas, ILM is the leading effects facility in the world, with studios located in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver, London, and Sydney. The company serves the motion picture, television, streaming, commercial production, and attraction industries. ILM has created visual effects for over 350 feature films.
  • Jon Favreau is an American actor and filmmaker.
  • Lucasfilm is an American film and television production company and a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios. The studio is best known for creating and producing the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as its leadership in developing special effects, sound, and computer animation for films.
  • On-set virtual production (OSVP) or also known as a virtual studio or virtual production, is a technology for television and film production in which LED panels are used as a backdrop for a set, on which video or computer-generated imagery can be displayed. With careful adjustment and calibration, an OSVP set can be made to closely approximate the appearance of a real set or outdoor location. OSVP can be viewed as an application of extended reality.
  • StageCraft is an on-set virtual production visual effects technology composed of a video wall designed by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Initially developed for the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, it has since been used in other productions and has been cited as a revolutionary visual effects technology.
  • Star Wars is an epic space-opera, multimedia franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide pop-culture phenomenon. The franchise has been expanded into various films and other media, including television series, video games, novels, comic books, theme park attractions, and themed areas, comprising an all-encompassing fictional universe.
  • The Mandalorian is an American space western television series created by Jon Favreau for the streaming service Disney+. It is the first live-action series in the Star Wars franchise, beginning five years after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983), and stars Pedro Pascal as the title character, a lone bounty hunter who goes on the run to protect “The Child”.
  • The Walt Disney Studios is an American film and entertainment studio and is the Studios Content segment of the Walt Disney Company. Based at the namesake studio lot in Burbank, California, the studio is best known for its multifaceted film divisions. Founded in 1923, it is the fourth-oldest and one of the “Big Five” major film studios.

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