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The Mandalorian

The first live-action Star Wars television series likely had more in common with Star Wars films than it did other television shows. It was clearly being made to look as much like any Star Wars movie that fans had ever seen. It also included Jon Favreau as a producer, who had previously been making major blockbuster movies for Disney and Marvel. And it appears that something about making Iron Man stuck with Jon Favreau when he directed it, and it's something he brought with him to the production of The Mandalorian.

The newest episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian takes a look at the show's visualization process, specifically, the fact that the series used VR and animatics to basically design the show, right down to the camera angles that would be used, before any filming was actually done. This process of pre-visualization meant that when filming did get underway, everybody was already aware of what shots needed to be captured, and so no time or effort were wasted. As Jon Favreau explained, it mimicked the efficiency of doing reshoots on Iron Man, which is exactly what he wanted...

The whole goal was to treat this whole shoot like we would have on a superhero film reshoot where you knew everything and what the story needed. Because I’ve never been on a more efficient set than the Iron Man reshoots.

Reshoots are a common practice on just about any major movie, especially those that involve a lot of digital effects. Because so much of the movie is shot with pieces missing, as actors perform against green screens, you can't really know what your editors are going to have to work with until after production is over.

Then, when you sit down with the editors, you realize that the pieces you have don't quite fit together, in the way you thought they would, and so you need to get back out and get more shots. As Jon Favreau explained...

[B]ecause you filmed it, did all the planning, you shot it, you’ve got some visual effects going, you cut it together. You can’t quite get it to be perfect. You’re like, ‘if we only had another week or two weeks.’

Film production can be a pretty fluid thing. You have a script and so you know what you want by the end, but actually making sure you get all the pieces can be tricky. With reshoots however, you have a much better picture. You have most of the film done, and so you know exactly what pieces you need to make it all fit together. You then go out and get exactly the pieces you need, and nothing more or less.

The pre-visualization process of The Mandaloran allowed the filmmakers to approach the entire production with the same efficiency that reshoots tend to have. Likely a very good thing for the studio as it helps keep costs under control.

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