Listen: Jon Favreau on Maximizing VFX While Minimizing Disruption

Jon Favreau
Katie Jones for Variety

If there’s a common thread that runs through the many different projects Jon Favreau has directed in recent years, it’s the state-of-the-art visual effects he’s deployed every time. Whether it’s the photorealistic computer animation of his latest film, “The Lion King,” or the way gaming engines make real-time rendering possible in his upcoming Disney Plus series “The Mandalorian,” he pushes the envelope on what’s possible to put on screen.

But innovation can disrupt the traditional roles occupied by many of the master craftsmen working in cinema today if you’re not careful, Favreau notes in the latest episode of the Variety podcast “Strictly Business.”

Listen to the podcast here: 

“You start to realize that collaborating not only helps the innovations be more effective but it also allows us for to preserve the skill set and push it forward,” he said last month on stage at the Variety Entertainment & Technology Summit in Los Angeles.

Favreau described how he was able to find common ground between the visual effects supervisors and production designers who were previously at odds by creating new tools that harmonized their tasks rather than having one faction steamroll the other.

“Whether it’s innovating based on new production techniques we’re developing or innovating based on technology associated with new platforms of distribution, there is a way for filmmaking and technology to continue the dance that they’ve been in for 100 years that’s created breakthroughs for both,” he said. 

In the interview, Favreau also details how his new initiative, Golem Creations, aims to share across the industry the lessons gleaned from his cutting-edge work, as well as the potential impact of so-called “deep fake” technology on moviemaking.

“Strictly Business” is Variety’s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. Past episodes include conversations with Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Dana Walden, co-head of 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Television Group. A new episode debuts each Wednesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.