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Sol Gate Studio’s team on set of Elyssium at ILM

The legendary Kerner Studios were responisble for countless breathtaking special effects in major blockbusters as well as commercial productions for over 30 years. Founded in 1977 by George Lucas after his huge success with Star Wars the company quickly set milestones in the history of motion picture and had a leading role in the Special FX industry.

Movies like E.T., Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribean, Harry Potter and Avatar to name just a few had their special FX created by the San Raffael based studios. In 2006 Kerner Optical separated from ILM and left Kerner Studios as a independent highly professional production facility.

Sol Gate Studio’s in house photographer Martin Backhauss and Sol Gate Studios CEO Rob Alan Martin had the opportunity to be on set for the special effects scenes for Kerner’s last two big productions. One is the upcoming Blockbuster “Elysium” the other one was the movie Red Tails which happened to be produced at the same time.

Special FX procucer and good friend Camille Cellucci invited Photographer Martin Backhauss and Producer and Director Rob Alan Martin to the last FX summit at the Kerner Studios which they documented. At the summit they were introduced by former Kerner staff member Camille Cellucci to Kerner’s former CEO Eric Edmaedes and the rest of the Kerner team. That opened the doors to the on set photography for the Elysium BTS and the on set photography.

Elysium, directed by Neil Blomkamp with Matt Damon and Judy Foster hit  the theatres in August 2013. With Elysium Blomberg is tying in with his last success – the movie District 9 – in which he was directing as well.

Rob Alan Martin, Brando Keoni and Martin Backhauss where there when one of the key scenes were created. Kerner set designers built one of the miniture sets. Those miniture sets were the craft that Kerner Studios were highly respected for in the past. Even though most FX are created digitally these days there is a reason why Blomkamp decided to have the set for that specific scene built. Why that is we’ll reveal in an upcoming post.

Rob Alan Martin interviewed producer Neil Blomkamp about producing the scenes at Kerner with their talented and well experienced crew. The interviews are planned to be part of the BTS material for the DVD once it is being released.

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