A Look at the Matte Painters Who Created the Lifelike Scenery for the ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ Films

In 1985, the long-running BBC documentary series Horizon took a trip to visual effects powerhouse Industrial Lights and Magic and visited with artists like Chris Evans, Mike Pangrazio, Frank Ordaz, Harrison Ellenshaw, and Ralph McQuarrie, who helped create the lifelike matte paintings that provided the backgrounds for the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones films.

In a recent interview, Ordaz discusses how he got into the field.

By the time I graduated Art Center College of Design I was already painting for the movie industry and was hired by George Lucas’s company ILM. My first assignment was to paint a background establishing shot for ET. Spielberg liked it and my career took off.

Matte

Matte

Matte

Matte

images via Gizmodo Sploid

via Gizmodo Sploid