The Storm-Chasing Special Effects Team Behind ‘Twister’

The story of how Twister was created begins with a challenge. Specifically, one Steven Spielberg and his producing partner Kathleen Kennedy issued to Industrial Light & Magic. They wanted to find out if the Bay Area–based visual effects behemoth—founded by George Lucas in 1975—had the ability to make virtual tornadoes. “Steven liked to have us do tests for things that hadn’t been done before,” says Stefen Fangmeier, the project’s VFX supervisor. “He called ILM and said, ‘Can you guys do this?’” The answer, unsurprisingly, was yes. Starting with its work on Star Wars, ILM had revolutionized cinematic special effects.

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