The visual effects world has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades. Unbelievably so. Digital approaches have almost entirely supplanted the photochemical techniques (motion control, miniature shooting, optical compositing, etc.) that were at their height when I joined Industrial Light & Magic in the mid-’80s. And the number of people working in effects has probably grown 20 fold. The growth of the effects-fueled tent pole film has grown explosively as well. Once upon a time, a 350-shot show was considered a huge one, and there would only be a couple of those a year. Now there might be 20 films each having one to two thousand shots. And the quality of the work is staggeringly good. But I’m not sure the basic model of effects production has changed that much. Yes, once upon a time a visual effects facility like ILM might do the effects work in an entire film all by itself. Given the size of films now, and the fact that many shows have production-side effects supervisors and producers to oversee the show’s vendors, single facility shows are a rarity. But there have always been small, medium and large shops out there doing effects work. Now there are just more of them. And each of them plays a valuable role in the filmmaking process. And while small shops can do an awful lot these days, projects of huge scope, scale and variety still rely on the pipeline and capacity of the larger shops, as they always have. Visual effects of superb quality are now common in television work, games, VR and attractions as well as in the cinema. It is a vibrant industry that has bulked up on steroids, and while its sheer size makes it seem new and different, I think much of its underlying DNA is still the same, and the model that has been with us since ‘Star Wars’ persists.