The Mandalorian: A Case Study in Virtual Production

August 17, 2021 A DGA Women's Steering Committee Virtual Event

On August 17, ahead of their online meeting, the Women’s Steering Committee (WSC) hosted the panel discussion, The Mandalorian: A Case Study in Virtual Production. The event featured 2nd AD Heather Wagner, Director of Photography David Klein, Editor Dana Glauberman and VFX Producer Abbigail Keller from the Disney+ hit series set in a galaxy far, far away.

In a conversation moderated by The Mandalorian’s 1st AD Kim Richards, the panelists delved into how virtual production is changing the landscape of how we direct and produce content and discussed how the ability to seamlessly merge live video footage with computer graphics creates a new workflow between the Director’s Team, DP, Editor and VFX Producer.

The discussion also covered topics including: what was developed during storyboard meetings with the creators of the show – Directors Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni – and other members of the team; creating the show ahead of time in Pre-Viz and how different team members prepare for that process; what to take into account during “soft prep” and who is involved; and how actors and digital creatures interact.

Following the moderated portion of the conversation, the panelists fielded questions submitted by the online audience.

Kim Richards1st AD Kim Richards (moderator)
Richards is a TV Production graduate of Emerson College, who started her path at the Guild as a DGA Trainee in the class of 2012. Her first official job was on The Jungle Book with Director Jon Favreau and they haven’t parted ways since. After wrapping Favreau’s The Lion King in 2018, Richards became the 1st AD on The Mandalorian. From there she continued her role into season two, The Book of Boba Fett and is now currently working on season three of The Mandalorian. She has been a DGA member since 2014. 
Heather Wagner2nd AD Heather Wagner
A graduate of the Assistant Director Training Program, Wagner joined the DGA in 2016. In addition to her work on The Mandalorian, her resume includes Todd Holland’s movie for television, Charlie Foxtrot and episodes of series such as The GoldbergsGoneAnimal Kingdom and Silicon Valley, including Mike Judge’s DGA Award-nominated episode, “Server Error.” She is currently working on Steven Spielberg’s new project, The Fabelmans

David KleinDirector of Photography David Klein
Klein started his career working with Kevin Smith on such films as Chasing AmyZack and Miri Make a Porno and Red State. He is a member of the American Society of Cinematographers and for the past decade has been working in television on series including Pushing DaisiesTrue Blood and Homeland. His latest work includes The Mandalorian


Dana E. GlaubermanEditor Dana E. Glauberman, ACE
Glauberman is an award-winning editor known for her work on season one of The Mandalorian. Hercredits also include feature films such as Jason Reitman’s Thank You for SmokingJunoUp in the Air, and the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife. She is also currently working on The Book of Boba Fett, a Mandalorian spinoff series based on the beloved Star Wars character. 


Abbigail KellerVFX Producer Abbigail Keller
Keller is an award-winning Visual Effects Producer and Lucasfilm Executive VFX Producer whose credits include feature films such as Tim Miller’s Deadpool, Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Travis Knight’s Bumblebee and Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. Currently, she is the VFX Producer on The Mandalorian


The Women's Steering Committee (WSC) was created to advance the professional interests of its members, and to heighten their visibility and career opportunities in the entertainment industry. The WSC currently promotes diversity through sponsoring net-working events, screenings and seminars, and fosters relationships between the members to provide support, mentoring and networking opportunities. The WSC’s current Co-Chairs are Tara Miele, Shawn Pipkin-West and Liz Ryan.

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