Exclusive: Ms. Marvel cinematographer Jules O’Loughlin reveals how the show created Kamala Khan’s powers on set – and describes them as “telekinetic”.
Jules O’Loughlin, director of photography Ms. Marvel episodes 4 and 5, revealed how the series filmed “telekinesis“Powers. One of Marvel Comics’ Most Successful”Legacy(rivaled only by Miles Morales’ Spider-Man), Kamala’s Ms. Marvel had a massive cultural impact when it arrived in the comics. It was always only a matter of time before Ms. Marvel made its debut at the MCU – but when she did, it came with a dramatic change.Played by Iman Vellani, Kamala had her first screen appearance in that year. Ms. Marvel..
Marvel rewrote Kamala’s origin story to steer her away from the Inhumans and gave Ms. Marvel a different set of powers to boot. In the comics, Ms. Marvel is a polymorph; in contrast, the MCU’s version of the hero can generate what is called “hard light“built. The Ms. Marvel The Disney+ TV show featured a number of nods to Kamala’s comic book powers – most notably with “swollenhand shapes – but visually his new powers appeared to be based on those of a lesser-known X-Men character, Armor. Naturally, the change was controversial.
Ms. Marvel‘s O’Loughlin now caters exclusively to Screen Rant on how Marvel made those powers a reality. While some level of VFX work was required to achieve this, the creative team used a hands-on approach to one aspect of Kamala’s powers. O’Loughlin explains:
As for Kamala’s powers, she has telekinetic power and there is an energy that emanates from her, but also a crystalline structure that she creates. It is an energy that gives off an interactive light. For me and for our VFX supervisor, it was really important that we did as much as possible behind closed doors. We didn’t want to leave everything to our VFX guys. The more you do in camera, the more realistic the effect will be. For Kamala you have this blue and purple light, my challenge was to create as much of this interactive light on set as possible.
It’s a real dance between putting lights on set and hiding them from the camera. I used larger off-camera light fixtures for energy walls and such, then smaller LEDs behind his arms or in his clothes, hiding smaller units around the set. Sometimes there was no other way but to have a shot light fixture that the VFX team erased in post, but I didn’t want to do that. Their work is quite important as it is, time and money are essential. As much as I could, I hid those off-camera lights.
It’s not just a matter of color; it is also about the synchronization of light. As her powers increase or when she deploys her power, the timing of these lights must also be correct. These days you have fine control over the timing of these units, so either I handle the on and off, crossfade, or crossfade, or my gaffer does it.
The approach makes sense. Kamala’s light-based powers emit light that naturally changes the composition of a shot, and incorporating these effects into the actual shoot as much as possible means that the Ms. Marvel the director and cinematographer knew exactly what each shot would look like. No doubt Vellani would have greatly appreciated the fact that when she made a gesture, her hand would suddenly glow – a fun simulation of superpowers. For a Marvel enthusiast like her, it must have been like a dream come true.
The real surprise in this account of Ms. Marvel’s powers, however, comes from O’Loughlin’s assertion that they are “telekinesisin the wild. This certainly bolsters the comparison to the X-Men armor, as its exoskeleton has always been depicted as being psychic in nature. The comics have often made a habit of displaying telekinetic powers with effects spectacular lights, simply because comics are a visual medium, so the artists didn’t want to just show people levitating without any cool effects.hard lightis probably a way of translating that to the small screen. Telepathy and telekinesis are usually associated with mutants in comic books, so Ms. MarvelThe final retcon from – establishing him as the MCU’s first official mutant – fits that nicely.
More: Every Marvel TV Show Released After Ms. Marvel
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- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: February 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
- Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: July 28, 2023
- Captain America: New World Order (2024)Release date: May 03, 2024
- Marvel’s Lightning Bolts (2024)Release date: July 26, 2024
- Avengers: Kang Dynasty (2025)Release date: May 02, 2025
- Avengers: Secret Wars (2025)Release date: November 07, 2025
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