Wired presents an wide-ranging oral history of ILM, from it's creation to present day and beyond. This piece made the rounds a few weeks ago, but if you haven't read it yet, it's definitely worth a read. So many candid comments from great names: George Lucas, Dennis Muren, Phil Tippett, John Dykstra, Mark Dippé, and more.
If you know anything about nitrate film stock, you know that it’s incredibly flammable — it can’t even be put out once it starts burning, because it supplies its own oxygen. Many of these films are now in the care of George Willeman, the Nitrate Film Vault Manager at The Library of Congress’ Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation, and the precautions put in place to prevent their decay and self-destruction (and the preservation methods for those that have already decayed) are amazingly thorough.