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George Lucas talks Lord of the Rings, Film, HD and more


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#1 of 135 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted April 05 2004 - 11:07 AM

http://millimeter.co...._pov/index.htm

Even though he has received more than a few Lifetime Achievement awards, George Lucas isn't ready to view his career in terms of his “legacy” just yet. The awards on his resume range from the Irving B. Thalberg Award in 1992 from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his accomplishments as a movie producer to the first-ever Visual Effects Society Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to him last month by his friend, James Cameron, at the 2nd Annual VES Awards Ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium.

here are some comments but you really need to read the interview

Quote:
“For me, digital effects are necessary to my craft — an enhancement to tell stories. Everything we did was driven by that goal — finding better ways to tell stories,” Lucas says.


Quote:
Lucas notes that this evolution has already moved the industry to a point where he and many filmmakers, “no longer accept barriers or ceilings on what we want to do. We just refuse to say ‘no.’ I've gotten extremely tenacious about things like that. That was something that was very frustrating when we did the original Star Wars films, and that experience taught me that this has to do with resources. Therefore, I felt we could actually save resources by improving the technology as quickly as possible, and this is what we set out to do at ILM. After all, if you can make the car go faster, you can get there quicker. That saves you money, and then you can use that money someplace else. That is precisely what we are doing today.”

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#2 of 135 OFFLINE   Joe_Pinney

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Posted April 05 2004 - 11:13 AM

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I've gotten extremely tenacious about things like that.

So I guess we could refer to ol' Georgie as "Tenacious G", eh? :wink:

#3 of 135 OFFLINE   Robert Anthony

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Posted April 05 2004 - 11:15 AM

Rock your Socks Off, man Posted Image

#4 of 135 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted April 05 2004 - 11:16 AM

here is another quote about LOTR & WETA

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Ironically, Lucas held the VES spotlight on a night when The Lord of the Rings visual effects team received four VES awards, and just days before that film dominated the Academy Awards. Pointing to that project, Lucas expressed pride and relief about the expansion of effects-driven, epic-scale filmmaking beyond his own empire.

“A lot of the people throughout the special effects business today came through ILM,” says Lucas. “A lot of people at [New Zealand's] Weta Digital came through ILM. In fact, we cooperated a lot with Peter Jackson on the picture and sound side of that project, particularly in helping him get set up. What they have going on at Weta is very similar to what we're doing in San Francisco, which is we are kind of an outpost with no resources down the street. So, in San Francisco, we had to build up our own sound and postproduction studios, our own special effects studio, and pretty much do everything on our own.”

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#5 of 135 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted April 05 2004 - 12:26 PM

He really slams companies like Cleanflicks and piracy in general at the end of the article:

Quote:
“That's what the [Director's Guild of America's] Artists' Rights Foundation [consolidated in 2002 with The Film Foundation, and now part of that larger film preservation organization] is all about,” he says. “The Artists' Rights Foundation was founded several years ago to protect filmmakers from this problem. The issue of people changing movies is a very big and important issue. It's one thing for the artist who made the film to continue to work on it until he or she dies. Most artists, painters, and filmmakers, have done that over the years when they have had the opportunity. But that is much different than having other people monkey with your work, and then put your name back on it. That is not fair, and it will happen a lot if we aren't vigilant — it's already happening, in fact.

“Part of this is a copyright issue, and part of it is just what we consider the moral rights of artists, which is, if you create something, you have the right to have it stay the way that you, the artist, wanted it, not the way some studio executive or some corporation overseas or somebody who just wants to fool around wants it. That is something I'm very concerned about.”

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#6 of 135 OFFLINE   Ray H

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Posted April 05 2004 - 01:04 PM

Nice article. I'm not too knowledgable on the whole digital filmmaking thing so it's nice to hear what he has to say about it.
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#7 of 135 OFFLINE   Dome Vongvises

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Posted April 05 2004 - 01:12 PM

Good article although I think the purists will have a field day with his digital thinking.

#8 of 135 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted April 05 2004 - 01:14 PM

Those same purists generally loved LotR, so it's a catch-22 for them re: digital filmmaking.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#9 of 135 OFFLINE   Dave H

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Posted April 05 2004 - 01:34 PM

Peter Jackson still relied on plenty of models, good scripting, good acting, and good dialogue; hence good OVERALL movie making. In regards, to the Star Wars prequels, Lucas primarily only used good CGI. This is why George Lucas will never win a Best Director or Best Picture award until he changes his mind set. Special effects aren't everything! I mean this quote of his own says it best:

For me, digital effects are necessary to my craft — an enhancement to tell stories. Everything we did was driven by that goal — finding better ways to tell stories

I mean it almost appears that digital is all that really matters to him - or that which matters the most.

On any rate, I still like watching the prequels. I own both DVDs. However, I am a big Star Wars fan, yet I can objectively says Lucas' heavy "digital" movies aren't that good, nor done nearly as well as the originals. His emphasis on technology have left other elements of filmmaking behind.

#10 of 135 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted April 05 2004 - 01:52 PM

Quote:
Peter Jackson still relied on plenty of models, good scripting, good acting, and good dialogue; hence good OVERALL movie making.

This isn't about other aspects of filmmaking, it's about effects. Lucas isn't saying that having more efficient effects via digital means only helps Star Wars, he's saying it helps all filmmakers and their films. And he's 100% correct.

Quote:
In regards, to the Star Wars prequels, Lucas primarily only used good CGI.

Yep, and 95% of it looks great.

Even LOTR had a few bad CGI moments (notably Legolas climbing the elephant).

But digital effects help enhance practical effects as well. Many of those sets that characters are walking in in Episode II were miniatures, built by traditional model makers. Many if the aliens are created practically, as well as using the talents of make-up artists. It's much more of a mixture than you're stating.

The latest Ep3 webdoc showed extensive practical effects work in regards to weapons, for example.

Quote:
This is why George Lucas will never win a Best Director or Best Picture award until he changes his mind set.

He'll be in good company (Scorsese, Kubrick....)

Quote:
Special effects aren't everything! I mean this quote of his own says it best:


That quote hardly says they are everything. What he is saying that the only reason to have better effects is to serve the story. That has always been the case. Lucas simply likes to push it further than most.

Quote:
His emphasis on technology have left other elements of filmmaking behind.

Possibly, but I think his motives go beyond his own films and into helping other filmmakers achieve their visions that much easier - and less expensive to boot.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#11 of 135 OFFLINE   Chris Will

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Posted April 05 2004 - 01:58 PM

^^^WTF! This article was not about Star Wars! Stop reading to much into everything Lucas says. I happen to agree 100% with everthing in that article. If any of you have ever seen a movie digitally projected you know how amazing it is. It sucks to go see a movie on its 2nd weekend and see scratches all over the print. With digital you do not get that. AOTC looked even better digitally b/c it was shot in 24p. I wish the hollywood would move more quickly and start using 24p more b/c it looks amazing.
Quote:
Peter Jackson still relied on plenty of models, good scripting, good acting, and good dialogue; hence good OVERALL movie making.

Yes, but he also used a ton of digital effects without which his vision would not have been possible. That is why you have not seen a live action Lord of the Rings movie until now. Don't underestimate the use of digital effects in LOTR, it was used for tons of stuff from Gollum to color correction. Just watch the documentaries on the EE DVDs. Digital effects are used in almost every movie.

This article was not a Star Wars article and I hate it when SW fans pick things apart just b/c they are unsatisfied with the PT. GL knows what he is talking about, the future is in digital film making.

#12 of 135 OFFLINE   Kevin M

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Posted April 05 2004 - 02:16 PM

Also without digital compositing none of the practical elements in LOTR would have come off nearly as...hell the shear size of the thing wouldn't have even been possible with traditional optical compositing.
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#13 of 135 OFFLINE   Joe_G

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Posted April 05 2004 - 02:32 PM

I agree 100% with the article,also.I wish we could get a freakin digital projector in Utah.It's not fair that Cal,Tex,and NY have so many and that we don't have any.Also,in regards to LOTR,Lucas showed Peter Jackson how to use animatics and other tech stuff to achieve his vision of LOTR.Lucas may not be the best director in the world,something he admits,but the best in the biz always go to him for help and advice on the technical aspect of filmmaking.As far as his movies goes,I would rather watch his vision of his films than somebody else vision.

#14 of 135 OFFLINE   Dave H

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Posted April 05 2004 - 03:19 PM

Hey, George Lucas is a true creative genius --- more so than Jackson, without a doubt. I was just making a point that I think Lucas' new movies have focused too much on CGI --- ignoring other aspects of good movie making. Special Effects alone, obviously, don't make a good movie. The prequels and other sci-fi/horror/fantasy movies made by others make this painfully obvious. A New Hope and Empire had good stories and decent dialogue for the most part (better acting is debatable) than the prequels. It had mind-blowing effects for the time. However, Lucas did NOT focus solely on effects as he seems to be doing now. Also, I agree there is no way LOTR would have been possible without today's CGI. But, that is NOT soley what made LOTR great, great movies. ALL the elements of good film making were there.

I did see Attack of the Clones shown digitally at Star Theater in Southfield, MI. Yes, there was not one speck of dust or hair on it. But, I was not overly impressed. The picture had a slight softness to it -- more so than regular film. And, I'm sorry, I like the "film look" and think a regular film shows MORE overall detail. However, I agree, one day every movie will probably be digital and the technolgy will, of course, improve.

#15 of 135 OFFLINE   richardWI

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Posted April 05 2004 - 04:12 PM

Quote:
Everything we did was driven by that goal — finding better ways to tell stories,” Lucas says.



I wish his goal was having better stories to tell. You're only as strong as your weakest link, okee day?

#16 of 135 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted April 05 2004 - 06:19 PM

A lot of people who dislike the PT are going to love Episode 3. It's a wet dream for ESB lovers.

He does have a story to tell. The third act most assuredly proves this.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#17 of 135 OFFLINE   chris_clem

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Posted April 05 2004 - 10:29 PM

)Nice article Posted Image

Quote:
Now, we have Cameron as a proponent, and I'm reasonably sure he'll shoot his next film that way. [Francis Ford] Coppola is shooting a film using digital cameras. It will probably be a while before Marty [Scorsese] goes in that direction


I wonder if he can ever convince Spielbrg though...Posted Image (I can almost hear their them debating the use of DV for Indy 4.... Lucas points out the pros of DV for a couple hours to which Spielberg will just say "um...no." :b )

#18 of 135 OFFLINE   Chris Dugger

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Posted April 06 2004 - 12:25 AM

Let face it....

Lucas uses the CGI/SPEFX to drive the film, not good writing. This is very apparent with STAR WARS EP 1 / 2 / 6 where the effects are the driving force.

Ep 4 /5 relied on great story and the EFX complimented that.

Perfect example is the addition of CGI to Ep 4/5. They start to over shadow the writing and story.

The effects in LOTR do not drive the film, it again is the writing.

IMO!

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#19 of 135 OFFLINE   Paul_Nyman

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Posted April 06 2004 - 01:54 AM

My personal opinion is Lucas storytelling is flat, the effects are driving viewers to attend the screenings.

While Peter Jackson and his team really adapted and wrote/wove three wonderful films together.

I really tire of Lucas film efforts. He will be recognized forever as a leader in the industry developing technology to advance filmmaking for all filmmakers.

#20 of 135 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted April 06 2004 - 02:41 AM

Quote:
Let face it....

Lucas uses the CGI/SPEFX to drive the film, not good writing. This is very apparent with STAR WARS EP 1 / 2 / 6 where the effects are the driving force.


I think it's even simpler: Lucas just has, for most people, a less interesting story to tell than previously. The effects aren't a problem here. They simply seem to be because they are the easy scapegoat to explain why people don't like the films. "He's focuses too much on effects." is the claim, when really it is, very simply, less interesting stories to tell. Willow was a less interesting story to tell, and because the effects are hardly spectacular people simply recognize it for that. No mysterious "focusing too much on effects" problem; just simply "not as interesting a story." The same with Radioland Murders.

Quote:
My personal opinion is Lucas storytelling is flat, the effects are driving viewers to attend the screenings.


You may only see the films for the effects, but I enjoy the themes and and storyline. Please don't assume that because you do one thing everyone else steps in line. I don't consider the PT great films, but I do feel they are good, and that includes the story.

And I'm not saying this to argue that the PT films are better stories than LOTR - because they aren't. But let's face it - Peter Jackson had some good material to work with from the start. Lucas' original ideas for most of Star Wars pale in comparison to Tolkien's, so right from the get go the comparison is simply unbalancerd.

Furthermore, this article is not about Star Wars. It just isn't. It's about the technology as a tool to filmmakers. Whether you like it or not the technology as pushed by Lucas has helped all filmmakers, and that's a fact. So, if you don't like Lucas' personal efforts, I just ask that you put the blame where it belongs - on the stories and ideas themselves, and not on the effects used to tell that story.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932



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