George Lucas, Indie filmmaker

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Nelson Au, Mar 22, 2002.

  1. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

    Mar 16, 1999
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    I saw a pretty neat documentary made by a local TV station, KRON 4 in San Francisco earlier this week. It was about the movies and San Francisco. Mainly about the films made in the city and some stories about the making of them, from the silent era to the famous Hitchcock films, Bullitt, and so on. Also they discussed the emergance of studios here in the Bay Area: Lucasfilm, ILM and Pixar for example.

    The interesting thing was a segment about how George Lucas and Frances Ford Coppula met and how they formed a film studio after Lucas graduated from film school. They set up in San Francisco where they were close to home.

    Earlier in the show, it was discussing how the City had a group of indie filmmakers. They where happy to be making and experimenting with film from the early years through the present on there own, away from Hollywood. The interesting thing was they were very independent and could do what they wanted and always had final cut their films. Coppola and Lucas are described as a part of that ilk from the late 60’s according to this documentary. Lucas made THX1138 with moneys from Warner and Coppula made a less then well known film about a cross-country trip. Coppola and Lucas were financially in ruins at one point and they had to close down American Zoatrope (SP?) Lucas formed Lucasfilm and tried to get something going. Coppola had to do something too, so he accepted Godfather and Lucas, through Coppola’s urging did American Graffiti. "Why don’t you do something down to Earth instead of with robots", Coppola urged him.

    With those successes, they both were financially able to be indie filmmakers again. And Lucas made the statement; "I have final cut now." At that point I thought that makes sense. I know I may be flamed for this, but I infer from this statement that Lucas really is an Indie filmmaker now and he can do what he wants with the Star Wars films and video releases.

    I know people here hate Cinema Revisionist, but he’s not a part of Hollywood. He is on his own. They are his films. Perhaps Spielberg is a part of Hollywood, but he’s powerful enough to do what he wants to as well.

    So you may bash these filmmakers for what they are doing now, but I have a new view of them now. I never really appreciated before that Lucas is an outsider in a sense and on his own.


    PS: I forgot to add, the films of Lucas and Spielberg may be considered a part of our American Culture and you can't go back and change it, but they obviously are doing it. Don't flame me on it. I just thought it was a facinating documentary and worth some thought and discussion.
  2. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

    May 9, 2001
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    North Texas
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    I don't know if they rerun them, but you should try to track down the George Lucas episode of Biography. They cover a lot of the material you've mentioned, but with Lucas being the sole focus, obviously.
  3. Brendon

    Brendon Second Unit

    Jun 15, 1999
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    From what I understand of Lucas, I'm inclined to agree with your assesment of him:

    He seems to have achieved with Skywalker Ranch what Coppola tried with Zoetrope but ultimately failed. Whilst I am a little unclear as to the nature of his involement, I'm glad he supported and part produced Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha, especially given Kurosawa's influence on Lucas as a film maker. It was also quite fitting that Lucas & Spielberg presented Kurosawa with a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1990.

    Having recently read a number of good articles etc on Spielberg, I gather Lucas also assisted with the editing on Jurassic Park, allowing Spielberg to devote his time more fully to Schindler's List.

    It is also interesting to note that he was involved with the inception of Pixar.

    Whilst I have a few doubts as to the "Gentle George" image that is projected, it would seem he has given much back to filmmaking aside from the obvious trilogies and sfx houses.



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