George Lucas

a picture of George Lucas

George Walton Lucas. Jr. is one of the most economically successful independent film directors and producers. He became famous for creating the epic Star Wars saga and his friend Steven Spielberg, the famous Indiana Jones trilogy. I am keenly waiting to see the fourth Indiana Jones. I hope Harrison Ford will not show his age.

George Lucas had got many awards. He was a four-time Academy Award (Oscar) nominee as producer, director, and screenwriter. On June 9, 2005, he got the Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.

He was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His parents sold retail office supplies. He attended Modesto Junior College before enrolling at the University of California film school. Lucas married Maria Lou Griffin, a film editor who won an Oscar for the Film Star Wars Episode IV.

He made a short film THX-1138 which won the first prize at the 1967-68 National Student Film Festival. He was then got a scholarship by Warner brothers to observe the making of Finian’s Rainbow Francis Ford Coppola directed. After that they became good friends and formed a company called American Zoetrope in 1969. The full version of his film THX-1138 was the first project of the company.

Coppola went on to produce of the Godfather in 1972 and Lucas formed his own company named Lucasfilm. His second film was American Grafitti which won a Golden Globe award and garnered 5 Oscar nominations. Then in 1973-74 he began writing the screenplay for Star Wars.

Building An Empire

In 1975, Lucas started Developed Light and Magic because there was no special effects company that could handle creating the effects for “Star Wars”. The first ILM revolution, the motion-control camera, allowed Lucas to simulate flight. This helped fund Lucas’ research to improve the techniques he would pioneered and experiment with new effects. At the cost of around $25 million for a film, ILM was an immediate success.

Lucas took some of the profits and created Skywalker Sound which focused on a film’s sound in the post-production phase. And from this the THX digital surround sound system for home and public movie theatres was introduced. Later, LucasArts Entertainment got Lucas involved with video-game production, releasing games like X-Wing and Rebel Assault.

Lucas is responsible for age of the blockbuster, the introduction of technology in cinema that enabled us to understand visions of a hyper-reality, and the popularization of the highly lucrative area of merchandizing. As a hard working risk-taker, confident in the quality of his product, he has been able to set his own high standards and change the nature of how Hollywood makes movies.

Lucas was also able to finance the production of the Phantom Menace (for $115 million). Once again, this financial control would let Lucas have the final say. Its release in May of 1999 broke all box office records, earning $42 million on the first day alone. Episodes II and III have, profit-wise, followed suit.