Archive for ‘Lucasfilm’

George Lucas on “Charlie Rose”

Bonnie Burton | September 5, 2007

In the fall of 2004, during the release of THX 1138 on DVD, TV journalist Charlie Rose interviewed filmmaker George Lucas about his films, his innovative work with Industrial Light & Magic and the future of movie making.

Click for the full hour-long interview here.


Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed Airs Again

Bonnie Burton | September 4, 2007

If you missed the Emmy-nominated documentary Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed, you can still catch it airing on The History Channel, Thurs., Sept. 6 at 10pm (check local listings).

The two-hour special explores why the emotional impact of the Star Wars saga remains as relevant as ever. The doc interviews celebs, filmmakers, politicians, academics, journalists and critics to get their take on the cultural impact of the films, as well as its influences — like the similarities between the tales of Luke Skywalker and King Arthur and Buddha and Yoda. See how the intensely compelling stories in Star Wars — borrowed from diverse traditions, from Greek mythology and American westerns to the Bible and even Vaudeville — force us to explore some of the biggest questions of our time.

Some of the personalities interviewed include director J.J. Abrams, director Peter Jackson, director Kevin Smith, director Joss Whedon, political satirist Stephen Colbert, journalists Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Linda Ellerbee, politicians Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi, authors Mary Henderson and Steven Galipeau and many others.


Edlund Talks ILM’s Pre-digital Days

Pete Vilmur | August 31, 2007

stardestroyer recently posted an expansive article on the era of pre-digital special effects, featuring an interview with ex-ILMer Richard Edlund. The article spans the founding of Industrial Light & Magic two years before Star Wars’ release in 1977 through the end of the decade, when Star Trek – The Motion Picture defined how not to do a special effects movie. Here’s an excerpt:

The storyboards described the movie starting with an enormous “Imperial Star Destroyer” pursuing a much smaller spacecraft into the frame right over the audience’s head, hauling them into the adventure. “We knew how important this was,” Edlund explains. “If the audience didn’t buy that shot right away, they might not buy into what follows, but the only Star Destroyer we had was barely three feet long. We’d discussed plans to build a huge model that would stretch out along the side of the building, talking endlessly about how we’d light and shoot it while we kept banging away on the easier shots, always pushing that massive opening shot off, until eventually we started running out of stuff to shoot. By then the money was getting thin, and time was pretty much up.” And so, just as they’d always done, Edlund and John Dykstra, the movie’s visual-effects supervisor, and their crew at the fledgling visual-effects house Industrial Light & Magic, tackled this latest problem with sheer inventive pluck.

Before you head over, grab a snack and a beverage – it’s a long ride, but well worth the trip!

Q&A with Lucas Books Editor Sue Rostoni

Bonnie Burton | August 27, 2007

Fan board The EU Cantina interviews Lucas Books Editor Sue Rostoni about a typical day on the job, working closely with authors and her thoughts on Death Star.

How much say do you have with what the writers write or what direction they take?
I work mainly with Del Rey (Shelly Shapiro) and Dark Horse (Randy Stradley and Jeremy Barlow). The writers work with the various editors to establish direction and storyline. I don’t have a lot of input into the comic storylines unless questions come up and then we hash them out as a team. For the novels, Shelly and I and the authors work together directly to come up with storylines. In some cases an author will approach Del Rey with a specific area he or she would like to explore. It if seems like a good idea to Shelly and me, we’ll work with the author to develop a story proposal. In other cases, Shelly and/or I will l have an idea for a book and then we’ll discuss possible authors and approach the one we want, at which time we work together to develop the story. It’s very much a team-oriented process for the most part.

Read the full interview here:
Q&A With Editor Sue Rostoni

Be sure to keep up with Rostoni on her blog here on


George Lucas Interview at D: All Things Digital Team | August 21, 2007

In May 2007, filmmaker George Lucas was interviewed on stage at the D: All Things Digital, the annual tech and media conference sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, where he chatted about digital visual effects, new gaming technology developed by LucasArts and ILM, the future of Web entertainment and filmmaking in general.

The site posted the entire (almost hour-long) interview for fans to check out, complete with ILM reels including a Pirates reel with Oscar-winning VFX Supervisor John Knoll explaining how the new software helps create realistic water effects. For you gamers, there’s also a live demo from LucasArts President Jim Ward about the upcoming LucasArts gaming technology (keep your eyes peeled for the Jar Jar in Carbonite, ice and Jell-O!)

The interview hosted by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher also veers into tangents about his Lucas’ thoughts on YouTube, hedge-fund investors trying to act as film producers and more.

Check out the video here:
George Lucas: The Entire D5 Interview

BusinessWeek Profiles Lucasfilm Team | August 9, 2007

For their “The Future of Work” series, BusinessWeek magazine goes inside Lucasfilm to see how the company manages multidisciplinary projects, accordion staffing and a freelance army with amazing results.

A few highlights from the article:

ILM has a permanent staff of about 700, but that can swell by as much as a quarter in the winter and spring, when effects work is being done on the summer blockbusters. Around 350 people at the Presidio worked with Farrar on Transformers, more than were actually on set with director Michael Bay. And John Knoll, visual effects supervisor on the third Pirates of the Caribbean, figures half of his team members were new to ILM. It’s a significant challenge to accommodate the constantly rising and falling army of freelancers, all of whom need IT training and HR orientation, a computer (or three), and a place to sit. The desks, tables, and chairs are all reconfigurable, so that one or four people can use an office. And—a simple but crucial point—each room has ample electrical outlets.


Star Wars at 30: Lucasfilm Presentation Team | July 27, 2007

5:11 –  John Williams’ Star Wars score blasts through Hall H, met now by the customary hoots and hollars of the Comic-Con crowd.

5:13 – Lights dim… retrospective video begins, a combination of footage from Episode IV, and footage celebrating its original release in 1977. Fans attending the Mann’s Chinese theater footprints ceremony. Footage than jumps forward to the prequel trilogy. Rose Parade footage and Celebration IV and all the latest developments in the saga, from The Force Unleashed, to, Robot Chicken, Clone Wars and more. The montage ends the now familiar message, Star Wars is Forever.

5:15 – Steve Sansweet, Lucasfilm’s head of Fan Relations takes the stage. He thanks the fans, particularly the worldwide 501st, “Attracted 32,000 people in London. This year has been one big party, planned by fans, run by fans, and I’m very happy to say overrun by fans!”


Alex Jaeger Talks Transformers Team | July 11, 2007

While fans of cinematic science fiction should know Alex Jaeger’s name, Star Wars fans especially should recognize him. He’s one of the artists from the Episode III Concept Art Department who also worked in the ILM Art Department, essentially book-ending the design process for Revenge of the Sith. He helped develop some of the earliest conceptual images while also advising the final look of the finished visual effects. Beyond that, he’s also worked on iconic and fan-favorite sci-fi images as the Akira-class cruiser in Star Trek: First Contact. Fans of Star Wars comics saw his depiction of the Battle of Hoth in “Entrenched”, one of the tales found in Star Wars: Visionaries.


His latest project is the smash-hit Transformers, and CGSociety has an interview with Jaeger complete with concept art of Autobots and Decepticons. Click here to check it out.

Dark Lord of the Brick Team | June 28, 2007

As one could well imagine, there’s lots of cool stuff to see while traversing the hallways and workspaces of the Lucasfilm campus. For example, check out this custom-designed LEGO masterpiece hanging on the wall of a nice chap over at LucasArts. A flat LEGO Vader mosaic! Sweet! What makes it even better is its builder, Chris, fully documented the process, from finding all those bricks to mounting the finished work of art.

Check out Chris’ blog on the project here, and the step-by-step instructions here.

The possibilities are endless, don’t you think?


George Lucas at D: All Things Digital Team | May 31, 2007

Lucasfilm has become synonymous the breakthrough digital entertainment, so it’s fitting that George Lucas be a key guest at the D: All Things Digital conference. Check out their coverage of the event here, particularly the video in which Lucas describes his move to television, internet video, and why you shouldn’t invest in the film business. And as a bonus, there’s a Force Unleashed demo with LucasArts president Jim Ward.