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As a child his passions were comics and cars, but George Lucas grew up to be one of the most successful filmmakers of all time. He is a producer, screenwriter, director and entrepreneur whose company Lucasfilms pioneered the movie effects that changed the world of animation. He founded Industrial Light and Magic, which transformed special sound and visual effects throughout the Hollywood film industry. He is best known, of course, as the creator of the Star Wars movie, television, gaming, toy and merchandise empire, as well as the archeologist-adventure series Indiana Jones. Discover the man behind the magic in Who Is George Lucas? From the Trade Paperback edition.
As The Last Jedi hits the screens, pick up George Lucas by Brian Jay Jones, the first comprehensive telling of the story of the iconic filmmaker and the building of his film empire, as well as of his enormous impact on cinema. At once a biography, a business manual, and a film history, George Lucas will, for the first time explore the life and work of a fiercely independent writer/director/producer who became one of the most influential filmmakers and cultural icons - a true game changer. On May 25, 1977, a problem-plagued, budget-straining, independent science fiction film opened in a mere thirty-two American movie theatres. Its distributor - 20th Century Fox - were baffled by the film. The film's production had been a disaster from nearly day one, hampered by bad weather, malfunctioning props and ill-fitting costumes. But its release on a quiet Wednesday in May of 1977, changed cinema forever. The film was Star Wars. The fiercely independent thirty-three year-old George Lucas was just getting going. Determined to control every element of the film-making process he had founded Lucasfilm ltd., in 1971. Among his hits, Lucas gave us six Star Wars films and four featuring the globetrotting archaeologist Indiana Jones. Together these ten films have earned more than $6 billion worldwide and won some of the largest and most devoted fan bases ever seen. In 2013 he sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4.05 billion. Along the way the man who invented the Blockbuster also gave us computer generated imagery (CGI), created a small animation company called Pixar and reinvented the way movies were made, marketed and merchandised.
This enhanced eBook transforms The Making of Star Wars into an immersive multimedia experience worthy of the original film. It features exclusive content pulled from the Lucasfilm archives by author J. W. Rinzler: • 26 minutes of rare behind-the-scenes video* • 29 minutes of rare audio interviews with the cast and crew • New bonus photos and artwork not found in the print edition After the 1973 success of American Graffiti, filmmaker George Lucas made the fateful decision to pursue a longtime dream project: a space fantasy movie unlike any ever produced. Lucas envisioned a swashbuckling SF saga inspired by the Flash Gordon serials, classic American westerns, the epic cinema of Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, and mythological heroes. Its original title: The Star Wars. The rest is history, and how it was made is a story as entertaining and exciting as the movie that has enthralled millions for more than thirty years—a story that has never been told as it was meant to be. Until now. Using his unprecedented access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its trove of “lost” interviews, photos, production notes, factoids, and anecdotes, Star Wars scholar J. W. Rinzler hurtles readers back in time for a one-of-a-kind behind-the-scenes look at the nearly decade-long quest of George Lucas and his key collaborators to make the “little” movie that became a phenomenon. It’s all here: • the evolution of the now-classic story and characters—including “Annikin Starkiller” and “a huge green-skinned monster with no nose and large gills” named Han Solo • excerpts from George Lucas’s numerous, ever-morphing script drafts • the birth of Industrial Light & Magic, the special-effects company that revolutionized Hollywood filmmaking • the studio-hopping and budget battles that nearly scuttled the entire project • the director’s early casting saga, which might have led to a film spoken mostly in Japanese—including the intensive auditions that won the cast members their roles and made them legends • the grueling, nearly catastrophic location shoot in Tunisia and the subsequent breakneck dash at Elstree Studios in London • the who’s who of young film rebels who pitched in to help—including Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, and Brian DePalma But perhaps most exciting, and rarest of all, are the interviews conducted before and during production and immediately after the release of Star Wars—in which George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Sir Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, composer John Williams, effects masters Dennis Muren, Richard Edlund, and John Dykstra, Phil Tippett, Rick Baker, legendary production designer John Barry, and a host of others share their fascinating tales from the trenches and candid opinions of the film that would ultimately change their lives. No matter how you view the spectrum of this phenomenon, The Making of Star Wars stands as a crucial document—rich in fascination and revelation—of a genuine cinematic and cultural touchstone. *Video may not play on all readers. Please check your user manual for details.
Hyperreality is an Alice-in-Wonderland dimension where copies have no originals, simulation is more real than reality, and living dreams undermine the barriers between imagination and objective experience. The most prominent philosopher of the hyperreal, Jean Baudrillard, formulated his concept of hyperreality throughout the 1980s, but it was not until the 1990s that the end of the Cold War, along with the proliferation of new reality-bending technologies, made hyperreality seem to come true. In the “lost decade” between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11, the nature of reality itself became a source of uncertainty, a psychic condition that has been recognizably recorded by that seismograph of American consciousness, Hollywood cinema. The auteur cinema of the 1970s aimed for gritty realism, and the most prominent feature of Reagan-era cinema was its fantastic unrealism. Clinton-era cinema, however, is characterized by a prevailing mood of hyperrealism, communicated in various ways by such benchmark films as JFK, Pulp Fiction, and The Matrix. The hyperreal cinema of the 1990s conceives of the movie screen as neither a window on a preexisting social reality (realism), nor as a wormhole into a fantastic dream-dimension (escapism), but as an arena in which images and reality exchange masks, blend into one another, and challenge the philosophical premises which differentiate them from one another. Cinema of Simulation: Hyperreal Hollywood in the Long 1990s provides a guided tour through the anxieties and fantasies, reciprocally social and cinematic, which characterize the surreal territory of the hyperreal.
Joan of Arc was born in a small French village during the worst period of the Hundred Years' War. For generations, France had been besieged by the British. At age 11, Joan began to see religious visions telling her to join forces with the King of France. By the time she was a teenager, she was leading troops into battle in the name of her country. Though she was captured and executed for her beliefs, Joan of Arc became a Catholic saint and has since captured the world's imagination.
A director, producer, and writer, George Lucas is the power behind "The Force." The son of a conservative small-town businessman, he grew up to become arguably the most identifiable and popular filmmaker in the history of the medium. Yet unlike his more publicly engaged contemporaries, Lucas rarely grants reporters an audience. This first book of Lucas's interviews affords fans and students of film and science fiction a rare opportunity. Editor Sally Kline collects conversations from the reticent director spanning Lucas's entire career, from the making of his first film, 1971's THX-1138, through American Graffiti, the triumph of the Star Wars trilogy, and even a 1999 interview given while awaiting the release of Star Wars: Episode One--The Phantom Menace. In interviews from venues such as Rolling Stone, Playboy, and American Film, Lucas reveals his distrust of the Hollywood establishment, his love for making movies, and his unambiguous values and how those values translate into the epic clash between good and evil created when he explores characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Lucas revolutionized the movie industry and created the most successful film series of all time. Along with films of his close friend Steven Spielberg, Lucas's releases invented the notion of blockbuster movies. Before the end of the millennium, he could count the loyal fans of the Star Wars trilogy in the millions. Sally Kline is film critic for The Journal newspapers. She has worked as a film commentator on a number of Washington, D.C. radio stations and as a guest lecturer at George Washington University. A freelance writer and researcher, she has contributed to two books, including a biography of Robert F. Kennedy.
Known as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, Alfred Hitchcock’s unique vision in movies like Psycho and The Birds sent shivers down our spines and shockwaves through the film industry. His innovative camera techniques have been studied for decades and his gift for storytelling cemented his place in history. Many directors make great movies, but the genius of Hitchcock helped make movies great. Learn how a chubby boy from London became the “Master of Suspense.”

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