Gary Kurtz's thoughts on TPM and other SW related topics

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by hawk, Jun 5, 2003.

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  1. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    Yes it is, but McCallum had less pressure on him; as was mentioned before, he had more to work with.

    Well, is some respects yes and in some respects, no. McCallum did have a lot more to work with than the OT, but by today's standards, $100 million dollar budgets are more and more commen and "average" for movie productions. We also can't forget that TPM and AOTC were much more massive movie productions, along the lines of something like the Lord of the Rings films.

    And, unless I'm mistaken, the budget for TPM was $115 million, like AOTC. I'm not sure if I'm 100% accurate though.

  2. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    Yeah, it's not like each episode is an individual project. [rolls_eyes]


    Yeah, which isn't the same calibur as a feature-length motion picture, which is what we're talking about.
  3. DarthSil Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2003
    star 4
  4. JohnWilliams00 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 29, 2002
    star 4
    royal: Kurtz produced the least successful SW film according to box office (ESB). And leave your "adjusted for inflation" old bit at home. It's the lowest ranking film of the five. Deal with it.

    Ahem. *points finger in air* AOTC is the least successful Star Wars film.

    From that interview I gather that Lucas was dangerously going fo rthat "it's good enough, let's quickly move on" mentality when making ESB. He actually wanted some of the shoddy FX shots to be left in the final cut! I don't completely blame Kurtz for wanting a better product in the end. If we were all producers in that situation, I'd say at least half of us would have also agreed to push over-budget. And ESB earned a huge profit anyways, making Lucas secure for life. It made cinematic history in a variety of ways. I'd say all that hair-pulling and stress was well worth it. Nearly 25 years later, ESB is still used as a benchmark of sci-fi/fantasy sequels. A saying I heard goes like "Pain is temporary, film is forever."

    If you want an example of a rush-job, look at AOTC. The final third of the film is full of choppy editing and music. TPM is so much more polished in comparison. John Williams couldn't even score the movie properly because footage was being rearranged at the last second. Lucas is probably doing what he wanted to do 20 years ago with ESB. Compare the Dooku/Obi/Anakin duel (horribly edited I might add) to the ESB duel with Vader and Luke, which I think is better written, paced, choreographed, and far more memorable than the AOTC could ever be.




  5. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    Well, is some respects yes and in some respects, no. McCallum did have a lot more to work with than the OT, but by today's standards, $100 million dollar budgets are more and more commen and "average" for movie productions. We also can't forget that TPM and AOTC were much more massive movie productions, along the lines of something like the Lord of the Rings films.


    That's right, the common budget for a motion picture like Star Wars or LOTR is in the hundred millions, but that would be like giving Lucas seventy million to make a hundred million dollar movie. Back when the Star Wars movies were made, big budget extravaganzas were already around. Like the Biblical epics, Cleopatra had a budget of about $44 million in 1963; compare that to the $18 million for a Star Wars sequel.

    And, unless I'm mistaken, the budget for TPM was $115 million, like AOTC. I'm not sure if I'm 100% accurate though.


    It was $130 million.
  6. ST-TPM-ASF-TNE Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 27, 2001
    star 6
    A couple of months ago BOM said the budget was $115 million. I guess they changed it since then :D
  7. royalguard96 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 5
    He actually wanted some of the shoddy FX shots to be left in the final cut!

    In other words, thank heavens for the Speical Editions, right?? :D

    And I stand by all my points. It's a difference of arguing facts vs. arguing with opinions. Which saber duel was more memorable is a matter of opinion, nothing more.

    You have some good facts, no doubt and I conceded a couple of points to you. It's a shame you couldn't do the same, even though I use facts in all my arguments.

    EDIT: I'd like to add that any mention of Gary Kurtz in the TPM forum is not only off topic, but IMO, can be seen as a flame-bait, used to promote hostile arguments. Kurtz had NOTHING to do with TPM. The thread is also redundant, since there's another one on another board, where Kurtz discussion is a hell of a lot more relevant. And that linked interview covers a lot more ground than just TPM.

    EDIT2: My spelling is bad.
  8. Loco_for_Lucas Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 15, 2002
    star 5
    I'd like to add that any mention of Gary Kurtz in the TPM forum is not only off topic, but IMO, can be seen as a flame-bait, used to promote hostile arguments. Kurtz had NOTHING to do with TPM. The thread is also redundant, since there's another one on another board, where Kurtz discussion is a hell of a lot more relevant. And that linked interview covers a lot more ground than just TPM.


    Well, we have a rather lengthy thread about the Matrix in a Phantom Menace board, so if that one was allowed to remain, why not this? Hmm? Kurtz is a prominent figure in the Star Wars background after all.
  9. appleseed Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2002
    star 4
    Well, Kurtz came off like a jerk and a bully, like he usually seems to. One thing that I notice most prequel-bashers seem to ignore is his dislike of the Indiana Jones movies. In fact he blames them for some of the "flaws" with ROTJ and the prequels. Interesting, that bashers glaze over this, is it not? Also interesting that he admits that Lucas' strengths are in writing and editing-and said those are what he (Lucas)likes to do-but bashers always rake Lucas over the coals for both the writing in the prequels and the editing. Interesting indeed. Nice bit of subtle bashing of Frank Oz in there too, placed (I suppose) to balance off the fact that Oz and him didn't get along very well during the making of the Dark Crystal, mostly since Kurtz' irresponsibility with money almost kept the film from being finished, and Oz almost removed his name from the credits. Nice to know that he doesn't reserve his sour grapes and bullying ways just for Lucas, I guess. SW is better off without him. What a creep.
  10. royalguard96 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 5
    Well, we have a rather lengthy thread about the Matrix in a Phantom Menace board, so if that one was allowed to remain, why not this? Hmm? Kurtz is a prominent figure in the Star Wars background after all.

    Excellent point, Loco. I don't think that thread should be here either, but that's just my opinion.

    If you're referring to the trilogies discussion, it's my understanding that thread will be moved to SWC tomorrow. That's also I feel where it should be, since it deals with the SW trilogy as a whole and not just TPM.
  11. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I like Kurtz. He respects George more than most SW fans do theese days and doesn't blame him for sticking with what he wants to do with the prequels. He said that anyone in Lucas' position would do the same.

    He also understands why TPM was a little more kidddy than the rest of them.

  12. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    You changed your tune Go-Mer. Last time you said he was lucky to get any acknowledgment at starwars.com because he almost ruined Lucas. You finished by calling him a goat. But you still like him...

    I think his opinion on CGI really sums up what is wrong with Lucas. The part of the article I pasted says it all. Lucas puts CGI into his films sometimes because he can, not because he needs to. Like having the Dewbacks in ANH move around and make noises in the background. Kurtz points out that all the movement detracts from the purpose of the scene and that if they were horse or something, they would just be sitting there. But Lucas wanted to draw attention to the new effect just like he did to every new effect in the s.e. and just like he did with JJ. He needs someone like Kurtz to put him in check and McCallum just praises his every move. It's quite pathetic now.
  13. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    I never said anything of the sort Hawk, but now that you mention it, the pictures of him while he was working on SW do kind of resemble a goat.

    I also disagree with his opinion about the improved dewbacks, and I don't mind it when Lucas does something just because he wants to. Usually, I share Lucas' tastes when he does that stuff.

    That doesn't mean I don't respect Kurtz.

  14. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    Ok, I'll find the thread.

    Kurtz is lucky he got the mention he did. I think in the end, while he did contribute, he was more of a liability for the series than a positive influence.

    Does anyone else think he looked like a goat in '77?


  15. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
  16. Cometgreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 4
    "Like having the Dewbacks in ANH move around and make noises in the background. Kurtz points out that all the movement detracts from the purpose of the scene and that if they were horse or something, they would just be sitting there."

    LOL. First of all, it's not a complicated scene one has to focus on. It's a pick up scene, there to show you that the Imperials are still looking for the droids. Second, the moving dewbacks show that the Imperials are actually looking, instead of just sitting around. It shows their loyalty. They're not waiting for the actor below them to say something, they're searching.

    Cometgreen
  17. DrEvazan Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2002
    star 4
    if it's not a complicated scene one has to focus on, then why add anything?

    one of the biggest misuses of CG in the SE is when Obi and Luke enter Mos Eisley and are confronted by stormtroopers. what was once a nice subtle and humorous scene showing Obi using the force to control the weak minds of the stormtroopers, is now a CG circus with jawas flying around on the reigns of a ronto, and endless movement and distraction all around. was this really needed?
  18. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    Yeah, which isn't the same calibur as a feature-length motion picture, which is what we're talking about.

    We were talking about the activies of each respective individual, Lucas and Kurtz, since the original films wrapped. Kurtz has only had six films, with some very large gaps between work while Lucas has been the executive on a large number of projects almost continuously including a television series, and while each episode may not be as resource intensive to produce as a feature length motion picture, we're talking a multi-episode weekly television series that ran for several years, which I'd say is at least the "same calibur" as a single motion picture.

    Point being, Lucas has had continuous work while Kurtz's employment has been spotty at best. And yet he has the balls to sit there like a been-there-done-that in-the-know Hollywood insider when he's really a washed up has been who owes much of his success to George Lucas and Star Wars.
  19. gezvader28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2003
    star 4
    Some people seem determined to hate Gary Kurtz, never mind that he was there with Lucas all through those difficult years, that he gave so much in getting the films made. and these aren't just any old films, we're talking about Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and American Grafitti.

    So why should these people hate him?

    Oh , right - he dared to criticise The Phantom Menace.

    What a crime. I mean he was asked his opinion and he gave it.

    So what?

    Really - what's the problem? It's not like he's accused George Lucas of strangling kittens. He made some remarks about a film. And I should think he's entitled to give his opinion. If he isn't then....what are we doing here?

    g
  20. Cometgreen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 4
    "So why should these people hate him?

    Oh , right - he dared to criticise The Phantom Menace.

    What a crime. I mean he was asked his opinion and he gave it."

    You're implying that I hate Kurtz because he doesn't like TPM. That's totally baseless. My friend doesn't like any of the SW films, but he's still my friend. Kurtz seems like a pretty intelligent guy, but I do think his ego plays a role in his taste, at least in that article.

    Cometgreen
  21. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
  22. royalguard96 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 5
    hawk and Gomer: This is wildly entertaining. But could you guys take it to PMs or something?

    I think Kurtz's opinion on TPM is as valid as anyone's here. But considering the position he used to hold, and has seen the franchise continue to break records and be as successful as it is without him, anything he says has a twinge of sour grapes to it.
  23. Durwood Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 5
    A twinge? I'd say he owns a whole orchard!
  24. Darth_Insidious Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2002
    star 4
    And I'd say that analogy sucked! ;)

    But seriously, way too much Kurtz discussion recently. And some people get pissed at him for harping on it.
  25. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    I think the topic is fine. It's an interesting interview and it contains an important SW icon and his opinion of the film. We've had whole threads dedicated to a reviewers opinion. Let's just stay on topic. I only went off topic for a second to remind a member of his inconsist opinion.
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