If you got a job (on TPM) working with the creator of Star Wars would you speak up?

Discussion in 'The Phantom Menace' started by hawk, Nov 3, 2002.

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  1. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    But each SW film is like another kind of soup.

    If ANH was chicken soup, then ESB was clam chowder, ROTJ was shrimp bisque, TPM was cream of mushroom, and AOTC was beef stew.

    You can't expect all the soups to taste the same.

    You may not like all of the soups, but just because someone doesn't like cream of mushroom doesn't mean the cream of mushroom soup was made wrong. Especially if the people who normally like cream of mushroom like it.

    If nobody liked it, even the people who like cream of mushroom soup, then you might have a basis for the idea that the soup was in fact made "wrong".
  2. Rebel Scumb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 22, 1999
    star 6
    But I thought it was all one big 12 hour movie?
  3. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    It is. It's a 12 hour film made up of various styles and moods.

    Like a 12 course meal.
  4. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    Enough. hawk's thread is not about soup, tomatoes, or any other questionable analogies. Taste is subjective, films can be bad, and "choosing how to feel" is inhuman and denies the authenticity of one's reaction.

    Get back on track. Now.
  5. Go-Mer-Tonic Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 1999
    star 6
    We were talking about the subjectiveness of taste as it applies to determining wether someone is a "yes man" or not.

    For example, if someone who works on Jar-Jar didn't speak up agasinst his use in the film, you would have to first determine that person actually had a problem with Jar-Jar's implementation in the film. If this guy liked Jar-Jar, then his not saying anything about not liking it would not make him a yes man.
  6. anidanami124 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 24, 2002
    star 6
    If you got a job (on TPM) working with the creator of Star Wars would you speak up?

    I thought this is what this thread was about. It sure has gone off topic.
  7. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    So according to Go-Mer-Tonic, there is no such thing as good or bad. Everything is subjective. Man, all these years, we could have been trying to convince people that murder is good instead of trying to stop it! When I knocked myself in the groin the other day (like Jar Jar :)) I could have enjoyed that wonderful feeling of pain. Being an alcoholic is actually quite a positive thing. Forget the hangovers and the cirossis! Why focus on the negatives? I might take up smoking and pray for that wonderful lung cancer.

    Now that we have concluded that there is not degrees of good, bad, evil, stupidity or boredom that we can estimate from, we might as well leave these forums. Why? Because once you decide there is no truth only interpretation, you give in to the notion of debating. Debating requires working towards a conclusion or agreement. What's that? You don't agree with Go-Mer? Well, I don't either so we'll let him pack his bags if he truly believes his theory as he has admitted by default that debate is utterly pointless.

    Now, Quix, why don't you lock this thread because I don't see it getting back on track. Thanks again Go-Mer for totally screwing up a perfectly good thread. You really are a swell guy! :D
  8. CeeJay Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    Not only would I speak up but if my opinions were not allowed to be voiced or if i was ejected from the project because of them; well after watching TPM alone, I think it would be real hard for me to resist the urge to take Lucas out the back door of ILM and shoot him in the back of the head!

    Not that I advocate violence to supercede your opinion other a nother person, but after watching the "In the Beginning" documentary on TPM DVD and seeing the reaction from all those involved after the movies firts screening at Lucasfilm, well just how big a wimp were they all in expressing exactly what they wanted to say to Emperor Lucas? Mr "yes-man" himself Rick McCallum simply sat heir in silence with his hand over his mouth, Lucas initially simply uttered his dissapointment with "i think i may have gone too far" and Doug Chaing tried to cotton-wool what he really meant to say (i.e that it was krap) by expressing how badly the films pacing and narrative flows.

    Even once outside and RM finally found his voice trying to compare TPM to the original by asking Ben Burtt if he watching TPM even brought any memory of the original film to the fore of his mind; all Lucas had to do is get really defensive and tell them basically that its his film, he's making it his way so shut up - and they did!

    Me? - I'd have be on the phone to Spielberg in no time with a take over plan!
  9. hawk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2000
    star 5
    *YAAAH!*

    No Blasters! No Blasters!
  10. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    hawk: There IS no good or bad.
  11. Lars_Muul Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2000
    star 6
    Didn´t GL ask Kasdan to write the script for TPM? According to whoever wrote that, Kasdan turned down the offer, because he felt that George should write it himself.
  12. JohnWilliams00 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 29, 2002
    star 4
    What I heard was Kasdan was busy at the time with his own film, Mumford. Which, if true, would be an unfortunate coincidence. Kasdan works sporadically and just when a new Star Wars film is being made he happens to be attached to something else.

    I really would've been interested to see a Kasdan/Lucas script. Perhaps some of my criticisms on TPM would have lessened. But then there's that problem with the acting I have. :_| Many good scripts (assuming the Kasdan/Lucas collaboration turns out good)) can still be brought down a few notches by awful delivery sometimes. *cough* Jake Lloyd cough*

    The Patriot and Pearl Harbor had average scripts that weren't too bad (and penned by scribes who've worked on great movies like Saving Private Ryan and Braveheart), but the resulting movies were horrible in my opinion. Poor direction and too much of that Hollywood "blockbuster" mentality instead of more thoughtful direction.
  13. TadjiStation Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2001
    star 4
    Despite my highly opinionated nature, I'd probably keep a tight lip, UNLESS I was specifically asked for my opinion.

    I like a steady paycheck. ;)

    Best,

    Tadji :)
  14. stone_jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2001
    star 4
    Didn't GL ask Kasdan to revise the script just two weeks before they were set to shoot? At that point there wasn't even a shooting script, if I remember correctly. Someone around here can probably verify this more than I can.

    CB, you make some interesting comments on the former staff that GL had to work with. But there are other ways to look at it as well.

    McCallum - worked on Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which was cancelled after a short TV run. Was producer for what is widely regarded as the worst edition of Star Wars.

    Burtt - unknown editor whom, if memory serves me correctly, hasn't done anything of note besides SW.

    I'm sure there are others, but I don't have the time to search IMDB or anything. But the point is, not many people associated with Star Wars, besides the effects guys, have really had much experience outside of these films. That's something I find pretty interesting.

  15. RogueSith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 3
    Just for clarification purposes -

    Interviewer: Then why does he bring in other writers?

    Lawrence Kasdan: I think he hates to write! In both Empire and Jedi, I came in as a fireman - with Jedi I had already done Body Heat, so it wasn't an obvious move for me to do another Star Wars movie. I just liked working with George and wanted to help him out when he said he was behind the eight ball. He knows there are certain things he wants to get in and somehow curl a story around and it's not easy - that's why he gets stuck. I saw him a couple of weeks before he left to shoot Phantom Menace - and we did a speaking thing at USC - and the first remark he made to me was, "Hey, do you want to write Phantom Menace?" I asked, "aren't you starting to shoot it?" "Yeah," he said, "but it would be great if you took a second pass at it." For George, the movie is bigger than the script.

    Interviewer: When you say that, on "Empire", George was not interested in all the "that too" stuff - what would you include in "that"?

    LK : He doesn't care about the relationships between people beyond the broad strokes; he's not interested in the humor that can be wrung from understanding the character's eccentricities. If the humor isn't there in the simple version of a scene he has to do, he's not interested in it. What he's interested in is moving the plot forward. He doesn't want a three-minute scene about character. So he's the opposite of me that way.
    I'm not interested in plot, I'm interested in characters surprising you - scenes when you discover something new about them or they change their relationships to each other. I like fast-moving narrative too, so it was easy for me to get on George's train. I just want to mix it up. That's not to say he isn't interested in larger matters. He's always filling out some larger scheme, and the people are there in his movies to represent different philosophical constructs.
  16. Darth-Stryphe Former Mod and City Rep

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2001
    star 6
    Burtt - unknown editor whom, if memory serves me correctly, hasn't done anything of note besides SW.

    Ah, but Burtt was with him since the beginning -- if that matters for anything.
  17. Ultimate Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 14, 2000
    star 3
    Burtt is also an Academy Award winner, who could basically do anything he wanted if he ever left LucasFilm.
  18. TadjiStation Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2001
    star 4
    Nice Post, RogueSith. Those Kasdan quotes do shed some light on things.

    Sounds like they made a pretty good team, with each focusing on their own strengths to help move not only plot along, but also deepen the relationships the audience has to the characters, and those the characters have to each other.

    As to Burtt's notariety: He's been a sound editor and designer for 30+ years. He did all the design work not only for SW, but also for the Indy Trilogy, and Spielberg's "Always." He may have done "Empire of the Sun" as well. I think he has quite a few other films under his belt, I just can't think of them.

    As a picture editor, however, he's fairly new. However, enough time spent as a sound editor can give one a pretty good feel for visual rhythm and pacing. Not all of TPM and AOTC are badly edited. The greater action scenes are very well cut, IMHO.

    Anyway, if I were in Burtt's position, I'd probably speak up if I thought there was a lot of crap going on, but I wouldn't be a boob about it.
  19. stone_jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2001
    star 4
    Tadji cleared it up for me. He's not a new editor, just a new picture editor. Had my facts a little wrong, sorry. [face_blush]

  20. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    I think he asked Kasdan to read it, and asked for suggestions and Kasdan said it was fine. I think he gave it to Carrie Fisher and she said the same thing as well.

    edit: I could be wrong though...


    You aren't wrong. He showed it to both of them, and they both told him it was fine. He asked Kasdan to write it and Kasdan told him he should write it himself. He asked other people to help him but they were either too busy or turned him down.

    Both Kasdan and Irvin Kershner have the utmost respect for Lucas. Kershner himself said in Salon.com that he only had one big disagreement with Lucas, and that was over Han saying "I know" when Leia said "I love you" in the carbon freezing chamber--he was originally supposed to say "I love you too." It doesn't sound like ESB was Kershner vs. Lucas to me. It sounds like they had a few disagreements, of which there was only one big one.

    I have yet to see any hard evidence of Lucas being surrounded by gutsy mavericks who "kept him in line" during the OT, or of him being surrounded by fawning yes-men who don't dare speak up to him during the PT.
  21. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Was producer for what is widely regarded as the worst edition of Star Wars.

    Widely regarded by whom?
  22. RogueSith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 3
    Here are more quotes that I think might pertain to the topic -

    Lawrence Kasdan:

    Of course we had our disagreements. Back then Marcia(George's wife) was with George; Marcia and I would agree at times and George wouldn't - he had an unblinking idea of what was right for the movie.
    If I'd ask, "Wouldn't it be great if we did that too?" he would just not be interested in the "that too" part.
    But a lot of things came together in a good way on the movie. The sensibility of Kersh(director Irvin Kershner) was so different, with a strain of bleakness to it; it was so peculiarly Kersh, that it was not overwhelmed by George's sensibility. Kersh is a great director and it turned out to be one of Kersh's best movies.



    Irvin Kershner:

    If you look closely at the picture(ESB), you'll see giant sets, but you see them only briefly. Usually, in Hollywood pictures, when you have giant sets, you pull back and show them. But here the sets were not important; it was the people in the sets that were important. If you look at the scene in the big hangar where Leia is briefing the Rebel soldiers, it's huge, yet you see it for just a few seconds. I never wanted to say, "I'm going to show the sets." I wanted to show a piece here, a piece there, and eventually the audience would put it all together in their heads. You see more of a set if you show it in pieces around the actors than if you show it in a long shot. If I ever used a long shot, it was for an emotional effect, not to show the sets.

    The only difference I ever had with George on the cutting happened when Han is about to go into the freezing chamber and Leia tells him, "I love you." When I was shooting the scene, Han was supposed to reply: "I love you, too." So we did a take and I said, "Wait a minute, Harrison, I don't like the dialogue." It's like she wins, she said it first, and "I love you, too" is pretty weak stuff for Han Solo because he is too smart, too arrogant for that. So Harrison asked, "What do you want?" And I said, "I don't know; let's improvise." So Leia says: "I love you," and he goes: "Yeah, yeah." And we tried it again and again with different lines, and finally Harrison says, "I give up, I don't know what the hell to say." The crew is hating me by now; it's hot, we're way up high on this set, they're all hungry, it was a nightmare. Finally Harrison says, "Let's do it one more time and that's it." So she says, "I love you," and he replies, "I know." And it just came out of him, and I said, "Cut!" The assistant turns to me and says, "You're not going to use this are you?" And I said, "Why not? It's perfect." When I cut the film, George looked at the scene and said, "In the script it was something like 'I love you, too,' wasn't it?" I told him, "Yes, but it's such a stinky line for Han Solo that we had to change it." George was worried that the audience was going to laugh and that it would break the tension. I felt very strongly about this, and George said, "All right, when we show the film the first time, we'll show it your way, and then we'll show it the way it was written." So we sneak preview the film in North Beach, and when the line came, the audience roared. George turns to me and says, "You see, it's a mistake." Now the picture is over, people start coming out, and they're all talking about the line, saying how great it was. They all noticed it. So we kept it in the film. George is very flexible; he knows what he wants, but he is flexible, and that's why I like him so much.


    Gary Kurtz:

    Film is always a collaborative effort. No film that I've ever made, when you sit down and see the finished film could we parcel out who did what. The cameraman contributes things, the writer, the director, producer all contribute things, the actors contribute a lot. I directed along the second unit on Empire because John Ferry died the first day, I had hired him as the second unit director, and he died virtually the day after we started of infectious meningitis. He got sick in the morning and by the end of that day he was dead. It was a real s
  23. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Here's another couple of quotes from Kasdan, from an interview he gave in May of this year:

    (snip part about Kasdan's new movie)
    The movie is a delightful comedy about a fellow from West Virginia who picks a picture-book West Coast town in which to start a new life as a psychologist. One of his clients is a billionaire who invented a wildly successful modem. But our hero isn't in awe of his friend's wealth; he's in awe of the way the man has turned Panda Modem headquarters into a combination campus and personal playground. (Think Lucasfilm Ltd. and Skywalker Ranch, Lucas' Northern California compound.) And he's so convinced of the tycoon's authentic goodness that he supports his every whim.

    Kasdan may have the same affectionate appreciation of Lucas. Working for Lucas three times--on "Empire," "Raiders" and the script for "Return of the Jedi"--was "never anything but fun," Kasdan says.

    One of the qualities he values most in Lucas is his persistence in going his own way, criticism be damned. It's not a question of letting Lucas be Lucas, Kasdan says. It's a question of admiring Lucas for what he wants to do and can do, rather than knocking him for what he doesn't try to do.

    Question: How did you become part of the "Star Wars" saga?
    Answer: For me, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" came first. Off an outline that George, Steven [Spielberg] and I put together, I had been working on "Raiders" for six months alone and came up to George's office to give it to him in a very ceremonious way. He threw it on the desk and asked me if I wanted to write "Empire." Leigh Brackett, the original screenwriter, had died before he could even discuss her first draft with her.

    Q: Because "The Empire Strikes Back" has become such a clear-cut favorite among critics and fans, I've seen writers give Brackett credit for its dark emotional crosscurrents and humor, because they know Brackett wrote the scripts for "The Big Sleep" and "Rio Bravo."
    A: Look, there's no question that Leigh Brackett was one of the great screenwriters of all time. But it was an odd job for her, and there's nothing of that draft left in "Empire."

    Not to say it's all me. The truth is these movies are all George. I wouldn't say that of "Raiders," but I would say that of the "Star Wars" movies. He has the stories in mind and the difference in each film is how they're executed.

    George had hired Leigh the way anyone would--because, oh my God, she's Leigh Brackett, and because he wanted a Hawksian, goading humor between Han Solo and Princess Leia. But Leigh couldn't serve George the way he wanted to be served. Out of all our respect for her, she was always going to get a credit for the movie.


    The Kershner quotes show me how much Kershner respects Lucas. He said they had only one disagreement, over "I know," but Lucas was willing to let it stay for audience testing.

    The Kurtz quotes are just speculation. "I've heard rumors." Yeah, that's proof, all right, "I've heard rumors" from a disgruntled ex-employee.
  24. RogueSith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2001
    star 3
    The Kurtz quotes are speculation? And "proof" of what?

    "Evidently not, I mean, I don't know Rick Mcallum. I've heard lots and lots of rumors, which I just prefer not to talk about. Anyway, it's very easy to take pot shots at people around a situation like this."

    Where is there speculation? He states he'd rather not talk about rumors, and that he doesn't know the man, nowhere is there a attempt to present them as "proof" of anything.

    This topic asks for opinions, I was just posting some quotes I thought would be helpful to the conversation.

    What are you talking about?
  25. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Oh. I thought you were trying to prove the "yes man" argument with the quotes.

    My apologies.
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