No Jonathan Hales for EP3

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith (Non-Spoilers)' started by ParanoidAni-droid, May 20, 2002.

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  1. Darth_Tyrannous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2001
    star 4
    Adali-Kiri He really tried to get kasdan to work on TPM with him? (good point about macullum, never thought of it that way)
  2. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    There is an interview with Kasdan in Star Wars Magazine's TESB 20th Anniversary issue where he discusses why he said no to writing TPM, so that is a fact. He also claims he thought TPM was an excellent movie. I don't remember where I last read about Darabont's connection, but when we discussed it here about one year ago someone found a link to the source. I'm sorry I don't know where to find it!

    Let's hope for one powerhouse of a writer for EpIII! :)
  3. Darth_Tyrannous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2001
    star 4
    I find alot of writer's are hit and miss. How many writers are always consistent. Thats why I think Kadan or Hales would be great cause they have a feel for the movies.
  4. BobaFrank Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2001
    star 5
    If Hales is so good, I did like the YOUNG INDY CHRONICLES, why was the dialogue between Ani and Padme so awful.

    Who is ultimately responsible for the dialogue? I know there is a script, but when in actual production can't things be improvised and changed? That was my biggest disappointment of AOTC and I hope it doesn't rub off in EP. III.
  5. Telemachos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    Re: McCallum, Kurtz, etc.

    We'll never know the truth to these things. McCallum seems a very capable producer on-set, in charge of getting things done. However, I posit that it's not so much a question of a yes-man as it is Lucas also willing to listen to someone.

    It's a two-way street -- you need someone willing to get into a heated discussion over the best way to present something, AND you need Lucas to respect that person enough creatively to accept their opinions. It's not only Kurtz (and while I've heard him called a yes-man, his interview at FilmThreat paints a very different picture). I also think that Lucas' tendency is to be a strong executive producer -- he's very fiscally conservative (not a bad thing) and sees a lot of things on the bottom line. However, filmmaking is not necessarily about the bottom line -- it's about doing whatever it takes to get the project done and have it be as good as it possibly can.

    As far as McCallum on the DVD -- yes, I was impressed with their review of the rough cut, but frankly, many of the problems could have and should have been identified at an earlier time.

    When he was making the OT, Lucas had the following limitations:
    - Fox was the studio behind the pictures
    - the technology wasn't there and was limited; things had to be planned carefully
    - Kurtz (read the FilmThreat article)
    - Marcia Lucas, who helped him cut the OT
    - Kasdan, Brackett, Kershner, Marquand

    Now, I'm not saying that these alone are responsible for the changes in quality/tone (if you even agree there are changes... ;)), but overall I think they add up to something intangible.

    Now, he's got:
    - he's personally funding them, so he can do whatever he wants
    - the technology has expanded greatly, so he can do whatever he wants
    - no strong collaborator to get in his face (if necessary)

    There are no limits and thus nothing for him to push off of to stretch himself. Art (particularly film) is not created in a vacuum. I'm quite glad he brought in Hale for the polish on AOTC and I hope he brings in another writer (or Hale again) for Ep3.
  6. Darth_Tyrannous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2001
    star 4
    You know, though I have said Kurtz would be great, I really do think Ep III is the one movie Lucas will want to nail. I just know he really wants to make this one the best of all so I think he will nail the character scenes. I do however beleive that Kasdan would be a big help to write.
  7. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Well, if you read interviews with the people who works with Lucas these days, they certainly don't come off as yes-men to me. Try the Making of Episode I book! McCallum wasn't going to let this dude do whatever he wanted and just say 'fine' ... no way. There are many examples of Rick standing up in there. Burtt? There's an interview with him about cutting AOTC in a recent Insider, and he sure isn't just gonna say 'fine' and dance. Knoll? See the DVD documentary! From the word GO he is in Lucas' face about how to get this done and arguing his best all the way. Gillard? Try the latest issue of Empire, where he talks about how passionate everyone is about making SW and how Lucas sometimes will say 'but this is my movie' and they will get back it him with 'no way, we grew up with this ****, this is all of ours movie!'.

    I don't think much has changed. Even when funding it himself, the budget is always limited, as is the schedule.
  8. Telemachos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    I think the results of TPM and AOTC as *films* speak for themselves.

    I'm not trying to knock the PR guys -- they are all quality folk who do solid work. However, you're largely mentioning tech people -- Burtt, Knoll, etc. I'm talking about someone working with him at the guts of the story, pushing through the brutal early drafts of the story while pre-production still ramps up.

    Modern VFX technology has also made directors lazy -- Lucas is certainly not alone in this regard. Whereas in the days of optical compositing each shot had to be designed and adhered to EXACTLY, now more leeway is given and the director can try spontaneous and/or different ideas. This opens things up (a good thing) but also can cause nightmares for the FX people and in some cases I think Lucas is still far too in love with technology when a practical, traditional approach would have served him equally well (if not moreso).

    The entirely CG clonetroopers are case in point.
  9. son_of_the_tear Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 1999
    star 5
    The Conetroopers looked great. Not all were CGI, only when it was a group shot or large scene.

    But the CGI looked really great when it was. If I had a dime for every shocked face that thought most of them were guys in suits, I'd be rich.
  10. MadMardigan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 4
    telemachos:

    In your list of things Lucas had around him in the 70's, you also forget some of his other friends. Like Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese and DePalma.

    I don't have a link or remember where I read it, but their critique and opinions had a big effect in shaping the Star Wars saga (I even think DePalma rewrote the opening crawl for ANH)

    The film brats of the 70's were far more communal and connected than filmmakers are now. They were basically young, dum and full of c*m. But they were also passionate about film in general and strove to outdo each other every film out.

    There was a time when these guys would pass their scripts to each other to help get them in tip top shape.

    Essentially when Lucas started out he and the film brats were the rebels fighting against the Empire (hollywood). But as success came they became the Empire. The analogy I like to use is that Lucas has become the Emperor in a Death Star throne room. He has completely closed himself off to most outside forces that shape a film. For all the time filmmakers talk about control sometimes bringing them under more control would make for a better film.

    For instance. Had Depalma or Speilberg read the script they would have emphatically told Lucas to drop the 3P0 crap at the end of Clones.

    Anyway, on a side note. I don't mean to bash Lucas as a director. It's because of people like him that I love movies to begin with. He's just not the same person he was in 1975. And the even stranger thing is this. Lucas is now criticized for not being a good writer, good with actors, etc. It's almost as if he has just accepted that and more importantly believed it. If you look back to some of his early films like THX, ANH and Graffiti he was a great writer and was SUPERB with actors. Just compare the acting in ANH with the acting in say the Delaurentis Flash Gordon movie.

    Lucas simply needs a quality control dept at Lucasfilm. Someone who can say, "Nope sorry George. Needs one more rewrite than we can go to Production."

    I loved AOTC. The only thing that bothers me about is that it needed one more polish and it would have rivaled ESB. It wasn't that far off. Had an outside eye looked at it in the script stages than there a few things that should have been caught and changed before it was even filmed (videoed?). Lucas just needs one person who will emphatically tell him that something is a bad idea. Or that something is a poorly written scene. Or that X is X, etc. Which being closed off in the throne room of the Ranch doesn't give him.
  11. Telemachos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    MadMartigan: Yup. Agree entirely.

    Some of this is universal -- a young filmmaker will generally have an extra amount of passion and drive because they're striving to succeed, to get where they want to go. This was particularly true in the 1970s, when the new wave of American directors crashed the Hollywood party and brought a great many new ideas to the table.

    However, Lucas has been sitting at the top of the filmmaking world (in terms of getting what he wants and making what he wants) since the OT.

    This isn't meant as a criticism of Lucas -- I think invariably it happens to all artists unless they rededicate themselves to re-learning or re-developing their craft.
  12. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    Telemachos; I strongly disagree that McCallum as a producer and Burtt as an editor are "technical" parts of the film...

    And Madmardigan; You *assume* that Spielberg or someone would tell Lucas to drop the 3PO humour. You don't know that, so be careful not to assume too much. I'm pretty sure a lot of people would *assume* that Kasdan would tell Lucas to tone down Jar Jar in TPM. As it happens (according to Kasdan himself), he didn't.
  13. MadMardigan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 4
    Sick Boy from Trainspotting sums up the whole film brat generation perfectly.

    SICK BOY: It's certainly a phenomenon in all walks of life.

    RENTON: What do you mean?

    SICK BOY: Well, at one time, you've got it, and then you lose it, and it's gone forever. All walks of life: George Best, for example. Had it, lost it. Or David Bowie or Lou Reed?

    RENTON: Some of his solo stuff's not bad.

    SICK BOY: No, it's not bad, but it's not great either. And in your heart you kind of know that although it sounds all right, it's actually just *****.

    RENTON: So who else?

    SICK BOY: Charlie Nicholas, David Niven, Malcolm McLaren, Elvis Presley...

    RENTON: OK, OK, so what's the point you're trying to make?

    SICK BOY: All I'm trying to do is help you understand that The Name of The Rose is merely a blip on an otherwise uninterrupted downward trajectory.

    RENTON: What about The Untouchables?

    SICK BOY: I don't rate that at all.

    RENTON: Despite the Academy Award?

    SICK BOY: That means **** all. The sympathy vote.

    RENTON: Right. So we all get old and then we can't hack it anymore. Is that it?

    SICK BOY: Yeah.

    RENTON: That's your theory?

    SICK BOY: Yeah. Beautifully ****ing illustrated.

    RENTON: Give me the gun.

  14. MadMardigan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 4
    Adali;

    I'm not so sure I don't assume too much. This kind of humor seems to be more of the later Lucas. Humor like that was never in the OT or Indy. It only seems a recent phenomena stemming from the SE's and on. I will go to say it was the most restrained in AOTC compared to some of the SE stuff and PM.

    You're right I don't know though. Maybe this is just how Lucas as a filmmaker evolved or maybe it was always in him. The fact of the matter is he has full control now. And this type of humor has become prevalent in his work since. When he didn't have full control and when he was still hungry there was none of this type of humor. Maybe its a chicken or the egg type thing. But it's indicative of his style today, nonetheless.
  15. SithLegion Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2000
    star 2
    MadMardigan, I agree Lucas added the comedy later in those SE's which I hate. He's gotten soft. The Greedo scene just make Solo not such a bad guy after all.

    I think Spielberg cleared up some of Lucas's revisionism about Star Wars, that it was only intended for kids baloney. Spielberg said that Lucas said to him, quote:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "I think I just made a kids movie, I think this is not going to fly".
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    From Biography on Lucas A&E.

    Its more proof that Lucas wanted Star Wars made for everybody not just 8 years that Lucas was saying during Episode 1 release interviews. I always felt if Lucas was originally aiming for just young kids it would have been rated G.

    If you go to this link you will see a clip od censored shots most people missed.

    http://www.cinescape.com/starwars/Editorial.asp?aff_id=24&this_cat=Cut+Scenes+Archive&action=list&type_id=22%206200&cat_id=226204&sub_id=235491
  16. MadMardigan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 4
    For better or for worse people change. I'm 23 right now. I'm a writer and a director. I'm single. Have no kids. No responsibilty to anyone but myself. The movies I want to make now probably won't be the movies i want to make when I'm 50

    And I hope I'm not the same person when I'm older. I'd like to think I will grow as a person.

    Lucas just isn't the same person anymore. He's got a great family. He's more successful than his wildest dreams.

    It's a common occurence with all artists. When they're young and starving they make better art. Look at painters, musicians, writers, filmmakers etc. You hit a peak at a certain point and then can never hit it again. Art is difficult. And it invests a lot in one's personal being to make anything super great.

    Lucas started out to change the system. It was a damn fool idealistic crusade. Unfortunately he never realized how well it would work. The problem comes from success because then you can't go against the status quo or you won't be successful for much longer. It becomes harder to takes risks when you have more to lose. And Lucas has a lot to lose.
  17. Telemachos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    Actually, something I think that'll be extremely interesting is Lucas the post-SW filmmaker. He's said in recent interviews that after Ep3 he's hanging up the spurs, so to speak, on the SW saga and moving on. He talks about personal films, ideas he's had for thirty years, since he got out of film school, ideas that he doesn't think are viable commercially but that he wants to explore.

    And I say, GREAT! Good for him -- if the only thing that SW gives him is the ability to make his own personal films (without, dare I say, the pressure of continuing in the tracks of his own success), then for that reason alone this'll all have been worth it. (And, of course, I think that generally the SW saga has accomplished a great deal more).

    Lucas as an early filmmaker was into the avant garde and the obscure -- he was into documentaries and non-mainstream stuff. I'd love to see what he can do with some of those concepts now given the resources he has.

    MadMartigan, you're a writer/director? Cool -- me too. :)
  18. Adali-Kiri Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2000
    star 4
    MadMardigan;

    You misunderstood me. I didn't say you assumed that Lucas put more silly humour in his movies now than before. That might well be so, but it's not what I'm talking about. I said you assumed that someone like Spielberg would tell him to drop it if consulted. That is what I'm saying you don't know. Kasdan sure didn't tell him to drop Jar-Jar Binks from TPM, when consulted.
  19. Bresson Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 3
    Stop dreaming. Kurtz will never work with Lucas again. Just read Dale Pollock's bio of Lucas and the EMPIRE years. Kurtz let the production run wildly over budget and over schedule and forced Lucas to run back to Hollywood (Fox) for completion money to stay out of bankruptcy. Lucas doesn't forgive that stuff, and neither would you. And, yes, this urban legend that Leigh Brackett "wrote" the entire EMPIRE script is very disheartening. It's perpetuated by a lot of critics who refuse to give Lucas credit for anything. Even they have to acknowledge EMPIRE was a great movie so it was obviously someone, anyone, else's contribution than Lucas's. If Kurtz and Kershner were so great, how come they did NOTHING of merit after EMPIRE (Kershner's funny performance in LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, not withstanding). If anyone is missing in Lucas's creative canon it's his ex-wife Marcia. I worked with someone who got his start in the film industry by working on both EMPIRE and JEDI and he was telling me how important she was to Lucas's creative process and how clearly he's missed that since the divorce. Of course, that reunion won't be happening anytime soon, so there, in a nutshell, is why Lucas's work will never equal his primetime output. In any case, Lucas cannot write EP 3 alone. He is a terrible writer, probably because, as he says, he "hates writing". He should do what he did in the original movies: write the outline, the first draft, and bring in an experienced, talented writer to polish it. I vote for Willard Hyuck and Gloria Katz, his cohorts on GRAFFITI and, uncredited, A NEW HOPE. But they haven't worked together for years so I wonder if there's been a falling out. And Lucas seems obsessed with using the YOUNG INDIANA JONES crew, so maybe Frank Darabont would be a good choice, though I have doubts about his talents. Maybe David Koepp. Not a great writer, but he does a good job with summer blockbuster types, like SPIDER MAN and JURASSIC PARK. Though he may be too Hollywood. Whoever it is, it's gotta be someone who isn't afraid to say "that sucks" let's try harder.
  20. Bresson Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 3
    MadMardigan and Telemachos:

    While I agree with some of your points, I take issue with others. First of all, Telemachos (I think) mentioned that Ben Burtt was just a technical guy. Well, you also say you're a writer-director. From your comment, I can assume you mean you are one in name only. Being a guy jump starting his own film career, I can safely say I would never consider my editor just a technical guy. The editor is one of the most important components in the final product. Every filmmaking friend I have says so. The editor works with the director on the "final rewrite". He/she can completely reshape and save/ruin a movie. The legend about ANNIE HALL was that it was a linear movie that played horribly; until Woody Allen and Susan Morse decided to deconstruct it and play it in a stream of concisouness format. The rest is history. So, no, Burtt can have a great deal to contribute, and, it seems from the PHANTOM documentary on the DVD, he does tell Lucas when something's not working. However, I do agree with you folks that it's hard for a filmmaker, especially one who is approachign the final act of his life, one who has reached the top of the mountain and been there for some thirty odd years, to be in touch with the rest of the world. While I don't blame Lucas for shutting himself off from Hollywood (I live and work in Hollywood and have been to Skywalker Ranch. Wanna guess which is the more peaceful existence?), I do think it is hard to stay in touch with the world through media outlets. It was the problem that plagued Kubrick in his last few films: FULL METAL JACKET and, especially, EYES WIDE SHUT showed the antiseptic qualities of a man who had walled the world off and interacted with it on his own terms. As an artist, you need that unpredictability, that sense that things could go crazy at any minute. That fear of failure. These are things that have been common complaints about Lucas and the new trilogy: That they're sterile and cold. They lack passion. While I do not necessarily agree with that criticism, I do see people's point. I just find other things in them that are different from the original trilogy and just as interesting. But the problems are a reflection of a man who has built a safe world around himself. Remember what Walter Murch said in a recent interview: "George hates the random chaos of filmmaking." It seems he's spent his entire career correcting the "random chaos" of filmmaking and it shows in all the computer work.
  21. Telemachos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    Bresson: An editor is invaluable, that's quite true, and I don't mean to knock an editor's contributions to formulating the final product. He and the director are the driving force behind creating the final product. As the saying goes, a movie's written several times: the script, the casting, the production, and the editing.

    My comments earlier were largely concentrating on the script aspect of the production process. While certainly re-writes, re-shoots, etc can happen, in my experience it's best to have a strong solid base to work from first. An editor can only work from the footage he's given.

    I greatly admire Burtt and think he's a genius at what he does. However, I'm fairly sure he wasn't sitting with Lucas scrawling out pages of hand-written scripts in the early days of pre-production.

    With regards to the other names you mention, I think Katz and Hyuck would be fantastic, if they were willing and available. A very important part of this process, I think, is Lucas being familiar with his co-writers and vice-versa. Hence using Hale from YOUNG INDY. This is also why Darabont would be a decent choice too, although that seems out of the question.
  22. Fearless_Leader Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 1
    Actually, it may be better if George writes Ep3 himself.

    I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that he's thought about the story for Ep3 a lot more than the stories for TPM and AOTC.

    He probably has had the structure for Ep3 in his mind for quite some time, and writing TPM and AOTC might have only been difficult because it was setting up the pieces for Ep3 and the current trilogy.

    Who better to write it if he already knows exactly as it should play out?

    As I said, I bet you he already knows how Ep3 is going to play out since he has had a LONG time to figure what puts Anakin in the suit ( more time than he had to figure out the story of how to get Boy Anakin from Tatooine to Coruscant and back ).

    In fact, I'll bet George has known how Anakin gets the suit since ROTJ. Filling in the Dooku/Palpatine details is probably what would take the most work.

    PS: HUYCK and KATZ?!!! Are you serious? They wrote "Howard the Duck" you know?
  23. SmackFu4u Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2002
    star 1
    If it's true that Kurtz did Slipstream....

    That was one of the most terrible films I've ever seen. I think he is very overrated.
  24. Bresson Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 3
    Fearless Leader: And George Lucas produced Howard the Duck. What's your point? Every filmmaker whose been around for a while has made stinkers. And remember, Hales wrote SCORPION KING. But Hyuck and Katz's involvement in any movie Lucas has directed has been gold star. Even their script for TEMPLE OF DOOM was good, methinks. Still...does anyone know if there was a falling out with them and Lucas? I haven't heard of them being involved in anything Lucas related in years and they were really close old friends. Another thought might be Hal Barwood and Matthew Robbins. They were really promising writing/directing team once who haven't done much lately. I know I'm digging back to the 70s here, but clearly Lucas wants people he's comfortable with. I think I heard of Robbins writing games for Lucasfilm, so he's still in the loop somewhere.
  25. Telemachos Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 2
    There's really only two things important here: one, that Lucas surround himself with talented people he's comfortable working with (this is generally already the case, particularly in non-writing areas), and two, that those people are comfortable working with him.

    Corollary: he needs to respect these people enough to listen when they say he's off-base, and they need to have the guts/balls/familiarity to tell him when there's a problem.

    If all these conditions are met, I think all will be well. I've bitched endlessly about possible changes for AOTC, etc but really they amount to minor streamlining within the context of the whole story -- something that's entirely possible given another writer or two to be used for script-polishing.
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