Spielberg and AOTC

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by Crimson-Larko, Jun 26, 2002.

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  1. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    I said how can you possibly argue otherwise because I just can't see how anybody can actually say that performances in AOTC are better than perfromances in a Spielberg film.

    I can say that Hayden's pulling off of the extremely difficult role of Anakin Skywalker is much better than just about all of the acting in "Jurassic Park." I can say that Harrison Ford gives a better performance in ANH (directed by Lucas) than in "Raiders" (directed by Spielberg).

    All the actors Lucas have worked with say that he doesn't direct actors.

    All of them? Every single last one of them? I do recall Christopher Lee saying he liked working with Lucas because he's laid back. I don't recall every single actor he's worked with saying, "He doesn't direct actors."

    Lucas himself says so. Watch the TPM DVD. When Lucas first meets his AD he tells him "I can handle, action cut, faster and more intense, the rest of the time I just sit there looking grumpy". Surely the fact that Lucas admits this in good humour is enough to convince you that he isn't a great director?

    It's enough to convince me of two things: he has a sense of humor and pokes fun at himself (kind of like when he says he did "More American Graffiti" and it made ten cents) and that he doesn't consider himself a good director. It doesn't mean he isn't.

    Or maybe you think you know better than the man himself?

    Hardly. I've never met him and I can't read his mind. But just because someone holds an opinion about themselves doesn't mean other people should hold that same opinion. I have a friend who thinks she's ugly. I think she's beautiful. Should I believe she's ugly because she thinks so?
  2. SidiousDragon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 4
    What I mean is that Lucas syas that in good humour, because the actors have told him that. Ford, Fisher, Neeson and McGregor have all said the only thing Lucas says is faster more intense.

  3. Darth_Terrell Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2002
    star 2
    "Ford, Fisher, Neeson and McGregor have all said the only thing Lucas says is faster more intense."


    I myself have heard Lucas say more than that in the documentary. They said that jokingly because early in his career, he didn't talk much. But Lucas is not a great director of actors. He doesn't like doing that part. He expects actors to be able to give him what he wants, once he tells them what the scene is about. But Lucas does converse with actors during takes, I've seen it. He's just not great at coaxing great performances.
  4. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    And obviously he says more than that.

    Ever hear of a thing called "affectionate teasing"?
  5. SidiousDragon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 4
    Of course its affectionate teasing, but theres some truth to it isn't there?

    yet another example:

    Kids.

    One of Spielberg's greatest actor's director strengths is his ability to get superb performances from kids, which is incredibly difficult. As seen by TPM Lucas can't do that.

    What I find is very clear is that you truly believe that Lucas is a god who can't possibly be wrong. Whilst I and others have attempted to give evidence for why Spielberg is a better director, all you've managed to say is "I disagree, I prefer Lucas".

    I am truly grateful for Lucas' achievments, most ntoably as a producer and as the founder of ILM. But I don't think hes perfect.
  6. ferelwookie Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2001
    star 4
    "Red Lobster" LOL!

    I agree. I felt "A.I." and "Minority Report" were both dumbed-down. Neither were fully willing to accept the darker material and go with it. I felt "Minority Report" was a much worse movie though, streching a VERY short, short story into nearly a 2 and a half hour movie! MR was such a dumb "chase" flick instead of the "thinking thriller" it was hyped as an is one of Speilberg's worse efforts. (Or lack thereof!)

    Dystopian futures are dime a dozen, but very few of them are fully relised as Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" or Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" based on Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" The very same author that Speilberg is attempting to adapt. There are NO surprises in MR, we're supposed to think... "I wonder WHO is behind this all?" ...let's see, Max Von Sydon has played a villian in EVERY movie I've ever seen him in. Nice casting. Lot's of suspense. Please! I knew everything that was going to happen 30 minutes into it...lame.

    It's harder to get into the Gap (product placement) than it is to get into the high-tech security of the "temple", which also has an unguarded tube underneath the pre-cogs that no one in the building knows where it leads?! The "spider" scene complete with lame "comedy" bits...couple stops fighting...zap...resumes fighting. Ha. Edgy stuff.

    I believe Speilberg is a great director "Schindler's" "Private Ryan" even "Raiders" and "E.T." for different pop-culture amusement. MR was just an quick buck for him that has no heart or soul, a lot like A.I. The "cute" product-placements alone were enough to make anyone's eye's roll. Does Speilberg have to stoop to this at this stage in his career??? Great comedy bits like the moldy sandwich and sour milk are something short of Bugs Bunny humor, (No, that's insulting Bugs Bunny.) For an edgy futuristic thriller, I was left bored and unamused throughout. Somebody get the ghost of Stanley Kubrick on the phone before Speilberg says he wanted him to direct ANOTHER one of his unfinished projects!

    Voice from the nether-world:

    I HATED E.T. I NEVER said I wanted Speliberg to direct A.I.! He's as edgy as N-Sync armed with foam batons.

    Still, GL=Taco Bell. Speilberg=Red Lobster Kubrick, Kurosawa, Sorcesse=FINE Dining!
  7. Darth_Terrell Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2002
    star 2
    Well, I liked Spielberg a hell of a lot more when he was directing E.T., Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders, Jurassic Park, and other great films, than the Spielbeg that directed Amistad(for God's sake), Saving Private Ryan, A.I., and Minority Report. I liked Minority Report a lot. A.I. was a frickin' stinker. Amistad was another stinker. Saving Private was a good film, but nowhere near his earlier work.

    Kubrick and Scorsese, could give a crap. They've rarely made anything I cared about watching. I recognize them as great directors, but I'd take Spielberg and Lucas over those two anyday of the year.
  8. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    What I find is very clear is that you truly believe that Lucas is a god who can't possibly be wrong. Whilst I and others have attempted to give evidence for why Spielberg is a better director, all you've managed to say is "I disagree, I prefer Lucas".

    I did give evidence. You chose to ignore it, because it is clear to me that you want to believe that I think Lucas is a god who can't possibly be wrong, probably because it enables you to dismiss my opinion as that of a raving lunatic.

    You, on the other hand, are the more likely candidate for thinking Spielberg is a god who can't possibly be wrong. The worshipful way you speak of him, and that you think all his movies are great, seems to indicate this.

    I am truly grateful for Lucas' achievments, most ntoably as a producer and as the founder of ILM. But I don't think hes perfect.

    Neither do I. Your accusations that I think he is are baseless and lame.
  9. SidiousDragon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 4
    Well, although you're entitled to your opinion, I'm pretty confident you're in the minority and that time is on my side. In 50 years time, we'll see who is remebered as a great director. Starwars will be remembered (hopefully), Lucas won't.

    Now I know what you're going to say: how can I make such a baseless statement?

    Thats because in the years between return of the Jedi and the Special Editions, during Lucas' withdrawal form the public scene, you'd be surprised jsut how many people were oblivious to his existence. A few friends of mine actually thought Star Wars had been directed by Spielberg! And thats just after a decade!
  10. Darth_Terrell Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2002
    star 2
    I'm sure ole George is just crying his out eyes out that he's not considered as good a director as Spielberg.

    Whatever the case, Star Wars will stand the test of time and be remembered a hell of a lot more than any single film or series of films ever done by Spielberg. And Lucas will be remembered because of that and because of his gargantuan impact on the film and movie industry. As for Spielberg being the better director, who cares. He better start getting back to doing what he used to, because his last 10 years pales in comparison to the previous 10 years before in my opinion.

    As for Lucas, I doubt he's really worried about becoming known as a great director. The man's worth 3.5 billion. Owns his own studio. Owns ILM, Skywalker Sound, and LucasArts. I think he has enough on his plate.
  11. Forceuser Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 10, 2002
    star 1
    From what I've heard, the actors say GL is pretty quiet on set. I'm not sure if that's their polite way of saying, "He didn't help me understand the character so I can say the lines with feeling and the way it should sound. If the acting is bad it's his fault."
  12. Darth_Terrell Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2002
    star 2
  13. SidiousDragon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
    star 4
    Exactly Forceuser.

    Actors are puppets (no offense to actors, I'm one myself, but I'm also a director), they need direction, they need to be told about the caharacter and they need to feel confident about playing the role. Such confidence comes with talking to the director. If the director leaves the actor to develop the character by himsefl, he isn't directing. Simple as that.
  14. Darth_Terrell Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2002
    star 2
    And I've seen Lucas do that. I saw Lucas talking to Hayden and Natalie about an upcoming scene. Telling them about the scene and the situation. Again, while Lucas isn't a good actor's director, the actor has to take responsibility for what he puts out. If the actor stinks up the joint, then 90% of the blame falls on the actor. Lucas can't act for them. Lucas can't say the words for them, anymore than a manager can play for a team.

    The director has his job. But the actor is mostly responsible for his performance. I always chuckle when actors give a terrible performance, then blame a director. Not that I've ever heard of that.
  15. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Now I know what you're going to say: how can I make such a baseless statement?

    Actually, I was wondering more about why you think that me being in the minority, if in fact I am, means anything. It used to be that the minority of people thought slavery was wrong.

    Thats because in the years between return of the Jedi and the Special Editions, during Lucas' withdrawal form the public scene, you'd be surprised jsut how many people were oblivious to his existence.

    Like who?

    A few friends of mine actually thought Star Wars had been directed by Spielberg! And thats just after a decade!

    A few friends of mine think that Steven Spielberg is the same person as Stephen King.
  16. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    If the actor isn't hitting the right notes, it's the director's responsibility to continue working with the actor until he or she does. You don't get great performances out of your cast by giving up and leaving them to their own devices.
  17. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    From what I've heard, the actors say GL is pretty quiet on set. I'm not sure if that's their polite way of saying, "He didn't help me understand the character so I can say the lines with feeling and the way it should sound. If the acting is bad it's his fault."

    It could just as easily mean that they think Lucas is quiet. However you interpret that depends on your own prejudices.
  18. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    If the actor isn't hitting the right notes, it's the director's responsibility to continue working with the actor until he or she does. You don't get great performances out of your cast by giving up and leaving them to their own devices.

    And you don't get a movie finished if you babysit the actors and hold their hands every step of the way.

    Actors are supposed to act. Lucas has shown that he does work with the actors and he does show them how to play the scene. He's also shown that he listens to actors when they disagree with how a scene should be played.
  19. Darth_Terrell Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2002
    star 2
    "If the actor isn't hitting the right notes, it's the director's responsibility to continue working with the actor until he or she does."

    Yes, the director has his responsibility to do that. But if an actor needs that much coaxing and working with, then he sucks as and actor.

    A director should tell an actor what the scene is about. What the character should be feeling and what he's looking for as far as emotions. After that, it's all up to the actor. A good actor can probably nail it in 3 or fewer takes.
  20. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "And you don't get a movie finished if you babysit the actors and hold their hands every step of the way."

    If you care about the strength of your cast, then you do what you need to do to get the best performance you can out of each of them.

    Now in Lucas' case, while he may not be comepletely cut off from his cast, he has a reputation for keeping his distance.

    "He's kind of, well, I don't want to say 'vague...'" -Warwick Davis

    "He's a good man, but beleagured. Kind of like Clinton." -Lucas, explaining to Terrence Stamp the entirety of his character.

    If you're going for the best possible performance, you won't get it by giving the cast the once-over, then pointing the camera and hoping for the best.

    Now, if a directer is saddled, one way or another, with a subpar actor, he or she has three major options:

    1) Coach the actor until he or she grows into the role.

    2) Call for a replacement.

    3) Settle for whatever the actor puts out.

    If you care about the end result of the performance, it's obvious which choice is the least desirable.
  21. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    It depends on the actor, Geist. Some prefer or need to get specific direction and be walked through everything. Some prefer to be left mostly alone so they can interpret the character.


  22. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    If you care about the strength of your cast, then you do what you need to do to get the best performance you can out of each of them.

    If the cast cares about the movie, then they do their job, which is to act. If the director cares about making his movie and doing so in a reasonable timeframe, then he helps the actors who are obviously struggling but doesn't act as nursemaid.
  23. Bresson Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 3
    "It depends on the actor, Geist. Some prefer or need to get specific direction and be walked through everything. Some prefer to be left mostly alone so they can interpret the character. "

    Yes, and a good actor's director knows who's who in his cast and directs them accordingly. It's much like the coach of a professional sports team: you have to understand the personalities of the cards you're playing. Now (and I can already hear the flaming and jeers coming), when I directed my first short movie, I had a cast of 6 actors all of varying backgrounds. Principally, my lead actor was very stage trained and I felt he needed less directing. He just 'got it' with only a few words. My actress was more of a 'looker' and had less training, but a lot of acting talent. She just needed more coaxing, more instilling of confidence, and a quieter atmosphere to work on her character. It was just a daily juggling act as to how I was going to talk to any one of them. (ironically, audiences universally thought the actress was better than the actor. Go figure.)


    Even professional directors face this dilemma. Spielberg has often said he felt he talked too much to his actors early on. Scorsese is praised to the sky for establishing a creative atmosphere for his actors. Woody Allen relies mostly on his script to be the actor's guide, with only a little explanation here and there. John Huston said to Nicholson and Kathleen Turner on the 'Prizzi's Honor' set that the characters were really up to them and he'd worry about the camera and staging.

    So, like everything about films and filmmaking, there's no one way to accomplish your task.



  24. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    True, most films are made on a very tight schedule; thus, part of being a director involves budgeting your time in the best possible way.

    Now the way I see it, it takes less time to hone an actor's performance on the set than it does to manipulate their performance in the editing booth (by inserting or removing eye blinks, slowing down their movements, or what have you).
  25. Shelley Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2001
    star 5
    Lucas's method seems to be casting actors who most closely fit the personality of his characters.

    When Carrie Fisher interviewed him, he told her why he cast her, Mark Hamill, and Harrison Ford in their respective roles: because their personalities fit the characters.

    The reason he chose Jake Lloyd for TPM (a choice some feel was poor, but I don't) was because his personality fit Anakin. Likewise for Hayden Christensen.
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