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Has Lucas Truly Influenced Filmmaking?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Tellesto, Jul 1, 2001.

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  1. Tellesto

    Tellesto Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 7, 1999
    *The Main Theme to Star Wars starts playing in the background*
    Now you can own the complete saga of films that was created by master storyteller George Lucas. Now you can own the Star Wars Saga on home video. *click*
    He changed the way we look at movies forever and shattered the boundaries of special effects as we know it.
    *click!*
    The man who created Star Wars now presents his other epic trilogy on video, the Indiana Jones Saga. Own the films that created a character every bit a film icon as James Bond...

    *click*

    We've heard them all, haven't we?
    Each and every one of those singular and horribly spoken ads that seem to play in a monotone voice every time we pop in any Star Wars or LucasFilm tape.
    George Lucas is often viewed as the most influential filmmaker of all time.
    The man who created the blockbuster and substituted originality for an inspiring tale about a vile Empire and the Rebellion that fought against it.

    But instead of stopping there he wrote another work, a character that seems to transcend the action hero and become a natural escape artist.
    Someone who runs from that large bolder, who is an adventurer of myth and history.
    The everyman working in an age of Nazism and conflict towards the goal of preserving the past.

    Then of course there are his earlier films such as Freiheit and THX 1138, which seem to speak out to people messages of individuality in a system that works against dissimilarity.
    He often spoke out in his earlier works about being something more then a number as technology increases, about giving in to idiosyncrasy yet at the same time preserving honor.

    But there are always the critics, aren't there?
    Yes, people who see his vision and film and works and dare to speak out.
    They themselves admit that he has had an impact against film, but few agree that it is a good impact.
    He changed a genre about art to background and visual impact.
    Lucas on the other hand argues that he uses visual appeal to tell his story, that images speak louder then aging dialogue.

    His impact and insight in the work of film continues to be debated.
    Is he as truly influential as others have suggested?


     
  2. Jedi Greg Maddux

    Jedi Greg Maddux Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 1999
    George Lucas... the Eighth Wonder of the World.

    This is the man that had the idea to create a classic good-and-evil storyline. He took that one step further by placing it in a galactic scenario. After a few sketches, skits, and edits, he came up with a man in a black suit to represent the evil Empire and a farmboy who had no idea what it's like to fight against something so evil...

    Lucas added some spice to that storyline... that awful man in the black suit is this rural kid's father.... and this rich pretty princess is his sister.... weird, huh?

    This whole story was to be made into three volumes.... and some background info to be given at a later time (today's prequels).

    Lucas basically grabbed a ragtag group of unknowns, had them casted along with a couple of seasoned-vet actors, and came up with the brilliant masterpiece of the Star Wars Universe. Ingenious.
     
  3. Jedi Greg Maddux

    Jedi Greg Maddux Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 3, 1999
    George Lucas... the Eighth Wonder of the World.

    This is the man that had the idea to create a classic good-and-evil storyline. He took that one step further by placing it in a galactic scenario. After a few sketches, skits, and edits, he came up with a man in a black suit to represent the evil Empire and a farmboy who had no idea what it's like to fight against something so evil...

    Lucas added some spice to that storyline... that awful man in the black suit is this rural kid's father.... and this rich pretty princess is his sister.... weird, huh?

    This whole story was to be made into three volumes.... and some background info to be given at a later time (today's prequels).

    Lucas basically grabbed a ragtag group of unknowns, had them casted along with a couple of seasoned-vet actors, and came up with the brilliant masterpiece of the Star Wars Universe. Ingenious.
     
  4. Padme Bra

    Padme Bra Administrator Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Well it's not like most movies were deep art in the first place and suddenly Lucas came around and they turned into FX extravaganzas with no dialog. That's overstating things a bit.

    I think he, along with Spielberg, founded the summer blockbuster...a genre of film that places emphasis on better quality visuals and action. That doesn't mean that the overall quality of dialog and plot in film has decreased. Most movies suck. That's always been the case, from the beginning. They just look a lot better now.
     
  5. keokiswahine

    keokiswahine Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 4, 2000
    He changed movie magic not only with block busting action, but with movie settings as well. He was the first to put in familiar music into the background, American Grafiti. This was not a musical with people bursting into song during the movie, but music to set the mood of the story, explain the story, soften/strengthen the dialog.
     
  6. Pedro

    Pedro Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 1999

    George Lucas is often viewed as the most influential filmmaker of all time.
    No he's not. Sometimes he gets presented as being more important than he is, but nobody calls him "the most influential filmmaker of all time" (I've certainly never seen that claim). Well, nobody who knows what they're talking about/isn't a moron, anyway.
     
  7. Tellesto

    Tellesto Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 7, 1999
    I simply took quotes and various types of wording that you would find in one of those entertainment magazines Pedro, nothing direct.
    Just the usual stuff the media uses to hype things up.
    I was simply asking if he actually did influence filmmaking to a point, not trying to directly quote people.
     
  8. bright sith

    bright sith Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 1999
    I would say he influence filmmaking a great deal, but not storytelling. In the end, his biggest impact will be his constant challenge to technology in film.
     
  9. Princess-Leah

    Princess-Leah Sketch Card Artist star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Jun 12, 2001
    I think that along with creating the birth of the summer 'blockbuster' (the movie Jaws was where this term was coined). He was the ultimate 'independent' filmmaker, after SW. Which is such a contrast to what we view as 'independent', huh?

    I think that because of what he's created..with all the serious fan base and publicity that many regard him as very 'influential'.
    He may have influenced 'how' movies are made, not directing or new subject matter, but the way in which the film is processed, seen and heard. Where 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' used digital effects to enhance the 'dry' look of the film (one of the first in film). Lucas is breaking ground by filming digitally...and may be responsible for getting digital machinery into the theaters.

    Also, his special effects team has been influential...if you want it done right...where do you go? ILM
    You want great sound? THX

    He's really not that influential when it comes to directing. :(

    P.L.
     
  10. LostOnHoth

    LostOnHoth Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2000
    I think George Lucas will always regarded as being influential in the way movies can be made and turned into a successful franchise. In terms of both SFX technology and marketing/merchandise, George Lucas will always be enigmatic.

    However, as a technical filmaker he has not been very influential because IMHO he is simply not that great. He is not a good director or writer. I tend to think now, in hindsight, that his directorial success in Star Wars (ANH) was something of a fluke.

    George Lucas has a great imagination and a great talent for story writing but should leave directing to someone else.
     
  11. Tellesto

    Tellesto Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 7, 1999
    I would disagree with you on that statement LoH.
    He has superb writing when it comes to grand epic stories and even has been known for having a dark streak (The Temple of Doom, The Empire Strikes Back).
    While his directing isn't up to par with other seasoned directors, it isn't exactly student work either.
    You gotta admin, no one directs a racing scene like him.

     
  12. VladTheImpaler

    VladTheImpaler Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2000
    I don't know if his directing techniques have influenced filmmaking. But Star Wars and Indiana Jones were influential on a whole generation of film makers, if for nothing else than getting them interested in that career. These are the kinds of movies that get people interested in film, and in film making.

    All these years later, studios are still trying to rip off Lucas's movies, and nobody has come close to his degree of success.
     
  13. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    As others here have stated, Lucas has definately influenced the technical side of filmaking and the production process. His artistic influence has been less so, but its still been there.
     
  14. QuiGonJinn

    QuiGonJinn Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 1, 1998
    Man, y'all better keep yo' fool mouths shut 'bout Lucas' Directin' 'bilities!

    The man's a brilliant artist! Know why? 'Cause he's BOLD! Most film-makers (directors writers and the lot) always start out with some big idea ("this film is gonna be big" "this film is gonna be different") and they all end up the same! Thousands of times more mediocre than the film-maker envisioned them! No other film maker even has the capacity to envision things as BOLDLY as Lucas does!

    Look at the beginning of STAR WARS "a long time ago in a Galaxy far far away..." BOOYA! "STAR WARS"! He was FINED thousands of dollars and kicked out of the directors guild for that you know! They said "You can't do that." and he said "Man, this is the way I envisioned the opening of the film and that's the way it's gonna be!"

    I don't care what anyone says American Graffiti and ANH are bloody masterpieces from beginning to end! And it's Lucas ability to see things differently and think outside the box that make them masterpieces!

    Everyone who thinks they anything about movies is like "this film is art cause the director makes great use of deep focus" or "this film is art 'cause the satire becomes even more relevent to our culture every year" and "this film is art because challenges you to think and the performances are laced with subtlety." WELL HOWABOUT; "Star Wars is ART 'cause it's a more free-spirited film than any other film-maker could dream of making and it KICKS YOUR *SS!"

    LIFTIN' SPIRITS AND AFFECTING THE AUDIENCE ON A VISCERAL LEVEL IS A FAR GREATER ACCOMLISHMENT THAN Y'ALL ARE WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE!

    He's BOLD! And anyone who says he's a bad director is brainwashed!
     
  15. dolphin

    dolphin Chosen One star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 1999
    Wow! I'm noticing the majority of people posting here are veterans(pre-2001) and oldies(pre-2000). I suppose "LFL Projects" is a watering hole for the likes of us...or retirement home.
     
    Jedi Knight Fett likes this.
  16. jp-30

    jp-30 Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Dec 14, 2000
    Unlocked and 'upped' to prevent re-autolocking, as part of the LFP Index project
     
  17. Vonn

    Vonn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 3, 2000
    I think Lucas is influential in that some of the best filmmakers became filmmakers because of his work, and the fact that so many good filmmakers from 70's know each other and learn from each other (Lucas, Spielberg, Coppola, Scorcese, and to lesser extent, DePalma).

    However, on a technical side, Lucas is considered the most influencial filmmaker of the latter half of the 20 century. Look at his student film that became THX-1138. What made this film so unique was not its story, but the audio and video cues (I don't think really any students used video in their films prior to this one) and the editing.

    Not to mention look at what he has been doing with THX, ILM, and Skywalker Sound. He has been pioneering the technical aspects to further the industry's quality level, and it seems a lot of his films are really just experiments to prove that certain the concepts (like digital filmmaking) do work.

    Lucas is definitely reknowned for his eye in creating a visually awesome picture. It is also influencial when he (still known for his visual prowess) voluntarily throws his weight behind the digital photography (something that most cinematographers consider inferior). The fact that other directors are starting to give it a chance goes to show that Lucas still has that kind of influence. If he can get the old dogs to learn new tricks, then he is the most influential filmmaker of our age.
     
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