Is George Lucas a mad genius of filmmaking? We all know the name George Lucas. He is the writer, director and producer behind such legendary franchises as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, American Graffiti and THX 1138. The name of Lucas carries with it much controversy, with many labeling him a hack who has had a massive amount of luck, while others proclaim him a genius without equal in Hollywood.
Check out some of the scathing things that people have said about George Lucas:
Just what is George Lucas — the former or the latter? Or, is he something in-between? For a giant of his caliber, one label is simply not enough. When his accomplishments and the massive leaps Hollywood has made under his inventions are looked at, it is possibly that George Lucas is a mad genius who dances to the beat of his own drum and thus has experienced both failure and success unequaled in the movie business. Let's take a look at just a bit of what Lucas has done in his long career.
1. He Has Been Nominated For Four Academy Awards, Two Emmys And Two Golden Globes
George Lucas was nominated for two best director Academy Awards for his work on Star Wars and American Graffiti. He also won the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial award from the Academy. His two Golden Globe nominations also came from his direction work for Star Wars and American Graffiti. His nominations for primetime Emmys came from the Ewok Adventure. Many claim Lucas can't direct and should stay away from the director’s chair, yet he has received nominations from two of the most prestigious organizations in the business — The Academy and the Golden Globes.
2. His Sub-Company, Skywalker Sound, Has Won 18 Academy Awards And Has Worked on Hundreds Of Films
George Lucas started up Skywalker Sound in the late '70s and '80s. Its staff of sound designers and re-recording mixers have either won or been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound and Best Sound Editing every year since Star Wars in 1977. Skywalker Sound’s scoring stage also records and mixes music ranging from small piano pieces to full 130-piece orchestras. Each year, they work on dozens of films and have redefined the sound world in Hollywood.
3. George Lucas Was Behind The Creation Of Mega Studio Pixar Animation
Pixar was originally founded as a part of Lucas's "Graphics Group," which was a division of Lucasfilm in 1979. Graphics Group was instrumental in the creation of technology that allowed animators to create animation with little training, the group began working with Industrial Light & Magic and after working on a number of high profile films such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the Stained Glass Knight in Young Sherlock Holmes, Graphics Group was sold to Steve Jobs and Apple Computer for a total of $10 million. Lucas was forced to sell in the wake of a drop off in #StarWars licenses and some poor investments.
4. The Star Wars Prequel Films Redefined Green Screen Use And Use Of CGI
Before Peter Jackson used CGI to create the world of Middle Earth and before James Cameron wowed audiences with Avatar, George Lucas was creating a whole universe from CGI for Star Wars. Lucas saw the potential in CGI and used it to bring his creations to life. Looking back, the use of CGI was a bit heavy handed, but no one can say that it was not brave to be one of the first to create a massive film universe using almost all CGI. Lucas was one of the first pioneers of CGI and saw its potential long before everyone else did.
5. He Preserved His Legacy
This may not seem like a big one but it is very important to recognize. There are many very talented filmmakers out there, but sadly, many fade into history as the generations march on. Few today remember the great directors Frank Capra or Howard Hawks, just as few in the future will remember great directors such as the Cohen Brothers or Shekhar Kapur.
George Lucas wanted to be sure the universe and empire he built would be remembered for all time. He could have continued to rake in cash and create projects like The Clone Wars or Red Tails (an underrated film). Instead, he sought out the company that he knew would preserve his legacy: Disney. Lucas, in making his deal with Disney, insured that people for the next 50 to 100 years will be watching Star Wars and Indiana Jones films and playing associated games. George Lucas will be being remembered long after all his contemporaries are forgotten.
George Lucas has his finger prints on almost every part of Hollywood, and he created so much that is used to make films today. Like many geniuses he liked to do things his way, some of his efforts were great failures (we are looking at you, Jar Jar) but his accomplishments are many and paved the way for almost every filmmaker who is working today. He is worthy to be remembered as one of the great titans of Hollywood.
What is your favorite contribution by Mr. Lucas to Hollywood?