... , whose president suggested a two-picture deal (the other being Star Wars). Lucas had Richard Walters, a classmate at USC, write the film with Gary Kurtz as producer. After he read the script, Lucas was disappointed. He then had Bill Huyck and Gloria Katz, close friends, write another script. Finally, Universal Studios was the one to finance and release the movie.
At the preview of the movie, the audience loved it. However, Ned Taken, a representative from Universal, hated it. After a few editing changes, which Lucas was very angry about, another preview was held. The audience loved it, again, and Universal released it, making more than $117 million in tickets. Finally able to work on Star Wars, Lucas wrote a synopsis of the story which was very different from film that was released. Wanting the film to be released by Fox Studios, Lucas had to first offer it to Universal since they had an option on it.
After they rejected it, Fox bought it, giving it a budget of $3. 5 million. However, this soon skyrocketed to $8. 5 million dollars. After finishing the script, he gave it to Bill Huyck and Gloria Katz to sharpen the dialogue.
Unfortunately, Lucas had many problems with Star Wars. Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi) threatened to quit because his part was shortened drastically, the Millennium Falcon and R 2-D 2 looked too futuristic, the robots would not work, and production was always behind schedule. As for the cast, he wanted new, fresh faces. Lucas did not want any veterans (except Alec Guinness) in the film. Lucas was quite honestly never expecting Star Wars to be a big hit. He only thought that the film would break even with the cost.
He and his wife, Marcia, were in shock to see long lies of people trying to get into the theaters to see Star Wars. However, after three months, the film grossed $100 million which is faster than any film in Hollywood's history. Lucas realized that if he made two more Star Wars movies, he would have enough money to 'have financial security and Skywalker Ranch (1, 191).' Skywalker Ranch would be a place where entire films could come together. Writers, directors, sound mixers, etc. , would all be under one roof. In essence, it would be another version of USC's 'US Cinema,' a group of friends that George was with in college that worked on films together.
Also, in order to make the sequel to Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas decided to finance it himself so that he would have final say in the movie and not Fox. Unfortunately, producing his own film was not as easy as it seemed. Although originally thinking that he would have enough money, Lucas soon came into a huge debt. The budget for his movie kept going up and up and his company, Lucusfilm Ltd. , demanded a $1 million payroll each week. Borrowing $25 million from two banks, Lucas was able to just barely finish the movie and pay his employees.
However, within three months, Lucas recovered his $33 million investment. The Empire Strikes Back had sold more than $300 million worth of tickets and $165 million dollars in film rentals. Being the generous man that he was, Lucas shared the profits with his cast and crew members for all of his movies, and even with all his employees that worked for him, although not directly related to the movie, for The Empire Strikes Back. After this success, Lucas turned his attentions to Raiders of the Lost Arc, which sold almost $335 million worth of tickets and $49 million in film rentals. Also, he focused his attention on Industrial Light and Magic, his special effects company, and Lucusfilm Ltd. Furthermore, Lucas finally released of Return of the Jedi, the third film in the Star Wars trilogy.
Even after all his success, Lucas was still not sure if he had fulfilled his purpose in life. He was not sure if it was Star Wars, Skywalker Ranch, or something else. He had been successful because he was able to put his visions on film. However, afterwards, he felt that his visions were too big for him. Lucas was afraid that God would say to him when he dies, 'You " ve had your chance and you blew it. Get out (1, 277).' This is very unlikely.
He saw what he had to do and he did it. ''There is no try,' Yoda lectured Luke. 'There is only do or do not.' When it came down to that choice, Lucas did (1, 278).' Part 2: One of the most interesting things that I discovered about George Lucas was that he originally wrote a different plot for Star Wars. I always thought that the movie was the original image in George Lucas's mind.
I believed that there were minor revisions such as changing some of the dialogue, cutting out some scenes, or maybe even rewriting an entire scene, but to have the entire plot to be almost totally rewritten a few times was quit a surprise to me. Another interesting thing that I have learned is that George Lucas wrote a movie prior to American Graffiti. Even though THX: 1138 bombed, I thought I should have at least heard about it when The Star Wars Trilogy was re-released, but I heard nothing relating to it or any other movie, such as the hit American Graffiti. Although, THX: 1138 was not a great success, I still have a desire to see it, just because George Lucas made it. It never even occurred to me that George Lucas had a rough time before he made it big. He was consumed with massive debts and stress before, and even after, Star Wars hit the screen.
Especially when Lucas decided to finance The Empire Strikes Back himself, he had to borrow $25 million dollars in banks just to pay his employees. Another surprising aspect about George Lucas is that he is a very quiet and reserved man. He always blends into the background and no one ever thinks he is the man in charge. When people first met him, they thought that he was ran errands or something to that effect. I have always thought of Lucas to be a loud and talkative man. However, he is quite the opposite.
Finally, one never realizes how hard it is to make a movie. When you see one on the big screen, everything looks so perfect and in sync. However, to get to that quality of the movie, there was much stress and many problems everyday on the set. Of course, there is the occasional setback to put filming behind schedule, but one does not really know how much pressure there is in making a movie until one actually produces and directs one. I recommend this book because it basically changed my whole view of George Lucas. He has had a more fascinating and interesting life than I had ever imagined.
This book is well-written and never drags on. Sometimes when I was reading it, I could not put it down. I always used to think that biographies where boring, but, because I read this book, my opinion has changed. I enjoyed reading this book as much as other fiction books I have read.
I also feel that I can relate to Lucas because of the fact he is quiet and reserved. Usually, I have a fear of being the center of attention and hide in the background. However, that is probably the only similarity between us. I hope that one day I can be as successful as he is with his career and gain his great amount of initiative and determination to get where I am going in life. Work Cited 1) Pollock, Dale.
Sky walking: The Life and Films of George Lucas. New York: Harmon Books, 1983.