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erikals
10-20-2013, 05:27 PM
:yoda:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_joDNOpeWWo

zapper1998
10-20-2013, 08:17 PM
really nice

:)

cute to....

jasonwestmas
10-20-2013, 10:38 PM
Dear JJ Abrams, please add more tribal teddy bears and cybernetic death masks.

Waves of light
10-21-2013, 05:37 AM
Brilliant. Love the 'walk into the wrong bar... lose your arm'.

But come on, it ain't going to be dirty sets and textures... not with Mr 'Lens Flares' Abrams, now is it?

Svenart
10-21-2013, 07:08 AM
very good, but way too short :)

jasonwestmas
10-21-2013, 08:45 AM
70's movies in general do have an interesting gritty texture to them. I think that would help bring back the starwars nostalgia.

RebelHill
10-21-2013, 08:54 AM
Dear JJ Abrams...

Please do a star wars/star trek crossover and show us once and for all how the empire eventually evolved into the borg.

Much love <3

DonJMyers
10-21-2013, 11:07 AM
I don't think JJ Abrams is very talented. Cute yes but those new Star Trek features bored me to tears. He has so little faith in the characters/script that the entire enterprise set glowed like it was from TRON. Even the clipboard had neon glow in it. Preposterous.

Whatever low budget/big ideas classic 1960's trek had have long been forgotten at Paramount, where they barely even make movies anymore.

I imagine the same yuk will happen to star wars.

Netvudu
10-22-2013, 05:24 AM
So, let me check at imdb, Don. Just to have another point of view.
Star Trek: Insurrection is listed in imdb as a 6.3 (I agree), then "Star Trek: Nemesis" is listed as another 6.3 (I agree).
Then we jump to Star Trek (2009) and it rates at 8.0 (again, I agree), and "Star Trek: Into Darkness" rates at 7.9 (might be a bit high for my tastes, but I mostly agree). Not only that, but it has revitalized the whole franchise, we are going to get more Star Trek movies sooner than later thanks to this, and made people like me which werenīt exactly fans, more interested into it...

...and you still think it was a bad move to bring JJ Abrams into this?

safetyman
10-22-2013, 05:34 AM
I have confidence in Mr. Abrams. He'll do it justice.

DonJMyers
10-22-2013, 11:38 AM
Not only that, but it has revitalized the whole franchise, we are going to get more Star Trek movies sooner than later thanks to this, and made people like me which werenīt exactly fans, more interested into it...

...and you still think it was a bad move to bring JJ Abrams into this?

Well since even George Lucas can't make Star Wars movies good anymore Mr. Abrams has a low bar to leap. Plus I'm just glad Paramount is making ANY movies any more. How many did they make last year? Two? They are so cheap.

I just thought Abrams first reboot was pretty boring and the cast was too young. The plot was lame and, by the time Leonard Nimoy arrives I was thoroughly confused. And the red monster on the ice planet had no hair. What kind of creature on an ice planet would run around naked?

I literally could not sit through the second one that just came out. I could tell the director came from a TV background.

I'm glad you liked the movies but they just aren't part of the "zeitgeist." Did these new movies get water cooler talk going? Do people say "beam me up scotty" or "let the force be with you" type phrases from these movies? No.

That Avengers movie apparently took in a gigantic amount of money but, to me, it came and went and nobody mentioned it. And it's the third most money making movie ever?

So expect more bland movies from Mr. Abrams even if they make a lot of money. But people will walk out of the theater and forget they saw it. That's not the effect Star Wars had on me in may 1977.

I might just stay home and watch "The People vs. George Lucas." Very funny movie. Fresh. Didn't cost much.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_People_vs._George_Lucas

RebelHill
10-22-2013, 11:53 AM
even George Lucas can't make Star Wars movies good anymore

He never could...

The original star wars was a disaster until the studio took creative control away from him and brought in new editors to try and salvage something outta what had been shot... subsequently they didnt let him near the 2 sequels in any truly meaningful way. He's a terrible writer and director who has pretty much pulled a homer to get where he is today.

Tranimatronic
10-22-2013, 12:31 PM
Really its an impossible situation. The movie industry has a problem with originality. People in general don't like originality. What the title of this thread is asking for is "more of the same...just different"
It will never be the same, primarily because you are not the same as you were when you were 7. If they did do a complete copy just with different words people would complain that there is no story.
Leave out character X and people will be sad. Add a new character and people will be sad.
The whole plot of Frankenstien was about keeping something alive that should have died a long time ago. That didn't end well either.

stiff paper
10-22-2013, 01:29 PM
The original star wars was a disaster until the studio took creative control away from him and brought in new editors to try and salvage something outta what had been shot...
Umm... are you really sure about that, RH? I don't want to... that is... I... mmm. I've actually stood around shooting the breeze with people who were there at the time. Several people. Several different times. And I've heard stories about this and that. (And, yes, I give 80% of the credit for the original Star Wars to everybody that was around Lucas at the time and 20% to George himself.) But, still. I've never had any of them tell me that the studio took the movie off him in the edit suite. I could be wrong! I could most definitely be wrong... but...

Also, in mild defence of the person Lucas used to be in the 1970s... THX1138 and American Graffiti aren't risible movies. And he did, at least, used to be able to frame a nice establishing or wide shot. I haven't seen it for probably 33 years, but I remember Star Wars having many nice shots in it. Luke with planets in the sky behind him. The Sandcrawler (I think?)

That ability to frame a nice shot had gone AWOL in a pretty catastrophic way by the time he did the prequels, obviously. They were ugly as sin.

RebelHill
10-22-2013, 01:45 PM
Umm... are you really sure about that, RH?

Yep... Richard Chew and Lucas' wife (she was also responsible for editing the other films of his you mention to make them watchable).

http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/marcialucas.html

The story behind the Han Solo is particularly brilliant... he was originally written as a hard, mean space pirate type (u still see echoes of this in one or two scenes)... but thanks to Lucas' abysmal directing... the performance was worthless. In the edit suite however, they dug through the outtakes and totally reconstructed the character to make him the funny, lovable rogue we know him as.

Had Lucas had his way... star wars would never have been released by the studio... it would have been written off.

Lets also not forget that the "father of modern digital effects" hired Ed Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith (and others) to build him a digital film scanner (primarily as a replacement for optical printing/comp that had been done before). This was the worlds first ever VFX computer, built specifically for the task. When those same guys said to him... "We think we can actually MAKE effects on this thing, not just composite them"... he replied... "Nah, there's no future in that, miniatures is what you need for FX". That computer was called... "the pixar".

Some years later... Ed Catmull ambushed Steve Jobs and somehow wrangled $10M start up capital outta him. With that, they ditched Lucas and never looked back.

I saw a documentary about the SW prequel series some years ago... after phantom, before clones... and in one part Lucas took to docu crew to ILM to show them around. However... he couldnt find an open door to get in, and was wandering around the parking lot (lost) for 10 mins before someone (having presumably spotted him on cctv) came to get him and say "Its this way Mr Lucas".

The man's an idiot... a lucky, LUCKY idiot.

stiff paper
10-22-2013, 03:35 PM
Yep... Richard Chew and Lucas' wife (she was also responsible for editing the other films of his you mention to make them watchable).
Yes, I've been told stories about how important his wife was to his films (and how other people were, too,) hence my 80% down to the people around him comment. I was really questioning this:

...the studio took creative control away from him...
...Because having a studio take creative control of the edit is a very specific thing that does happen in Hollywood. If we were talking about a modern blockbuster and somebody said that about it, I'd say "Yeah, but that's almost how that normally works now." We're talking about the 1970s though and back then that would have been a serious and important thing. If all you mean is that George had a bunch of footage and no clue how to edit it down to a watchable movie, so he brought in a couple of extra editors and (along with his wife) they saved the movie, then yeah, okay, that sounds likely.

I don't think the studio took Star Wars off him, though.


The man's an idiot... a lucky, LUCKY idiot.
Well, that's ruder than I'd have been, but we can agree completely that he was fantastically lucky.

When the first prequel was in pre-production, I had lunch with some people who were working on it, and they told me, amongst other things, about George's "Fabuloso!" rubber stamp. It kind of removed the last, lingering respect I'd had for him as the genius "Creator" of Star Wars.

DonJMyers
10-22-2013, 08:22 PM
He never could...

The original star wars was a disaster until the studio took creative control away from him and brought in new editors to try and salvage something outta what had been shot... subsequently they didnt let him near the 2 sequels in any truly meaningful way. He's a terrible writer and director who has pretty much pulled a homer to get where he is today.

Wow is that full of errors. For instance, he made the empire strikes back himself and fox just distributed it. How is that "not getting near it?" he had a heart attack from stress while making it!

I think you are just jealous ...

jeric_synergy
10-22-2013, 08:48 PM
I don't think JJ Abrams is very talented. Cute yes but those new Star Trek features bored me to tears. He has so little faith in the characters/script that the entire enterprise set glowed like it was from TRON. Even the clipboard had neon glow in it. Preposterous.
You know what's wrong with StarFleet? Unlimited budgets. They NEVER run out of stuff, and it's all clean too.

stiff paper
10-23-2013, 02:37 AM
You know what's wrong with StarFleet? Unlimited budgets. They NEVER run out of stuff, and it's all clean too.
This is a Star Wars argument. You are deliberately trying to rile the natives, aren't you?

...

And obviously, if you run out of money you just use a replicator to make yourself some more.

And dirt? Yeah, obviously they just use low power transporters to continually transport all the dirt into deep space. That must include beaming the poop right out of people's intestines, too, as there are no lavatories in Star Trek. The inaccuracy is that the front ends of all the starships aren't brown.

Aaaactually... having just seen Into Darkness (terrible!)... now they can beam straight from Earth to the Klingon homeworld (and they have spaceships why now?) they could start beaming all the poop of the entire human race straight to the Klingon homeworld...

I think it might be a mistake to start looking for things that don't make sense in the Star Trek universe...

djwaterman
10-23-2013, 04:57 AM
RH, you are trying to make the case that Lucas was some sort of lucky idiot, sure, right time right place and all that, but you don't turn out three brilliant films in a row first time out by being clue-less. He really should have let the studios take over the SW juggernaut and just taken his cut, instead of spending his life trying to protect the franchise and ultimately ruining it anyway. He could've gone on to make other movies and never be blamed for the successive versions. But its easy to say this with hindsight.
THX1138 and American Graffiti were really different and exciting movies, and Star Wars, even though it was a throwback to a Flash Gordon type genre it was a look we'd never seen before in Sci Fi. I'm no Fan of Lucas as he is but I just don't buy the idea he played no part in the excellence of those first three films.

safetyman
10-23-2013, 05:06 AM
Lucas may or may not be a dufus, but no one can question that Star Wars is largely responsible for all the CG jobs that exist today. It sure as hell wasn't because of Smokey and the Bandit.

stiff paper
10-23-2013, 06:01 AM
...but no one can question that Star Wars is largely responsible for all the CG jobs that exist today.
Because, yeah, automobile manufacturers would never want people to design cars using CG if not for George Lucas. And no architects or construction companies would ever want a CG guy to do architectural visualisation to help them sell their buildings. And nobody would ever have done a single bit of motion graphics if not for George Lucas. And nobody would ever have used CG visualisation to design that screwdriver, or that shirt you're wearing, or that cup, or that new plane, or that jetski, or that zip on your trousers, or that pen you're using, or that keyboard you're typing on, or that can you're drinking soda out of, or the entire interior of that McDonalds you just went to, or the packaging that your burger came in, or that signage on that building, or the layout of the new road you're driving on, or the seat you're sitting in, or... or...

What on Earth are you talking about?

You do understand that VFX is just one tiny part of CG, right?

Much more problematic than that, though, is this unspoken assumption that I've read over and over for the past 10 years, that if TEH GEORGE LUCAS hadn't INVENTED EVERYTHING OMG then we would still be living in caves. Lucas was responsible for laying down a suggestion for a template for an easily repeatable action style of movie making. Yes, Lucas happened to be the one did that more than anybody else did. The idea that if he hadn't, then the entire progress of humankind would have ground to a halt and now nobody would ever have even heard of CG is actually close to outright frothing insanity.

What did Lucas have to do with the rapid pace of technological development with PCs? Nothing. If Lucas had never existed we would still have PCs. "Pong" was not invented because of Star Wars. It was invented by a bunch of geeks who liked to mess around with early computer technology. So we'd still have games. If we still had games at that point then we'd still have CG at this point. And if we still have games then we still have "action" games because that's what games do. And if we still have action games then we still have something for Hollywood to copy ideas from for action movies.

Visual Effects movies already existed in an ongoing way regardless of George Lucas' existence. VFX itself was a small field, but it was there. Hell, it had been there for at least 40 years by the time Star Wars rolled around. It's impossible to see how VFX wouldn't have included CG once CG became a viable tool.

Is it possible that VFX filled blockbusters would never have happened without Star Wars? Hmm... just about. But it's hard to see how it wouldn't have happened anyway. It's mostly to do with finance people running Hollywood now and deliberately pushing everything in the direction of spectacle without complex or deep meaning, because mindless spectacle easily can be sold to every single country in the world.

George Lucas wrote a screenplay for a modern movie version of the original Flash Gordon movie serials. The rights holders wanted far too much money and he couldn't afford the rights. Because of that he rewrote his script to not be about Flash Gordon any more. That script became Star Wars. His wife, Marcia, helped him at every turn with the script because, as it was, it didn't make you feel anything. There was really nothing staggeringly original about his ideas. Everything else - the design of everything, the (fantastic) ships, the costumes, the way Darth Vader looked, the way Stormtroopers looked, how groundbreaking the VFX were... Lucas hired professionals to do that stuff for him. He didn't do that himself.

Lucas was just a man in the right place at the right time, with a bunch of hugely talented people helping him out with his not so very original idea for a space movie. Willow and Howard the Duck should have given everybody plenty of warning that something other than "George Lucas is a genius" was going on.

jeric_synergy
10-23-2013, 09:21 AM
This is a Star Wars argument. You are deliberately trying to rile the natives, aren't you?
I was going after the "JJ Abrams" argument. ;)

(Although, actually i LOVE 'problematic ST things" discussions-- lots of them could make good science fiction stories. Maybe not good movies, but good TV episodes.)

Netvudu
10-23-2013, 09:26 AM
Wow is that full of errors. For instance, he made the empire strikes back himself and fox just distributed it. How is that "not getting near it?" he had a heart attack from stress while making it!

I think you are just jealous ...
uh? Irvin Keshner directed EMpire Strikes Back and the screenplay was written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan over the original Lucas draft....so actually, Lucas didnīt direct anything there...and it shows, itīs good.

stiff paper
10-23-2013, 11:06 AM
...so actually, Lucas didnīt direct anything there...and it shows, itīs good.
So... ack... I don't even really like Star Wars that much, but... a long time ago I used to work up in Marin on Star Wars games, and because of that I just know some things about SW. I don't know why I feel embarrassed about knowing these things, but I do. There. Now I've made my excuses...

Annnnyway. If I remember rightly, the Empire shoot got into a certain amount of trouble and George had to fly over to England to see what was going on, at which point he ended up directing some stuff to try to help get everything back on track. It might have been second unit or some pickups. Not major stuff. Still, I think he did direct some small portion of Empire.

That doesn't affect the point of your post. I just thought I'd throw it in there. Because, you know, trivia.

Dexter2999
10-23-2013, 11:44 AM
He shouldn't have been directing anything. Because at that time, he had torn up his DGA card after a dispute with the union.

And as to "he just surrounded himself with good people", that his how most all good movies are made. It's a collaborative process. You hire professionals to do what they do best.

bazsa73
10-23-2013, 11:45 AM
Hyperpoop transportation? Oh dear.

DonJMyers
10-23-2013, 11:50 AM
Lucas left the director's guild because they would not let him put the credits to star wars at the end. It is the reason Spielberg didn't direct Empire. Spielberg was union.

Fox had nothing to do with later star wars movies other than distributing them.

safetyman
10-24-2013, 07:54 AM
Because, yeah, automobile manufacturers would never want people to design cars using CG if not for George Lucas. And no architects or construction companies would ever want a CG guy to do architectural visualisation to help them sell their buildings. And nobody would ever have done a single bit of motion graphics if not for George Lucas. And nobody would ever have used CG visualisation to design that screwdriver, or that shirt you're wearing, or that cup, or that new plane, or that jetski, or that zip on your trousers, or that pen you're using, or that keyboard you're typing on, or that can you're drinking soda out of, or the entire interior of that McDonalds you just went to, or the packaging that your burger came in, or that signage on that building, or the layout of the new road you're driving on, or the seat you're sitting in, or... or...

What on Earth are you talking about?

You do understand that VFX is just one tiny part of CG, right?

Much more problematic than that, though, is this unspoken assumption that I've read over and over for the past 10 years, that if TEH GEORGE LUCAS hadn't INVENTED EVERYTHING OMG then we would still be living in caves. Lucas was responsible for laying down a suggestion for a template for an easily repeatable action style of movie making. Yes, Lucas happened to be the one did that more than anybody else did. The idea that if he hadn't, then the entire progress of humankind would have ground to a halt and now nobody would ever have even heard of CG is actually close to outright frothing insanity.

What did Lucas have to do with the rapid pace of technological development with PCs? Nothing. If Lucas had never existed we would still have PCs. "Pong" was not invented because of Star Wars. It was invented by a bunch of geeks who liked to mess around with early computer technology. So we'd still have games. If we still had games at that point then we'd still have CG at this point. And if we still have games then we still have "action" games because that's what games do. And if we still have action games then we still have something for Hollywood to copy ideas from for action movies.

Visual Effects movies already existed in an ongoing way regardless of George Lucas' existence. VFX itself was a small field, but it was there. Hell, it had been there for at least 40 years by the time Star Wars rolled around. It's impossible to see how VFX wouldn't have included CG once CG became a viable tool.

Is it possible that VFX filled blockbusters would never have happened without Star Wars? Hmm... just about. But it's hard to see how it wouldn't have happened anyway. It's mostly to do with finance people running Hollywood now and deliberately pushing everything in the direction of spectacle without complex or deep meaning, because mindless spectacle easily can be sold to every single country in the world.

George Lucas wrote a screenplay for a modern movie version of the original Flash Gordon movie serials. The rights holders wanted far too much money and he couldn't afford the rights. Because of that he rewrote his script to not be about Flash Gordon any more. That script became Star Wars. His wife, Marcia, helped him at every turn with the script because, as it was, it didn't make you feel anything. There was really nothing staggeringly original about his ideas. Everything else - the design of everything, the (fantastic) ships, the costumes, the way Darth Vader looked, the way Stormtroopers looked, how groundbreaking the VFX were... Lucas hired professionals to do that stuff for him. He didn't do that himself.

Lucas was just a man in the right place at the right time, with a bunch of hugely talented people helping him out with his not so very original idea for a space movie. Willow and Howard the Duck should have given everybody plenty of warning that something other than "George Lucas is a genius" was going on.

Jeez -- I never said Lucas was a genius. I'm talking about the MOVIE. You haveta admit it had a huge influence on movie-making in general and on people getting into the vfx business. Name another film at the time that had people clamoring to learn the craft... and I'm not talking about building frickin' cars or houses.

jeric_synergy
10-24-2013, 09:24 AM
DOOD, was it necessary to quote THAT much? Geeze.

stiff paper
10-24-2013, 10:45 AM
You haveta admit it had a huge influence on movie-making in general and on people getting into the vfx business.
Yes, of course I "admit" that. Only an idiot would deny that.

Look, for goodness' sake, your exact words were "...no one can question that Star Wars is largely responsible for all the CG jobs that exist today," to which I responded with a post thoroughly questioning it because not only is it not true but also it's silly. You made a statement on a forum and in turn I wrote a rational response pointing out why you were wrong in what you said. I didn't run you through with my rapier then stand over your twisted corpse twirling my moustache whilst cackling evilly. Debate is a good thing. If you don't like it when somebody demolishes a point you've just made then, honestly, just make better points. If your own words don't say what you meant them to say that's really not my fault.

robertoortiz
10-24-2013, 11:40 AM
Yes, of course I "admit" that. Only an idiot would deny that.

Look, for goodness' sake, your exact words were "...no one can question that Star Wars is largely responsible for all the CG jobs that exist today," to which I responded with a post thoroughly questioning it because not only is it not true but also it's silly. You made a statement on a forum and in turn I wrote a rational response pointing out why you were wrong in what you said. I didn't run you through with my rapier then stand over your twisted corpse twirling my moustache whilst cackling evilly. Debate is a good thing. If you don't like it when somebody demolishes a point you've just made then, honestly, just make better points. If your own words don't say what you meant them to say that's really not my fault.

Well he has a point about the vast influnce the companies founded by lucas had in the advancement of CG.

Photoshop(Developed by ILM'S John Knoll), Avid and Non linear editing. (started as Edit Droid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EditDroid) at ILM), Digital composites (T2 was one the first films to do digital composites).
Hell Pixar started out as one of his companies.
And he was intrumental in the late 90s the move to digital filmmaking.

Fine you can bash the prequels until the sky turns pink, but the influence he had in the world of CG (thanks to his companies and his spearherding efforts) is HUGE.

References
http://www.theasc.com/magazine/sep02/exploring/

RebelHill
10-24-2013, 12:33 PM
having a studio take creative control of the edit is a very specific thing ... If all you mean is that George ... brought in a couple of extra editors and (along with his wife) they saved the movie, then yeah, okay, that sounds likely.

Nope... the studio demanded that the editor (Chew) be brought in and was told that if he refused... he was being shut down.


he made the empire strikes back himself and fox just distributed it. How is that "not getting near it?"
Written by Laurence kasdan and Leigh Brakett... directed by Irvin kershner... thats how.

stiff paper
10-24-2013, 01:03 PM
Well. I'll make this point just one last time, because this is my last comment on this topic. I just don't care to carry on correcting people who have no capacity for objective assessment whatsoever.


Well he has a point...
How is every word you've just written not already covered by "Lucas was just a man in the right place at the right time, with a bunch of hugely talented people helping him out..." and the exchange "You haveta admit it had a huge influence on movie-making in general and on people getting into the vfx business." "Only an idiot would deny that."

You have no idea what the development level of CG would be right now if George Lucas had never existed. I don't. You don't. However, every shred of evidence suggests very strongly that the development of CG imaging would hardly have been set back at all, in any way, without George the oh-so-godly.

I once ended up (randomly) sitting in the next booth along from George Lucas and his family in Mel's Diner in San Francisco. Everybody was having lunch, although the place was fairly empty. Everything was cool until about a half hour in, when a guy I'd spotted staring wide eyed at Lucas for the entire time up until then got up out of his seat and shuffled, slack jawed and even wider eyed, wringing his hands, across the room to stand right at Lucas's table. Looming over Lucas and his family. Looming while they were eating their lunch. He started off by saying "I'm really sorry to interrupt Mr Lucas, but I just felt I had to tell you what an incredible impact your work has had on my entire life..." He then carried on for another five minutes, getting more and more toe-curling as he went along. George and his family all sat there, holding their half eaten burgers, George looking at the guy, the others staring at the table, waiting for him to go away. Eventually the guy tailed off and George said "Well, thank you." Nodded and gave a polite half smile. The guy shuffled away. It is, even now, twenty years later, the most embarrassing and unnerving thing I've ever seen.

Lucas almost certainly dealt with that every time he tried to step out in public. No wonder he came to despise fanboys.

It's long past time to start treating him as what he is: he's just another human being. He isn't responsible for anybody's life. He isn't responsible for anybody's career path. He isn't responsible for whole industries. He just made a movie once.

stiff paper
10-24-2013, 01:18 PM
Nope... the studio demanded that the editor (Chew) be brought in and was told that if he refused... he was being shut down.
Huh. And this entire time I thought the major money had come from the Mormons, hence gaffer taped breasts. I'll take your word for it. It does still fall a bit short of what "taking creative control" involves these days, but then it wasn't these days, it was a much more relaxed era.

RebelHill
10-24-2013, 01:43 PM
It does still fall a bit short of what "taking creative control" involves these days, but then it wasn't these days, it was a much more relaxed era.

Fair enough... it is different than him just being booted and them taking the reigns (which is largely what would happen these days). I was talking in a more "shorthand" version of events. By all means though, dont take my word... do some digging around on "The Star Wars" (the original title) if you fancy sometime... fascinatingly different than the "legend" that has been fed out in more recent years.

Btw... there are 2 films which I would argue, are much more responsible for the huge shift over to CG work (in the minds of those doing "traditional effects in that time) than SW... The Wrath of Khan (specifically the genesis sequence which was SO mind bogglingly awesome at the time they reused it in 2 more Trek films)... and Flight Of The Navigator.

stiff paper
10-24-2013, 02:14 PM
Actually, honestly, I'm not being huffy, but I worked on X-Wing games for a while, and... it was kind of enough. I can still point at TIEs and say "That nurnie's slightly the wrong shape. It should be more pointy at this end." I honestly don't think I'll go looking up information on Star Wars ever again. And I really do already know that the legend is mostly a ridiculous Fantasy Island version of something that was fairly mundane and normal until the fanboys all got vapor-lock.

And I'd add the original Tron to your list of movies. (Yes, I know it mostly isn't CG.)

(Wait. Did I mention that I was banned from the ranch? Really. Muuaha ha ha haaa...)

Dexter2999
10-24-2013, 02:49 PM
George Lucas may not be the greatest director ever but without him there would have been no Star Wars and no ILM. And without Star Wars and without ILM... where do you think VFX would be today?

You can be a George Lucas "hater" all you want but MUST give respect to John Knoll, Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, John Dykstra, and the team of geniuses that Lucas had the for-site to keep on payroll by making ILM. ILM were unchallenged for MANY MANY years as trailblazers. Everyone else was in the "we can do that too" category.

Trying to "poo poo" the legacy of ILM as an organization for their contributions and for setting the bar in VFX excellence just makes one look like an *****.

Waves of light
10-24-2013, 03:00 PM
I had this whole response lined up which went on for ages, including crap like.. 'Lucas didn't hate fanboys because they came up and thanked him for what he did'... he ended up disliking them because they became so critical of his work and told him how to do it better, or how it did it wrong etc.

But screw it, can't be bothered with that.

However, to cover one point, thanks to RebelHill, my favourite ST film ever and the ground-breaking VFX used in the genesis effect sequence... that whole sequence was done by ILM, yep, another Lucas company! Bare in mind that this was 1982 (the same year as Blade Runner, which didn't use any CG) and it showed a whole planet evolving and the camera goes through the sequence - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe9qSLYK5q4

I'm sorry, I know there are people who hate the guy for his deserved status, but without his 'influence' the VFX industry would not be what it is today... Lucas Films, Pixar, ILM, Skywalker Sounds, etc.

And then there are Lightsabers. Enough said.

safetyman
10-24-2013, 03:47 PM
DOOD, was it necessary to quote THAT much? Geeze.
Sorry -- it's just too easy to click that button and then start typing.. Heh heh.

Cageman
10-24-2013, 05:02 PM
It requires talent, courage and lots of dedication, ambition and vision to bring good people around you and pull off something like Star Wars, at that time. He wasn't a good director, he wasn't a good editor, but he sure managed to get some of the best people in the business around him, to support his original vision that got polished into something most of us like very much.

There aren't that many people in the world that can pull such a thing off. Nowdays, it is easier because of tools like LightWave and consumer cameras that are on the same level as cameras back then, but back then... it wasn't an easy task for Mr Lucas to assemble a team and get his vision across.

jeric_synergy
10-24-2013, 08:24 PM
One thing: everybody here is acting like GETTING THE BALL ROLLING is not a skill too. Lucas proved his chops at school, with THX1138, and with American Graffiti. He was smart enough to hire all those smart people and that's a skill in itself. Shepherding all those cats is a skill. Casting is a skill.

EDIT: I see Cageman, the only post I didn't read, says pretty much the same thing. d'oh!

I wonder about guys like Cameron, who saw the obvious, that mocap cameras BLOW at facial expressions and did something about it, and wALLAGH! "Avatar". He may not have designed, built, or coded the system (although w/Cameron, you never know), but he CAUSED it to be built. I think Lucas had much the same effect on many of his interests, especially the EditDroid. Would the Dykstraflex have come to be, or would it have been mired in development for many more years? (According to Wikipedia, "The camera was developed in 1976 specifically for complex special effects shots in Star Wars." -- specifically. Is that true??)

Although, for sure, "Howard The Duck" was INCREDIBLY unwatchable.

Davewriter
10-24-2013, 08:25 PM
Yep... Richard Chew and Lucas' wife (she was also responsible for editing the other films of his you mention to make them watchable).

http://secrethistoryofstarwars.com/marcialucas.html


The man's an idiot... a lucky, LUCKY idiot.

Ah... Thank you! It means there is still hope for me...

hazmat777
10-24-2013, 09:47 PM
Just wanted to share a quick peek at what it's like to have THX1138 in your hands. If you are interested, I donated it to the Special Collections department at the UW in Seattle. It's all legally covered and legit, even got a letter from LucasFilm. I have documentation and if anyone would like more photos let me know. I just got too nervous having it around. A director that worked with the same film processing lab that Lucas used gave it to me, but there was no way I could keep it. Now anyone can see the original film version. Just have to make your way up to Seattle!

stiff paper
10-25-2013, 08:19 AM
THX1138
Good story! I wonder if it's the only copy out there of the original version on film?

stiff paper
10-25-2013, 08:33 AM
Warning: this is more like a book than a forum post. Feel free to ignore it. I'm all growed up now, I'll get over it.

---

Most of you don't seem to be able to tell the difference between Science and Technology. (In fact, some of you don't seem to be able to tell the difference between technology and religion, but I'm not touching that one with a barge pole.)

Science can be revelatory. Which is to say that science occasionally has the equivalent of an Einstein figure, a person who, from a grounding of knowledge, sits there thinking very hard about something until, finally, something occurs to them that is entirely new, and unlike anything anybody has ever thought of up 'til then.

Technology does not do this. Technology is not revelatory; it is incremental. Technology almost always moves on by doing the next completely obvious thing to do next (stet.)


Cameron
I'm glad you brought that up.

Back in the dawn of prehistory (the early nineties) there was an endless amount of guff going around about "V.R." People got all kinds of investment money to build VR systems based on a lot of hot air about how it was going to be brilliant and in two years' time we were all going to be surfing the Information Superhighway with our gigantic, six pound VR helmets on and we would all be interacting with our lifelike avatars.

Of course, it was stupid BS and it came to nothing. Every penny was wasted because the technology simply wasn't there yet and the end results were laughable and pathetic (just like the people who kept telling everybody how brilliant it all was.) It wasn't even a learning experience, because by the time the technology had developed enough to make it slightly more feasible (i.e. now), nothing they'd been doing still applied. So, a gigantic, worthless waste of time and money. VR had started out earlier than this, as an idea in S.F. writing. And that's still all it was.

The original tests and proof of concept for the "Virtual moviemaking" in Cameron's Avatar were done in a tatty warehouse at the back end of the tech/media district in Culver City. The system for using realtime mocap and VR in the way Cameron wanted was put together by Origami Digital. All of the fundamental elements had been hanging around and slowly developing for years.

Origami Digital had a mocap system that was manufactured by Phasespace. It was a big step up from other systems that were being used at that time. Other people had been working to make something better than the clunky old VR helmets (sorry, can't remember who it was). Motionbuilder had been around for a while, too.

When Cameron wanted to do the feasibility tests for virtual moviemaking, he had Origami Digital recommended to him by somebody (possibly Rob Legato, after Origami had worked on The Aviator) and he asked them "Can we do this yet? Is the tech there yet?" Origami's answer was "We think so, yes." Funding was then found and everybody marched off to that tatty warehouse in Culver City.

What Origami had to do was tie together the various separate pieces of tech and software so that they would function together as a system. They had a good pipeline programmer who wrote the code that did that. After a lot of testing, tweaking and modifying, they had a system that did what Cameron was looking for. Cameron spent time on the virtual set, with his virtual camera, virtual props, and some motion actors, testing the system until he was happy (or at least seemed to be) that, yes, this was possible now.

Having run a very successful test, everybody then went home and waited to see what would come of it. For unknown reasons (I kind of know but can't say) when Cameron decided to continue, he did it with a new, bigger team, in the old Howard Hughes buildings at Playa Vista. Our esteemed leader Rob Powers probably knows more about this part.

So, what we have is a tech-savvy director who has an idea that has been percolating for years. It's not an original idea in any way whatsoever. (Weta had a go at the same thing for the first LotR movie, although reputable people have since stated that the whole thing was mostly faked and never worked properly). What Cameron does, at this point, is find some people who know how to do stuff, and he gives them enough money to spend time trying to make the whole thing work. What he finds is a small VFX company that has a bunch of technology, some know-how, and some capable people. Again, the technology isn't new, it's been slowly percolating away in the background for years.

The point of all this is that the moment when technology suddenly appears to do something new is actually just the culmination of many things, as I say, percolating in the background. In L.A. alone there were plenty of people tinkering with this kind of thing. Because various technology was reaching the point where "virtual moviemaking" was about to become possible, it was completely obvious and inevitable that somebody, somewhere, was about to try it. It happened to be Cameron. Right place, right time.

No sane observer would conclude that Cameron had done anything through all of this except be a reasonably intelligent man who, because of his previous track record, had the wherewithal to fund somebody putting together a virtual moviemaking system for him. Having done that and ended up with a working system, he then deserves credit for that. It is an achievement.

What he actually gets, though, albeit to a lesser degree than George Lucas, is supposedly grown men behaving like twelve year old girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Tears and wailing. Gnashing of teeth. Small puddles. The whole deal.

What looks, at a distance of thirty five years, to have been revelation and cataclysmic change was, at the time, actually just like my Cameron anecdote. It was the slow and inevitable progress of technology and a bunch of guys working at their day jobs. You're all buying into thirty five years of deliberate mythologizing.

Notes:
-You can try to "correct" me on the grounds that you once read an issue of Cinefex and now possess TRUTH, but it's unlikely to work.
-You could ask Origami Digital about the Cameron story. I suspect what they'll say is "That's NDA. Can't tell you about that."
-Yeah, as I say, this isn't the Cinefex version of that Cameron story. But this one is better because this one is true.

VonBon
10-25-2013, 09:17 AM
Well I'll start off by saying that George Lucas is a genius.
To widely get the credit for what some of you say he isn't
responsible for is "GENIUS". Whatever you want to discredit
him for, he is obviously a great director of people.

As far as technology and science, well Imagination is the
Force that drives both of those fields, and I would have
to say that George Lucas and people like him help inspire
advancements in those areas.

I know one thing tho, yall gone get all up off meh Boi
George b4 i havta drag somebody up in here.
bust out my Light Saber :twak:

:yoda:

VonBon
10-25-2013, 09:21 AM
O'yea forgot, "WAR" is the biggest driver of Technology and Science.
(its crazy how much people like to kill people) :screwy:

jeric_synergy
10-25-2013, 11:27 AM
I hope my post didn't give the idea that I thought that James Cameron invented the facial capture used in Avatar out of whole cloth. BUT he was the guy who actually pushed hard enough to make it work, when others (Zemeckis) had failed to see the limitations of their approach. And Zemeckis is a clever guy too-- so why didn't he figure it out?

That's more my point. Every damn year they come out with a slight, really, a TINY improvement to C-stands. That's old damn technology, and simple too. Every incremental improvement seems ludicrously obvious in retrospect (well, hexagonal holes in the clamp is actually quite clever.) But nobody seems to be able to come up with them all at once.

Cameron caused to be cobbled together a system that nobody else had pushed hard enough to get working. For that he gets credit-- sort of having a "keen sense of the obvious", which is quite rare.

Lucas deserves the same sort of credit: for having a vision, and pushing hard enough to make it happen. Maybe people are forgetting what a revelation "Star Wars" was at the time. He may not be a great editor or director, but he sure can put together a shot. And if his vision is what got the Dystraflex built, that's quite an accomplishment.

(Frankly, I wish a NEW spaceship paradigm would get established-- I'm sick of SW-esque spaceships.)

hazmat777
10-25-2013, 12:11 PM
I remember here in Seattle when Close Encounters and Star Wars were being played in theaters across the street from each other. The people in one ticket line would just stare over at the other because they were tired of talking and looking at the pavement.

That's beside the point (sorry about that flashback). I saw an interview with the guy who was in charge of getting the 3D cameras to work the way Cameron demanded. Man, that was scarey. He said with the most pale look on his face and a monotone voice that, "If you are working for Cameron, you better know EXACTLY what you are talking about." The way he said it was....intense.