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"..secret to the future is quantity," Lucas said

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Lucas talks crap in Variety. Would sell his dead cat for $5.

A cut and paste of the article follows.

George Lucas has a message for studios that are cutting their slates and shifting toward big-budget tentpoles and franchises: You’ve got it all wrong.

The creator of “Star Wars,” which stamped the template for the franchise-tentpole film, says many small films and Web distribution are the future.

And in case anyone doubts he means it, Lucasfilm is getting out of the movie biz.

"We don’t want to make movies. We’re about to get into television. As far as Lucasfilm is concerned, we’ve moved away from the feature film thing because it’s too expensive and it’s too risky.

“I think the secret to the future is quantity,” Lucas said.

He spoke to Daily Variety after the groundbreaking ceremony for the renamed School of Cinematic Arts at USC.

He gave $175 million – $100 million toward the endowment, $75 million for buildings – to his alma mater. But he said that kind of money is too much to put into a film.

Spending $100 million on production costs and another $100 million on P&A makes no sense, he said.

"For that same $200 million, I can make 50-60 two-hour movies. That’s 120 hours as opposed to two hours. In the future market, that’s where it’s going to land, because it’s going to be all pay-per-view and downloadable.

“You’ve got to really have a brand. You’ve got to have a site that has enough material on it to attract people.”

He said he’s even discussed the subject with Pixar’s Steve Jobs and John Lasseter.

“If you don’t do very many movies, and you’re really lucky, and you really know what you’re doing, you can get away with it. But you know at some point you’re going to lose a game.”

Lucas said he believes Americans are abandoning the moviegoing habit for good.

“I don’t think anything’s going to be a habit anymore. I think people are going to be drawn to a certain medium in their leisure time and they’re going to do it because there is a desire to do it at that particular moment in time. Everything is going to be a matter of choice. I think that’s going to be a huge revolution in the industry.”

That doesn’t mean Lucasfilm is diving into online distribution, though. “Having had a lot of experience in this area, we’re not rushing in,” he said. “We’re trying to find out exactly where the monetization is coming from. We’re not interested in jumping down a rat hole until such time as it finally figures itself out.”

Nor is Lucasfilm’s exit from features instant or absolute. “Indiana Jones 4” is still in development. “Steve (Spielberg) and I are still working away, trying to come up with something we’re happy with. Hopefully, in a short time, we will come to an agreement. Or something,” Lucas said, without a great deal of enthusiasm.

Lucasfilm also is working on “Red Tails,” a film about the Tuskegee airmen of WWII.

“I’ve been working on that for about 15 years,” he said, adding that he’s also been working on “Indy 4” for 15 years.

And Lucas Animation does plan to start making feature films – eventually.

“Right now we’re doing television, which looks great. I’m very, very happy with it,” he said of his toon division. “And out of doing the animation, we’re getting the skill set and the people and putting the studio in place so we can do a feature. But it’s probably going to be another year before we have the people and the systems in place to do a feature film.”

Lucas admitted the big-budget strategy has done well for him in the past, but said, “We’re not going to do the $200 million investments.”

He calls himself “semi-retired” but reiterated his plans to direct “small movies, esoteric in nature,” after his other projects are launched. He expects to serve as exec producer on the two features and the TV shows, including a live-action “Star Wars” skein.

At the USC groundbreaking, Lucas was honored amid cannon shots of confetti and fanfares from the USC Marching Band for his gift, the largest in the school’s history.

Other bizzers in attendance included Lucas pals Robert Zemeckis and Spielberg.

Lucas said the gift is intended to set an example for the rest of the entertainment industry, as well as other universities.

“In a lot of industries, the people in the industry give a lot of money to the schools that produce the people who are their employees,” he said, pointing to the auto industry as an example. "The film industry doesn’t seem to be too enthusiastic about that idea. I’d love to see the industry do more.

"As self-interest, it’s good to have the best trained people working for you. And the best trained people come from film school.

“The world of moving images hasn’t had a lot of respect (in academia),” said Lucas. “But it’s the major form of communication in the 21st century.”

This $175 million, he said, is meant to “put other universities on notice that this is an important discipline that needs to be fostered.”

 

Mod Edit: a working link to the above ‘Lucas tilts at studio tentpoles’ article can be found here:-

https://web.archive.org/web/20120805150339/http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117951284?refCatId=13

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Talks crap in variety, would sell his dead cat for $5

That's the main thrust of the article you linked?

The man just gave more money to USC than anyone else has in the past, and it equates to him selling his dead cat for $5

On behalf of Lucas

Go sit on it Potsti.
Your focus determines your reality.
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I think you missed the point of the article, Pinky Tuscadero.

I didn't link it for the $175 mill he donated. That is not new news. It's a nice tax deduction.

Whilst some people strive for quality, Lucas strives for quantity. I'm surprised he admits it. That explains the PT just a little more.

He also claims he could make 50 movies for $200 mill? Hahah. That is really funny. He can't make one decent one for $200 mill now. What kind of crap could he make for $4 mill?
Could you imagine sitting thru 120 hours of cheap trash with GL's brand on it? That just sounds cruel to me.

He can't get SS to agree with him on Indy 4? That must be hell for him, not having someone just grab whatever shit he can come up with and hold it up and scream " Behold ! Another Gem from George !! "
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You will see what you choose to see.

He never said anything about quantity over quality, he is talking about how it doesn't make sense anymore to invest as much as studios (and even himself up until this point) do on any single given feature.

It's much better to spend less money on more features, because then you aren't putting all your eggs in one basket.

He is also talking about the trend of downloadable content and it's potential to further marginalize the theater market.

He has a point, people are getting tired of paying top dollar for crappy presentation and candy and popcorn marked up 300-400% or whatever ridiculous percentage it is now (I haven't bought concessions at a theater in years). Why do that when you can just watch it in better quality on your home theater with reasonably priced snacks, and if you want to smoke, it's up to you. If you want to pause while you hit the can, you can do that.

Even with your narrow view of what you think Lucas said, I still don't see how you got "would sell his dead cat for $5".

Say what you want about his movies, but most of them have done extremely well, which would indicate that not everyone thought they were complete crap.

I for one would line up for 120 hours of Lucasfilm goodness.
Your focus determines your reality.
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Yeah, unfortunately Lucasfilm has become the epitome of crappy presentation when it comes to their starwars home video products.

P.S.: You act like it's the cinema's fault when people don't want to see bad movies. High budgets don't necessarily mean high quality.
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His home video releases have -always- set the industry standard for quality.

The only reason he released a non anamorphic bonus feature was because -we- asked him to.

So all of us here can take the credit for soiling his good name. He fought us for a long time on the idea, but then finally relented.

At our request.
Your focus determines your reality.
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No, what I asked for, was the OOT in the best possible presentation quality.
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Yeah well I never heard anyone ask for Anamorphic until we found out it wouldn't be. It certainly wasn't part of the main message contained in this pettition.

I think most people would agree that it's better to get it non anamorphic than to not get it at all.
Your focus determines your reality.
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Anamorphic DVDs are industry standard. No need to remind a company like Lucasfilm of that.
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Originally posted by: Go-Mer-Tonic
He has a point, people are getting tired of paying top dollar for crappy presentation and candy and popcorn marked up 300-400% or whatever ridiculous percentage it is now (I haven't bought concessions at a theater in years). Why do that when you can just watch it in better quality on your home theater with reasonably priced snacks, and if you want to smoke, it's up to you. If you want to pause while you hit the can, you can do that.


If that's the case, then can you explain why Jackass 2 made $20 million dollars during it's opening weekend while every other movie did far worse?

This article really has nothing to do with telling studios they shouldn't make big budget movies anymore. Let me break it down for you.

"Since no one would pay to see anything I make that doesn't have the Star Wars label on it, and I'm not making anymore of those, I'm going to get into TV, where I can make shows with a far smaller budget, but are still just as crappy."

That's about what that article amounts to.

The rest of your statement is spot on, but it's not the quality of the movie that keeps people away (not always anyway). People are willing to pay for crap (see Jackass 2 above). The theater experience isn't going away. Lucas just knows that he won't be able to make money with anything other than Star Wars, so he's going to get out. I say good riddance.
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Originally posted by: Go-Mer-Tonic

The man just gave more money to USC than anyone else has in the past, and it equates to him selling his dead cat for $5

On behalf of Lucas

Go sit on it Potsti.

Right. So much for your talk about accepting that people disagree with you.

I don't agree with everything Lucas says, nor do I think everything he says qualifies as crap. Some of it is interesting and other parts are just exactly the kind of cynical money and biztalk we've unfortunately come to expect from him.

His donation to USC was indeed an admireable gesture, though it bears little relevance to this topic.
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Originally posted by: Go-Mer-Tonic
His home video releases have -always- set the industry standard for quality.

Until now.

Originally posted by: Go-Mer-TonicThe only reason he released a non anamorphic bonus feature was because -we- asked him to.

So all of us here can take the credit for soiling his good name. He fought us for a long time on the idea, but then finally relented.

At our request.


Nobody asked for a non anamorphic transfer. We asked for the OOT on DVD. If we knew we had to be that specific about a DVD release in 2006, I'm sure we would've specified. That still doesn't excuse the crappy picture quality. No, this is another case of Lucas just being lazy. It's not 1993 anymore. Technology moves on (Lucas knows this). It's time for Lucas to do the same.
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I know that it's the industry standard, but at the same time, he isn't willing to spend the kind of money it would take to restore one of his weathered prints, so he instead took the best home video master he had on hand to re-create the original movies. He didn't want to re-release the O-OT AT ALL.

And while many of you didn't want a laserdisc transfer, I remember huge threads over at TFN where people were saying that if Lucas doesn't have any quality prints laying around anymore then the least he could do was give us one of the laserdisc transfers.

Again, I think most of the people who really wanted the O-OT on DVD will agree that this is better than not getting it at all.

Sure it's not the best it could be, but it's better than any previous home video release of the O-OT, including the laserdisc this master was created for in the first place.

Also, when I was talking about "crappy presentation" I wasn't tring to even get into the quality of any given movie in it's own right, merely the crappy presnetation a film based presentation provides. Unless you see it the first time it was unspooled (and usually only theater employees see the first unspooling) it will have dirt, scratches, and image instability.
Your focus determines your reality.
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Well, TV is the best place if you want quantity. Everything Hollywood puts out is crap these days. The best stuff in on the tube, so no news there for me....

I think what needs to be said is that Hollywood is spending this kind of money, yes...but they are spending it on total crap. Are they spending some of that money on talented writers? That's what I wonder. Lucas shows his true colors here a little more by saying that you have to have a brand. That's practically saying outright that he's using Star Wars as just a brand name to make money. This totally kills the PT as legitimate entries into the series. He wasn't interested in finishing the story or any kind of vision. He make something flashy with no substance so he could cash in, plain and simple.

As for his Hollywood comments, like the pot calling the kettle black. Who the hell is he to say anything? He's just as guilty as they are of spending a shitload of money and releasing garbage.

Shut up George...and keep your cat. I wouldn't give you a cent of my money. Hell, I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire. Asshole.
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I personally don't see how maintaining Star Wars as a brand disqualifies the prequels as "art".

If that's the case, it also disqualifies ESB and ROTJ along with it.

Also, he has always been about making filmaking more affordable, he has been talking about the demise of the big budget motion picture for a long time now. He spent most of his money not just making films to turn a profit but to literally push the ablilites of the industry forward.

He has always been about contributing back to his own industry, and everyone else in Hollywood has benefitted from that investment.

Now it's easier than ever for someone to make a film on their own without corporate sponsorship.

That's what he's talking about is taking the "big money" out of film making and return it's focus to artistic intent.
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Originally posted by: Go-Mer-Tonic
He didn't want to re-release the O-OT AT ALL.

Bollocks.

Luca$hFilm wouldn't release anything they didn't want to. Neither would they release anything they weren't damn sure would make money. Luca$hFilm released the OOT on DVD because they knew it would sell well and they will release it many more times for that same reason.
Don't you call me a mindless philosopher...!
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Originally posted by: Go-Mer-Tonic
I know that it's the industry standard, but at the same time, he isn't willing to spend the kind of money it would take to restore one of his weathered prints, so he instead took the best home video master he had on hand to re-create the original movies. He didn't want to re-release the O-OT AT ALL.

Gimme a break. The amount it would cost him to restore one of his prints is nothing compared to the amount of money he'd make on the DVD release. You act like he's barely surviving and that he needs each release just to break even.

Originally posted by: Go-Mer-TonicAgain, I think most of the people who really wanted the O-OT on DVD will agree that this is better than not getting it at all.

No, my bootlegs are better than not getting anything at all. I know a lot of people that didn't pick up this release because they figured "Why bother? I've got a bootleg. There's no reason to pick up this release".

Originally posted by: Go-Mer-TonicSure it's not the best it could be, but it's better than any previous home video release of the O-OT, including the laserdisc this master was created for in the first place.


That's not hard to do though. Most of the home video releases were VHS and even the laserdiscs weren't going to look as good as the master.

Originally posted by: Go-Mer-TonicAlso, when I was talking about "crappy presentation" I wasn't tring to even get into the quality of any given movie in it's own right, merely the crappy presnetation a film based presentation provides. Unless you see it the first time it was unspooled (and usually only theater employees see the first unspooling) it will have dirt, scratches, and image instability.


Unless you see it in a digital theater. Then, it doesn't matter how many times it's been viewed. A crappy movie is still a crappy movie with a digital presentation. The difference is, it doesn't get any crappier with time
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Originally posted by: lordjediA crappy movie is still a crappy movie with a digital presentation. The difference is, it doesn't get any crappier with time

HAHA! It's going to be interesting to see how the PT ages as compared to the OT though. Even from back when I was very young, I was puzzled at how well most of the OT appeared to withstand the tests of time. I doubt the PT will hold up as well after 30 years. Now, that's actually a decent argument for watching those movies in their entirety again at some point, at least if you're somewhat interested in movies for historical reasons!
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I'm not saying it would break Lucas to do it, it's just he doesn't want to. The original versions are discarded rough drafts to him at this point, and the only reason he put this out was because everyone seemed to want it so much.

In the end he did this mainly for people who have soundly rejected anything he's done since ROTJ (some since ESB or even ANH for that matter). I'm sure he doesn't care a whole lot about a group of people who don't seem to give a rat's ass about his opinion of how these movies should be.

What should he buy you flowers and take you out to dinner too?

I wouldn't hold my breath.
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Originally posted by: Go-Mer-Tonic
I'm not saying it would break Lucas to do it, it's just he doesn't want to. The original versions are discarded rough drafts to him at this point, and the only reason he put this out was because everyone seemed to want it so much.


Exactly Gomer. This was a movie that changed cinema. It had an enormous effect on the industry and on a lot of people. Now GL wants to get rid of it because in his mind, it was never really completed. Tell that to everyone that worked on it and to the people whose lives were completely changed by it.

Of course, it took him 20 years to decide it was just a rough draft. Thankfully, not every director treats their original movie like it was just a rough draft (E.T. anyone?).

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You are disciplined but tolerant; a true American.

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The people who worked on that film were employed by Lucas to realize his vision for these films. They produced a ton of stuff that never even made it to the original theatrical version, should they feel slighted by that too?

What about the actress who played Beru in ANH? Her voice wasn't dubbed over in the initial theatrical run, and was later.

What about the people who put together the "man in suit" version of the rancor they never used in the end?

What about Luke's friends on Tatooine that now aren't in the movie at all?

Is it -ever- okay for Lucas to make an executive creative decision? Or does he lose that right only when you have seen his movie?

And Lucas didn't get rid of it, he merely made it better (to him).
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Say what you want about his movies, but most of them have done extremely well, which would indicate that not everyone thought they were complete crap.

Which does not mean that they are good movies. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are bad ones either, but the fact that something makes money does not automatically indicate quality.

I'd trade any number of hours of new Lucasfilm stuff for one high-quality release of the OOT.

His home video releases have -always- set the industry standard for quality.

Not anymore.

The only reason he released a non anamorphic bonus feature was because -we- asked him to.

No. We asked for a DVD release. Not a bonus material release. And there are standards one expects from DVDs.

So all of us here can take the credit for soiling his good name. He fought us for a long time on the idea, but then finally relented. At our request.

He relented because he wanted more money, not because of the fans.

Yeah well I never heard anyone ask for Anamorphic until we found out it wouldn't be. It certainly wasn't part of the main message contained in this pettition.

Well it should have been automatically. That's DVD industry standard. People wanted a DVD release. There are standards for DVD releases.

I think most people would agree that it's better to get it non anamorphic than to not get it at all.

If I haven't eaten for days, I'll eat moldy spam. That doesn't make it good food.

And while many of you didn't want a laserdisc transfer, I remember huge threads over at TFN where people were saying that if Lucas doesn't have any quality prints laying around anymore then the least he could do was give us one of the laserdisc transfers.

This isn't TFN.

I know that it's the industry standard, but at the same time, he isn't willing to spend the kind of money it would take to restore one of his weathered prints, so he instead took the best home video master he had on hand to re-create the original movies. He didn't want to re-release the O-OT AT ALL.

I see. So the millions of artisans and craftsmen who worked on the films, including two other directors, as well as the millions of fans who have made the entire franchise possible because these versions don't mean squat? Terry Gilliam despises the "Love Conquers All Version" of Brazil and James Cameron prefers the extended version of The Abyss, and they both allowed them to be released. Lucas doesn't want to release the OOT becasue he knows that people prefer it.

Also, when I was talking about "crappy presentation" I wasn't tring to even get into the quality of any given movie in it's own right, merely the crappy presnetation a film based presentation provides. Unless you see it the first time it was unspooled (and usually only theater employees see the first unspooling) it will have dirt, scratches, and image instability.


Not if its restored like it should be.

Again, I think most of the people who really wanted the O-OT on DVD will agree that this is better than not getting it at all.


So, what, we should just shut up? No. Yes, it's better than nothing, but its not all that good either. The X0 project will probably look better and that being made by fans who evidently love the films far more than Lucas does.

"Since no one would pay to see anything I make that doesn't have the Star Wars label on it, and I'm not making anymore of those, I'm going to get into TV, where I can make shows with a far smaller budget, but are still just as crappy."


People will buy anyhting with the SW logo, and with T.V. he can put the SW logo on more things.

Luca$hFilm wouldn't release anything they didn't want to. Neither would they release anything they weren't damn sure would make money. Luca$hFilm released the OOT on DVD because they knew it would sell well and they will release it many more times for that same reason.


Exactly. If Lucas really didn't want to release this, he wouldn't have. The end. He did it to make money, not please anyone, least of all the fans.

The original versions are discarded rough drafts to him at this point, and the only reason he put this out was because everyone seemed to want it so much.


No, he put them out to make money. How many people would have bought the 06 release without the OOT? Not many.

In the end he did this mainly for people who have soundly rejected anything he's done since ROTJ (some since ESB or even ANH for that matter). I'm sure he doesn't care a whole lot about a group of people who don't seem to give a rat's ass about his opinion of how these movies should be.


He doesn't care about the opinions of anyone anymore. That's the problem.

What should he buy you flowers and take you out to dinner too?


If he wants. I really don't care. I want the highest quality OOT DVD release possible. Goodbye. The end. After that, I don't care. He can do whatever he wants. More power to him. May he live a long, happy, healthy life.

Exactly Gomer. This was a movie that changed cinema. It had an enormous effect on the industry and on a lot of people. Now GL wants to get rid of it because in his mind, it was never really completed. Tell that to everyone that worked on it and to the people whose lives were completely changed by it.


And let us not forget the millions of people who worked on the film other than him. Oh, and Gary Kurtz, the producer, who is against the changes. And Richard Marquand, who has passed on and is no longer around to ask.
Originally posted by: Go-Mer-Tonic
The people who worked on that film were employed by Lucas to realize his vision for these films. They produced a ton of stuff that never even made it to the original theatrical version, should they feel slighted by that too?

What about the actress who played Beru in ANH? Her voice wasn't dubbed over in the initial theatrical run, and was later.

What about the people who put together the "man in suit" version of the rancor they never used in the end?

What about Luke's friends on Tatooine that now aren't in the movie at all?

Is it -ever- okay for Lucas to make an executive creative decision? Or does he lose that right only when you have seen his movie?

And Lucas didn't get rid of it, he merely made it better (to him).


They knew that their work would not be included in the first place. The OOT was a complete work. All of the work that they did in the service of Lucas's so-called "vision" was to create the films which were ultimately made. 20 years later, suddenly their work doesn't exist to serve Lucas's ego? He made it better. Great. That doesn't mean that he should deny the existance of the OOT. He doesn't lose the right after I've seen the movie. He "loses the right," so to speak, after the films have been released. Director's Cuts are fine. What is the problem is Lucas's continual insistance that the OOT doesn't exist anmore. If the OOT was not a complete product, why did so many people spend money on it over the years?

It's not about art or anything else at this point. It's about get a proper OOT DVD release.

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.”

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

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Originally posted by: Go-Mer-Tonic
He never said anything about quantity over quality....


Oh really?

"I think the secret to the future is quantity," Lucas said.

Sounds like he said something about it to me. It's quite apparent that quality isn't what he's been after for quite a while given his various film projects over the last few decades. Just because you enjoy the prequel films Go-Mer, doesn't mean they are GOOD films. I thoroughly enjoy giant monster movies. While some of them actually do have some great talent behind them (esp. some of the TOHO films from the 50's & 60's) , my enjoyment & rose colored lenses doesn't once cajole me into believing that most of these are QUALITY films. I'm so tired of seeing people defending the prequels and lucas' actions in his more recent film projects as if they are quality, or (dare i eve use the word in reference to them..?) art. They are not. I mildly enjoy TPM & ROTS, but for goodness' sake, they are not art. they are not FILMS. they are cheap hollywood junk. They might be entertaining, but unlike thier forefathers (the original STAR WARS, and ESB) they are not good movies & are certainly not FILMS. Casablanca is a film, the original King Kong is a film, The Seven Samurai is a film, STAR WARS is a film. The PT are not. Whew! Needed to get that out.

Back on topic, this article only solidifies my opinion that Lucas, who i really believe was once a visionary film maker, has become nothing more than a corporate boob. He's interested in nothing but making money. Art? what's that? Quality? who cares!! if we make enough crap, someone will buy it & make us richer!! yaaaayy! To paraphrase a scene in the School of Rock... Mr. Lucas, you are the MAN! & i feel a case of schtickittodemandeitus coming on....
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Originally posted by: canofhumdingers
Originally posted by: Go-Mer-Tonic
He never said anything about quantity over quality....


Oh really?

"I think the secret to the future is quantity," Lucas said.

Sounds like he said something about it to me. It's quite apparent that quality isn't what he's been after for quite a while given his various film projects over the last few decades. Just because you enjoy the prequel films Go-Mer, doesn't mean they are GOOD films. I thoroughly enjoy giant monster movies. While some of them actually do have some great talent behind them (esp. some of the TOHO films from the 50's & 60's) , my enjoyment & rose colored lenses doesn't once cajole me into believing that most of these are QUALITY films. I'm so tired of seeing people defending the prequels and lucas' actions in his more recent film projects as if they are quality, or (dare i eve use the word in reference to them..?) art. They are not. I mildly enjoy TPM & ROTS, but for goodness' sake, they are not art. they are not FILMS. they are cheap hollywood junk. They might be entertaining, but unlike thier forefathers (the original STAR WARS, and ESB) they are not good movies & are certainly not FILMS. Casablanca is a film, the original King Kong is a film, The Seven Samurai is a film, STAR WARS is a film. The PT are not. Whew! Needed to get that out.

Back on topic, this article only solidifies my opinion that Lucas, who i really believe was once a visionary film maker, has become nothing more than a corporate boob. He's interested in nothing but making money. Art? what's that? Quality? who cares!! if we make enough crap, someone will buy it & make us richer!! yaaaayy! To paraphrase a scene in the School of Rock... Mr. Lucas, you are the MAN! & i feel a case of schtickittodemandeitus coming on....


How can we stick it to the man? I don't even want to, but even I did, how? The guy's a multi-billionare.

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.”

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

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Originally posted by: Go-Mer-Tonic

What about the actress who played Beru in ANH? Her voice wasn't dubbed over in the initial theatrical run, and was later.

That's not true- it was dubbed for the 35mm stereo and 70mm prints, I believe. The mono prints had the original voice.