26 Little Known Facts About George Lucas.
This article is based on "George Lucas Trivia - IMDB" and "George Lucas: 25 Things You Didn't Know About the 'Star Wars' Guru". If you're interested in reading more, check out the links at the bottom of the article.
2/26 He was so sure A New Hope would flop that instead of attending the premiere he went on a holiday with Steven Spielberg to Hawaii, where they came up with the idea for Raiders of the Lost Ark.
3/26 George Lucas' biggest mentor was Francis Ford Coppola. His first job in Hollywood was as an intern for Coppola's 1968 musical film Finian's Rainbow.
4/26 While filming A New Hope the actors found George Lucas very hard to communicate with because his only directions were "faster" or "more intense". At one point he lost his voice and the crew provided him with a board with just those two phrases written on it.
5/26 Due to the low budget of American Graffiti Lucas was unable to properly pay all of the crew members. He offered them screen credit instead of payment which many of them accepted. In the past only department heads received screen credit but this set the standard for longer credits that detail every crew member.
6/26 After visiting the set of Close Encounters of the Third Kind Lucas was sure that it would outperform his upcoming film A New Hope. Steven Spielberg disagreed and thought Lucas' would be the bigger it. Lucas proposed they trade 2.5% of the profit on each other's films. Spielberg accepted the bet and still received 2.5% of Star Wars profits to this day.
7/26 The Star Wars series originally began as a 200-page screenplay which George Lucas was reluctant to condense so he chose to to concentrate on the first third with the hope of expanding the other thirds at a later date.
8/26 The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a museum featuring Lucas' own collection of art as well as pieces that focus on storytelling, is set to open in Chicago in 2018.
9/26 Lucas was nominated for four Academy Awards but never won any. In 1991 he received the Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy for his consistently high quality of motion picture production. However, he has won 3 Hugo Awards for Raiders of the Lost Ark, Return of the Jedi, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
10/26 Lucas prepared a fourteen-page treatment for A New Hope which was rejected by every major studio because science fiction was hard to market in the 70s. Alan Ladd Jr., the head of 20th Century Fox, was impressed with Lucas' other film American Graffiti though and greenlit the movie with an $8 million budget.
11/26 Lucas said that he only went after big-budget films to enable him to make the kind of small-scale experimental movies he made in film school. The sale of Lucasfilm to Disney was supposed to help him exit the blockbuster business to focus on smaller projects but they have yet to come to fruition.
12/26 George fired his friend and producers of the first two Star Wars movies, Gary Kurtz, before production began on Return of the Jedi because Kurtz disagreed wtih Lucas' idea that audiences only cared about the spectacle of the series.
13/26 Like one of his most popular characters Anakin Skywalker, Lucas dreamed of racing. He raced for most of his high school years until he was involved in a nearly fatal crash and lost interest.
14/26 100,000 feet of film stock containing special effect shots for Return of the Jedi that couldn't be read in an optical printer were accidentally dumped by Lucas himself in an event called "Black Friday". The crew were forced to start again from scratch.
15/26 Lucas missed his high school reunion because he was too busy shooting American Graffiti. How ironic.
16/26 George came up with the name R2-D2 during post-production for American Graffiti. One of the sound crew wanted him to retrieve reel #2 of the second dialogue track which was phrased as, "Could you get R2-D2 for me?" Lucas liked the sound of that and noted it for future use.
17/26 After his graduation from Modesto Junior College Lucas tried to join the Air Force but was turned down because of his speeding tickets. The Army drafted him to fight in Vietnam but he was again rejected because he was diabetic. In the end he enrolled at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
18/26 Production for A New Hope was so ridden with unexpected problems that Lucas fell into poor health. At one point he checked himself into the hospital fearing a heart attack. He was diagnosed with hypertension.
19/26 Despite having both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg attached to the project, every studio in Hollywood initially turned down Raiders of the Lost Ark. Only after much persuasion did they convince Paramount Pictures.
20/26 The sound of General Grievous' coughing in Revenge of the Sith is actually Lucas. He developed a bad cough during production and recorded it for Grievous.
21/26 In Hook, the kissing couple who float when fairy dust lands on them is Carrie Fisher and George Lucas.
22/26 His first major credit as writer was THX 1138 which he has referenced in many of his subsequent films. The license plate of Milner's car in American Graffiti in THX 138, the battle droid who captures Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace is #1138, and Luke Skywalker explains Chewbacca as a "prisoner transfer from cell block 1138" in The Empire Strikes Back.
23/26 Lucas opted to accept a lower salary on A New Hope in exchange for full merchandising rights, an unexpected move considering that toys based on movies had never made major money before. Star Wars was such a cultural phenomenon though that it changed the way movies were merchandized forever.
24/26 He writes every film in longhand on loose leaf binder paper rather than on a computer.
25/26 Three of Lucas' films are considered the 100 Greatest Movies by the American Film Institute: A New Hope, American Graffiti, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
26/26 George Lucas frequently visited the Return of the Jedi set to check up on director Richard Marquand, who was relatively inexperienced with special effects. Marquand commented that it was "like trying to direct King Lear - with Shakespeare in the next room!"
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