George Lucas: A Life Making Movies

Posted on March 7, 2012

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George Lucas was born in Modesto, California on May 14, 1944. He grew up in a walnut ranch and attended Modesto Junior College before joining the University of Southern California film school. While a student at USC, he won the 1967-68 National Student Film Festival for his short film Electronic Labyrinth: THX-1138: 4EB.

Following his achievement as a film student, he was offered a scholarship by Warner Brothers to observe how UCLA graduate film director Francis Ford Coppola filmed Finian’s Rainbow. This scholarship led him to work as Coppola’s assistant for the film The Rain People.

In 1969, Lucas and Coppola moved to Northern California and founded American Zoetrope, an independent film production company. Lucas’ full version of the THX:1138 was the first project of the company. In 1971, Lucas opened Lucasfilm Ltd., his own company.

Lucas co-wrote and directed the film American Graffiti in 1973, which eventually won the Golden Globe, the New York Film Critic and the National Society of Film Critic’s awards. The film also had five Academy Awards nominations.

In 1977, Lucas created Star Wars, a film which garnered seven Academy Awards and broke all box office records. The film used cutting-edge technology, and movies were never the same ever since. Lucas went on to write The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Lucas constructed a facility for the creative, technical and administrative functions of his companies. He named it Skywalker Ranch. The facility was completed in 1985 and was named after Luke Skywalker, a character from Star Wars.

Lucasfilm Ltd. has evolved into three separate entities – Lucas Digital Ltd., LucasArts Entertainment Company and The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Lucas Digital Ltd. includes Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound which take care of visual effects, television production and audio post-production. LucasArts Entertainment Company develops and publishes entertainment software. The George Lucas Educational Foundation is a charitable institution organized to realize Lucas’ vision of a technology-enriched educational system.

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Posted in: Entertainment