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Article: George Lucas Calls Out Fan-Editors In New York Times Article

geminigod

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Fanedit said:
He doesn't seem to really show much in the way of resentment toward the fan editors and may just be looking for the same respect.

Unfortunately this is not at all the case. Listen to the commentary on The Phantom Edit and Attack of the Phantom (which is still my favorite edit of SW2, btw).
 

L8wrtr

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Fanedit said:
Hah, good luck with that argument in court. The judge might get as good a laugh out of this statement as I did:D

Actually, that argument would get you further in a court of law that you might think, at least with regards to Lucas' movies because Lucas made that EXACT argument before Congress in the late 80's in an attempt to ban Turner from colorizing films.

"A copyright is held in trust by its owner until it ultimately reverts to public domain. American works of art belong to the American public; they are part of our cultural history.... The public’s interest is ultimately dominant over all other interests. And the proof of that is that even a copyright law only permits the creators and their estate a limited amount of time to enjoy the economic fruits of that work....Attention should be paid to this question of our soul, and not simply to accounting procedures. Attention should be paid to the interest of those who are yet unborn, who should be able to see this generation as it saw itself, and the past generation as it saw itself." - George Lucas


I read the entire article and it's very interesting, and really, I have absolutely no problem with Lucas tinkering with them, re-releasing them and re-re-releasing them to his hearts content. More than most filmmakers he truly owns his movies in that regard. But as Frink and others have noted, all we want are the originals. I think the 'fanboy furor' would be almost entirely gone, and in fact, all the love for Lucas would have remained had he only done the smart move and made high quality restorations of the original theatrical versions available, and in Lucas' own words, films belong to the public who consumed them, they are a historical reflection upon a time and place which is unique. Current day Lucas may think Han shooting first was bad, but 1976 Lucas thought it was good. 1983 Lucas thought Mola Ram ripping his hand into a chest and ripping out a man's heart was a good idea, and so the record should reflect.
 

geminigod

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Amen L8wrtr. Well spoken. Unfortunately those great words are irrelevant in modern times. Our modern corrupt government has destroyed copyright law and the notion of public domain. We can thank Hollywood lobbying for that one. Yet another example of the death of American political parties and the rise of corporate affiliated interests. But I digress... almost.... make sure you look something up on Wikipedia today, 1/18/2012 (not from a mobile device). Yeah for Wikipedia! Woot Woot! :? :)

What I read between the lines in that very interesting biopic article & interview is confirmation of two things I have long believed to be true about Lucas.

1) He is an ambitious, stubborn, naive visionary with a knack for the big picture details.

2) Even genius writer and director artists need a good editor whom they can listen to no matter how hard it might be to hear what they have to say. For Lucas it is not just hard. It is almost impossible. These parts of his personality that have greatly contributed to his success as a businessman make it impossible for him to hear an editor, or even sometimes his own director and/or friend. He is incapable of letting go of what is in his head. To this end I do sympathize somewhat with Lucas. I struggle with my own challenges regarding this. It is a concept that can only be fully understood after one tries their own hand at making art for an audience. There is a reason why every great writer at some point gets quoted talking about how the parts they thought were the best while writing are usually the first to get cut when editing. On the other hand, some criticism is more reflective of the critics' own inability to see the bigger picture than it is of a problem with the art itself. How does an artist discern which is which? [shrug] Objectivity in personal art is a near impossible challenge even for genius artists such as Steven Spielberg. Lucas is no genius artist.

We should throw Lucas a retirement party...
 

L8wrtr

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I completely agree Gemini. I've heaped a lot of criticism at George's choices regarding the PT, more than my fair share, but I'm likewise of the opinion that his greatest strengths are also his weaknesses, and have simultaneously driven his successes and failures. While I sympathize with his position against the studios, to some degree we do owe Star Wars ANH to 20th Century Fox and Alan Ladd Junior. Lucas was absolutely the creative genius and force behind SW, at the end of the day he had to answer to the Studio. He had to deliver daily's and he had to demonstrate a coherent, commercial movie. Also he was still under the tutelage of Coppola who pushed him to not settle in his writing. Francis was one of the few who was ever in a place to look at George and say, "No, it's not good enough" and that George would listen and go back at it. Kurtz also filled that role to a degree, but by the time ESB was complete, George was his own man and owed nobody anything. He'd won his personal ambition which was to be able to tell all the Studios to go F themselves. As terrible, ignorant, blind and myopic as the Studios can be, they do also still serve a purpose from time to time.

I think freed of the responsibility of writing and directing SW, and of having to deliver on a property ingrained in social conciousness for over 20 years (both Indy and Star Wars) the way he went about Red Tails is how he should have been making films all a long. Be the creative force behind it. Keep his eye on the big picture. I actually have some faith that Red Tails will be good, and I'm rooting for Lucas to have a success to go out on.
 

geminigod

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L8wrtr said:
I think freed of the responsibility of writing and directing SW, and of having to deliver on a property ingrained in social conciousness for over 20 years (both Indy and Star Wars) the way he went about Red Tails is how he should have been making films all a long. Be the creative force behind it. Keep his eye on the big picture. I actually have some faith that Red Tails will be good, and I'm rooting for Lucas to have a success to go out on.

I hope Red Tails is good too, though the description of the process of making that film honestly sound more like par for the course with Lucas. At least he got an outside director, but it doesn't sound like the director had any involvement in the post-production process. Due to all the rejection he received with his first cut of the movie and the pressures of having to finance the movie himself, he then went back to the drawing board and sought some 3rd party council. Thanks to this, I agree there is a chance the movie might be good.
 

nightstalkerpoet

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I'm right there with you both...

My one argument is that by bringing old films to a high resolution home media format, you deny new generations a true chance at "a historical reflection upon a time and place which is unique." These films, when they were released, were shown on lower-quality projectors and viewed in-home on VHS tapes. Showing anything beyond that also, in a way, violates that statement. I'm all for dragging out the vcr... it's amazing how many elementary school kids don't know what those are...
 

Fanedit

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nightstalkerpoet said:
My one argument is that by bringing old films to a high resolution home media format, you deny new generations a true chance at "a historical reflection upon a time and place which is unique."

Yah, i suppose it is almost impossible to completely capture an exact historical reflection. I forget what the issue was with the theatrical versions released a few years ago. Was it that they were copied direct from the film stock without upgrading the image quality?

As to the copyright issue, I think GeminiGod hit the nail right on the head that the copyright protection for all versions of these films will remain absolute. Conde Nast publications still retains copyright protection for stories of Doc Savage and The Shadow that were written in the '30s and '40s.

Copyright concerns have obviously become an important issue in this digital age, with piracy threatening profits. I can see both sides of the argument. Nobody wants their artwork to be stolen or acquired for free. The arts (especially film) are just as much a for profit industry as anything else and the artists definitely deserve some protection.
 

geminigod

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I think that copyright should die with its creators. When the creators die, the creation reverts to public domain. This is a hopelessly romantic notion though, especially in a nation that legally views corporations as people.
 

Dwight Fry

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nightstalkerpoet said:
My one argument is that by bringing old films to a high resolution home media format, you deny new generations a true chance at "a historical reflection upon a time and place which is unique." These films, when they were released, were shown on lower-quality projectors and viewed in-home on VHS tapes. Showing anything beyond that also, in a way, violates that statement. I'm all for dragging out the vcr... it's amazing how many elementary school kids don't know what those are...


Up to this day, no home video format, not even Blu-Ray, has matched the quality, definition, and resolution of a 35mm theatrical print. Those of you guys who watched the movies on the big screen back in 1977, 1980, and/or 1983, watched a vastly higher quality print than that CGI-crapped, negation-filled boxset has to offer. So the way to properly see them, the real ones, is as higher quality as possible. Unless you want to recreate the experience of battered rental pan&scan VHS tapes...
 

Ripplin

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This just reminds me of how LFL gave faneditors their blessing long ago, especially as pertains to content on YouTube. They've even held contests themselves. I know they did go after someone once, though. (who was it again?)
 

Rogue-theX

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Davytod, clones revealed, i think
 

TV's Frink

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I think it was daveytod. Apparently they thought his doc was just a rip of AOTC.

EDIT: Dammit Rogue, don't make me lock this thread! ;)
 

Ripplin

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Ah yes. Poor daveytod. What did they do, see 30 seconds of it, stop watching, then sic lawyers on him? At least it didn't develop into something more, and daveytod has also done many more edits besides that one.
 
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