- "Coming soon to a theater not too far, far away from you."
The People vs. George Lucas is a documentary fan film by Exhibit A Pictures released as a Spotlight Premiere at the South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, in March 2010. Claimed as "the first truly democratic feature film in history", it gives millions of opinionated Star Wars supporters and detractors the opportunity to speak up about the Star Wars franchise and its creator, George Lucas.
The fans are the primary control of the film, telling George what they love and hate about Star Wars, including what it means to them, what they wish had been handled differently, and what their hopes for the future might be. Overall the film hopes to achieve a common celebration of the saga. In an e-mail interview with Wired.com, director Alexandre O. Philippe noted that "our film is a love letter of sorts, but it's a rather twisted one, as we're looking at George through the prism of his fans."
Participation in the movie was done with fans submitting video of themselves talking about the saga in any format that the fan chose, with which the filmmakers pay tribute to the phenomenon of YouTube. After the submission process was finished, the filmmakers had received over 600 hours of raw footage to complete the documentary, including desired rants but also "puppet skits, 3-D animation and claymation segments, grindhouse-style commercials, children's drawings, vintage 8mm films, fanedits and other treasures." Interviews were also shot with people involved in the franchise in high definition using the Sony CineAlta F900, the same camera system used for Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Some higher profile interviews were done with producer Gary Kurtz, actor David Prowse, Sandman novelist Neil Gaiman, Bond film executive producer Anthony Waye, author and George Lucas biographer Dave Pollock, and former production head of 20th Century Fox Sandy Lieberson.
The filmmakers noted that the title of the film may sound antagonistic; however, it would be only to examine the issues that trouble most Star Wars fans today, including the Special Editions, the prequel trilogy, Jar Jar Binks, midi-chlorians, and casting choices for Anakin Skywalker. Fans that strongly support Lucas were looked at, with equal time for both sides. Even Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull was a source of debate regarding Lucas's later material.
The idea of a Lucas documentary was first proposed to Philippe by his Director of Photography Robert Muratore, after being disappointed by the Prequel trilogy. Muratore was a self-admitted fanboy since he was eight years old, and upon hearing of Muratore's passion for the originals, Philippe became highly enthused at the idea.
The announcement of a website and a call for fan submissions began in 2007. According to the film's website, they received hits from 48 countries in less than 48 hours of making the official website launch online, including attention by TheForce.Net. Over the last two and a half years of collecting material, producer Vanessa Philippe stated that there were "63,686 frequent flier miles, 634 hours of footage, 14TB of drive space, 126 interviews, 719 fan submissions, thousands of fan emails, and only three death threats."
Attention to the premiere of the film at the SXSW Festival concerned the filmmakers that there might have not been enough room to accommodate everyone. Plans to continue running the film on a worldwide festival run, as well as a wide release, are in the works. Additionally, fan footage that could not be shown in the film is planned to be released on an eventual DVD of the film.
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The People vs. George Lucas Is Really a Twisted Love Letter
- ↑ South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival
- ↑ http://sxsw.com/film/screenings/films
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 http://www.peoplevsgeorge.com
- ↑ Fans get a chance to vent in Denver director's film
- ↑ New York Post: Force or Farce?
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 'The People vs. George Lucas' Showcases 'Star Wars' Geekery, Explores Fan Rift