Wednesday, September 10, 2008

George Wants To Be Like Walt...


It appears that George Lucas wants to turn that little FX shop of his, Industrial Light and Magic from a... errr FX company to an animation company?

Paramount Pictures has gotten Gore Verbinski(the Pirates films) to direct an animated film called "Rango" with Johnny Depp as the main character and a script by John Logan("The Aviator", "Sweeny Todd" and "Gladiator")...

Animation to be provided by ILM. Hmmm...

If "The Clone Wars" is any indication of the quality of animation, I don't think Walt Disney Animation Studios has anything to worry about.

Developing...

10 comments:

Linus said...

ILM has the potential to churn out something that rival Disney but ends up with such shitty stuff.

Capt. Tomorrow said...

On one hand George is like Walt in that he embraces technology (THX sound, digital editing, digital projection, etc.) and is at the forefront of promoting it. But on the other hand George is NOT like Walt in that he just isn't very creative, at least anymore. As in the last several films he's churned out.

Justin said...

ILM did not do the animation on Clone Wars. It was done by Lucasfilm Animation in Singapore. I'm sure ILM will turn out much better quality, as long as they are handed a much higher budget.

Every major VFX house wants to get into producing feature length animated movies. The profit margins on VFX is slim and getting slimmer every day. Since VFX is a contract position they don't share in the profits of the movies they help make. By creating their own film they get to share in the monetary benefits.

so1omon said...

Let us not forget that Pixar started out as a Lucasfilm division.

Anonymous said...

I was just about to say that, so1omon. Lucas had an animation company. He sold it to Steve Jobs because he really didn't see the value in it. The rest, as they say, is history. Twenty years later, he wants one? Why?

Anonymous said...

A couple of points to remember:

Not only was the animation for Clone Wars done by a different company than ILM, but it was also done with the intention of this being a television cartoon. Ultimately they decided to spiff it up a little and release the launch as a "movie", but it's more akin to a Disney Direct-To-DVD cheapquel than to a feature length film.

Also, we don't know what kind of animation they are interested in. They might be interested in producing more adult-oriented animation like is done in Japan (an example released in the US was the Final Fantasy film released some 8 years ago). They might be targeting a VERY different niche than "family films" and thus very different than Pixar.

Brer Dan

Honor Hunter said...

ILM/Lucasfilm Animation...

Same leader.

Same results.

ERA INSIDER said...

Speaking of PIXAR, did any of you see the opening credits of the new Bonnie Hunt talk show? They credited PIXAR for that part of the production...

Justin said...

ILM and Gore Verbinski are both responsible for the Pirates of the Caribbean series. The visuals of Star Wars were stunning if the story was not. ILM was responsible for the visuals, Lucas was responsible for the story.

I would be much more worried if Lucas was producing or directing this movie. Other than the ILM connection there doesn't appear to be any connection with Lucas.

According to the article they also plan to use the motion capture technology used with Davy Jones. ILM used the motion capture data as a basis to layer their animation on top of. I think this is a much better approach than Image Movers trying to use the motion capture data as the "finished" animation.

Kevin S. Willis said...

ILM can easily churn out high quality animation. But the company has lacked, so far, the sort of tight story control and narrative clarity of folks like John Lasseter and Brad Bird, and that's certainly not going to come from Lucas.

There could be hope. Take a look at the prequels in the abstract, and look at the stuff that really works, that really looks great, that really gets you engaged and makes you wish a much better movie was around those highlights. Those are areas where the animators are, essentially, acting as directors (and, even then, not without the fun-deadening influence of Lucas). But some of the best stuff in those movies were clearly the inspiration and the skill of the animators and the supervising animators and folks like John Knoll, rather than Lucas. It is possible that if some of the folks at ILM got a chance to shine creatively without Lucas meddling, some very good stuff could happen.

One difference between Walt and Lucas (at least since the prequels started) is that Walt had a vision, but Walt didn't micromanage his creatives. He had very specific things he wanted, yes, but when Haley Mill's asked him what his job was at the studio, he compared himself to a bee, buzzing around the studio and spreading pollen. He saw himself as an impetus to creativity at his studio, not the soul source or the only creative force. I think Lucas is more of the latter.

It was depressing to find out that some of the best moments in Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back were things that Lucas fought his directors on, and occasionally he even got rid of those scenes in the Special Editions (like Mark Hammil's improvised "I guess you're lucky you don't taste very good" dialog when R2D2 got spat out by the swamp monster on Degoba . . . although, gotta give George props for the names. What a great name for a planet. Tatooine. Mos Eisley. Good with the names. Bad with the dialogue.