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The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Filmby J. W. Rinzler
Synopses & Reviews
More than thirty years ago, filmmaker George Lucas realized a longtime dream, creating a swashbuckling sf saga inspired by vintage Flash Gordon serials, classic American westerns, the epic cinema of Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, and mythological heroes. Its original title: The Star Wars. The rest is history — and how it was made is a story as entertaining and exciting as the movie that has enthralled millions for the past three decades.
Using his unprecedented access to the Lucasfilm Archives and its trove of never-before-published "lost" interviews, photos, production notes, factoids, and anecdotes, Star Wars scholar J. W. Rinzler hurtles readers back in time for an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the nearly decade-long quest of George Lucas and his key collaborators to make the "little" movie that became a phenomenon. For the first time, it's all here:
No matter where you stand in the spectrum of this thirty-year phenomenon, The Making of Star Wars stands as a crucial document — rich in fascination and revelation — of a genuine cinematic and cultural touchstone.
In May, 1977, the release of Star Wars changed movies forever. Now to commemorate the film's 30th anniversary, Rinzler presents the exclusive, official, never-before-in-print story behind the original movie, with a new interview with George Lucas, along with new material from the Lucasfilm archives that has literally been shelved for years.
In 1995, James Cameron began work on a story that would, more than a decade later, evolve into Avatar, the blockbuster of 2009 and no less than the movie event of the decade. Opening to international critical acclaim (including nine Academy Award® nominations) and unprecedented box-office success, Avatar quickly, within a few short weeks, became the highest-grossing film on record. An epic for our times, this next-generation spectacle blends action, adventure, and romance with a timely message of ecological responsibility while using, and inventing, cutting-edge technologies to transport audiences to a lush, fully realized alien world.
No less epic, however, was the groundbreaking and exhaustive process of bringing the film to life. Early brainstorming sessions in Malibu jumpstarted a vast production effort that ultimately spanned several years and multiple continents. The Making of Avatar reveals never-before-seen illustrations and photographs, with a text that charts the technical challenges, innovations, and discoveries that made the film?s breakthroughs possible. Working in tandem, artists and technicians created new tools and processes to realize the film?s vision, including those for performance capture, which allows the nuances of the actors? performances to be translated faithfully to their digital characters; a virtual camera system, which empowered Cameron to direct within a virtual world with unprecedented range, generate real-time composites, and blend live action and special effects more naturally and intuitively than ever before; and stereoscopic photography, which produced the most immersive 3-D experience to date. Here is the behind-the-scenes celebration of this monumental undertaking, the official record of how Cameron, the actors, and the crew made a film, and made history.
About the Author
J. W. Rinzler, executive editor at Lucasfilm Ltd., is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Making of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, as well as The Art of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, The Art and Making of Monster House, and Creating the Worlds of Star Wars, which he co-authored with visual-effects supervisor John Knoll. J. W. Rinzler now lives in Petaluma, California.
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