George Lucas: A mini-profile

Biograpy.com is one of the best online sources for biography and general history material. For example:

George Lucas is a writer, producer and director known for his creation of the enormously successful ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ film franchises.
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“A lot of people like to do certain things, but they’re not that good at it. Keep going through the things that you like to do, until you find something that you actually seem to be extremely good at. It can be anything.”

Lucas was born on May 14, 1944, in Modesto, California. He grew up in the suburbs, which inspired his 1973 film American Graffiti. He studied cinematography at the University of Southern California and caught the eye of Francis Ford Coppola, who helped him enter the film business. Lucas is best known for writing and directing Star Wars and creating the Indiana Jones series, as well as founding the Industrial Light & Magic special effects company.

Famed director, writer and producer George Lucas was born George Walton Lucas Jr. on May 14, 1944, in Modesto, California. Lucas’s parents sold retail office supplies and owned a walnut ranch in California. His experiences growing up in the sleepy suburb of Modesto and his early passion for cars and motor racing would eventually serve as inspiration for his Oscar-nominated low-budget phenomenon, American Graffiti (1973).

Before young Lucas became obsessed with the movie camera, he wanted to be a race car driver, but a near fatal accident in his souped-up Fiat just days before his high school graduation quickly changed his mind. Instead, he attended community college and developed a passion for cinematography and camera tricks. Following the advice of a friend, he transferred to the University of Southern California filmmaking school. There, he produced a short futuristic sci-fi film called Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, and garnered a comfortable spot under the wing of Francis Ford Coppola, who took an active interest in unleashing new filmmaking talent. Coppola convinced Warner Brothers to make a feature length version of the film, and although a few critics recognized some philosophical depth behind all the technical wizardry, THX 1138 (re-titled) flopped terribly in its 1971 release.

Although intimidated by the failure of his first film, Lucas went back to work on his next project, American Graffiti. Released in 1973, the film featured such burgeoning young talents as Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford, and was recognized as a stunning portrait of listless American youth in 1962 depicting, in Lucas’s own words, “a warm, secure, uninvolved life.” The film, made for only $780,000, grossed more than $100 million domestically. It earned five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Director for Lucas, and is still considered one of the most successful low budget features ever made.

For the complete coverage of Lucas’ life and career, please click here.

To learn all about each of his films, please click here.

 

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