Happy birthday George Lucas!
George Lucas (born May 14, 1944) is an American producer, screenwriter, director, and entrepreneur. He is most known for producing the Star Wars series, but is also known for producing the Indiana Jones series. He founded Lucasfilm Limited. He is one of Hollywood's most profitable filmmakers.
Lucas was born to Dorothy Ellinore Lucas and George Walton Lucas, Sr. in Modesto, California. As a child, Lucas was interested in car-racing, a hobby which would ultimately end in a near fatal car accident just before his high school graduation. He decided to attend community college where he learned and became passionate about cinematography. He transferred to the University of Southern California for film, and produced his first short, Electronic Labyrinth THX-1138:4EB, which won first prize at the 1967-68 National Student Film Festival.
By this time, director Francis Ford Coppola had taken Lucas under his wing, and the two founded the company American Zoetrope. Coppola convinced Warner Bros. to make a feature length version of Lucas' successful short. It was retitled THX-1138 and was a huge flop in 1971. Despite this history, Lucas moved on to his next film, American Graffiti (1973). The film was a huge success, which is notable considering it was made for only $780,000 and earned $50 million at the box office.
His next project was to be a Saturday morning special, but once fleshed out, became the full length feature that is Star Wars (1977).
The film was enormously successful, earning $513 million in its initial release, and followed by The Empire Strike Back (1980)
and The Return of the Jedi(1983).
With his success, he set up state of the art production studios, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound.
He then moved on to produce the Indiana Jones series. Director Steven Spielberg signed on, and the movies turned out to be enormously successful. Although Lucas had signed a deal with Paramount Pictures to produce five Indiana Jones films, after the third, he moved back toward Star Wars. Lucas's first Star Wars films had wowed audiences with their special effects, and now Lucas wanted to do even more with what technology had become during the 22-year hiatus.
In 1999, he released Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace to mixed reviews. All of the Star Wars"prequels" were dealt some critical blows, but Lucas insisted that the films were made for children, not for cult fans.
In 2008, Lucas went back to Indiana Jones and released Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It was a success in the box office.
His latest film, the World War II epic Red Tails, was released in 2012. He has hinted that he is heading toward retirement, so it is possible that his last film will be the final part of the Indiana Jones series.
Outside of film, Lucas has been active in promoting educational causes. He founded the George Lucas Educational Foundation in the early 1990s, which promotes project and team-based learning.
Lucas has one biological daughter and two adopted children.
- Birthday Date: Wednesday, 14 May 2014