People Vs George Lucas Documentary


A trip down Modesto lane


By Alexandre

A doll's arm like the one we found on the asphalt, steps away from the site of George's fateful 1962 car crash in Modesto. Scholars could spend days discussing the metaphorical implications of our discovery.

A doll's arm like the one we found on the asphalt, steps away from the site of George's fateful 1962 car crash in Modesto. Scholars could spend days discussing the metaphorical implications of our discovery.

I spent the bulk of last week reviewing the footage we shot in California. After Comic-Con and before WorldCon (see my last two blog entries), we drove up to Los Angeles to tie up a few loose ends. We sat down with iconic fan filmmaker Kevin Rubio (TROOPS) and documentarian Dennis Przywara (STARWOIDS), staged a heated debate with the supremely entertaining Nar and Boo Williams (how often do you meet married people whose single-syllable names put together sound like a planet from the STAR WARS universe?), dug deeper into film preservation issues with Anthony Slide (former resident film historian of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences), and picked the encyclopedic brain of pop culture expert Henry Jenkins during his first day at USC (he was still unpacking boxes). We also drove up to South Lake Tahoe to finish the interview we started with Daryl Frazetti in San Diego, took a quick detour through Marin for another interview that I’d rather keep confidential at this stage, and spent a lovely afternoon in Modesto shooting B-roll footage of GL’s childhood home and high school with vintage Bell & Howell and Keystone k-8 8mm cameras (in addition to our trusty Sony EX1, of course). We also visited the subdued and elegant AMERICAN GRAFFITI memorial that was erected on Lucas Plaza a few years ago.

It was a hot day, and we eventually made our way to the site of George’s fateful June 1962 car crash right around magic hour. It took us a while to find the exact location, because the driveway where the accident occurred no longer exists. We filmed primarily abstract, experimental shots of the glistening asphalt; of the street sign’s shadow, which looked like an eerie cross on an old wooden fence. And steps away from the estimated spot where George reportedly met his destiny and subsequently changed the course of history, Robert found a doll’s arm lying there on the road. A strange, compelling image, the metaphorical implications of which we contemplated for a while. When our cameras screeched to let us know that we were out of film, we hit the road back to LA, hungry for more adventures.

Before our trip to Montreal, Luis Lecca and Jason Nicholl of Nuke the Fridge (a site that has been extremely supportive of our efforts) planned an entire day for us at the Frank & Son Collectible Show, where we had the opportunity to ask Howard the Duck himself (Ed Gale) a few questions about Jar Jar Binks. Now, if only we could talk to Ahmed Best and get him to return the favor and share his true feelings about Howard, we’d have one heck of a DVD special feature! An endeavor worth pursuing, to be certain.

We’re now back in Denver–at least for another three weeks. The editing process is moving slowly, but surely. We’re pretty much slammed with new fan submissions and recently discovered footage, but the narrative of our first sequence is starting to take shape, and I’m encouraged by the strength of the emerging discourse resulting from the dynamic between strong, equally convincing and opposing viewpoints. The debate is on, and it’s also giving birth to a number of additional “special projects”, which we fully intend to incorporate into the film throughout the post-production period. There will be a George Lucas poetry slam in the Fall, for instance (we’ll be covering the event with 3 or 4 cameras); and our recent introduction to the world of fan vidding, which spawned many more submissions and interviews, opened yet another can of worms most definitely worth exploring.

I’ll write about fan vidders, fan filmmakers and faneditors in my next blog entry. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and go watch INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS. Best. Damn. Movie. Of. The. Year.

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