All right, George Lucas fans, critics, and curious bystanders, this is it! September 30th is our official cut-off date for submissions, so if you’re still working on your skits, rants or animated shorts, consider this a friendly reminder that, well, our deadline is coming up. If you’re crafting a grand opus of Wagnerian proportions and need a little more time to get the job done, don’t worry… we’d be glad to extend the deadline for you. But for all intents and purposes, we’re now going to town on our edit (read: no sleep in the next four months); and while there’s always room for great additional material, late submissions may not get the attention they deserve. So if you need more time, send me an email, and let me know when your footage has been shipped. Our goal is to have a locked cut by mid-January. Add another 6 weeks or so for the sound mix, and we’re looking at a projected completion date of March 1st, 2010. It’s an aggressive schedule, considering our plan to continue shooting through December; but we believe it can be done.
I’m writing this from Baltimore, where we’re staying for the next few days. We went to Philadelphia yesterday to interview Jay Sylvester, who launched his Original Trilogy Website several years ago, and managed to collect 78,000 signatures for his petition to Lucasfilm to restore and release what’s now sadly known as the OOT (original original trilogy). Great guy. Fellow Pioneer KURO fan. True film buff. Cares about film preservation. He told us there’s another petition in the works for the upcoming (don’t hold your breath) Blu-Ray release of STAR WARS. It’s often said that for every person who signs a petition, there’s at least another hundred who feel the same way. That’s a lot of disgruntled SW fans!
Back in Denver, our 2nd Unit crew, led by the illustrious Kerry Roy, is preparing for an interview with famed film theorist and author Kristin Thompson. As a follow-up to our intense and enlightening chats with cultural experts Henry Jenkins, Daryl Frazetti, Angela Ndalianis and Matthew J. Smith (who arranged for another crew to film him in Ohio), Kerry will focus on fandom and the cultural impact of the STAR WARS franchise. I wish I could be there.
In the meantime, cinematographer Ralph Meastas is ready to go to Antarctica, where he’ll be shooting a George Lucas debate at the McMurdo Station. If you’ve seen THE THING (and I’m talking about John Carpenter’s superlative remake), you can probably picture a handful of scientists on the icefield, geeking out about George; but you’ll need to get that creepy Ennio Morricone score out of your head. I’m hoping for penguins, lots of penguins!
Future blog entries will likely slow down through January, and that’s because I have to dedicate all my energy to the film until we get the job done. The next update will likely be from Sapporo, where I’ll be introducing three of our films to Japanese audiences in mid-October, eating tons of sushi, and hoping to find those elusive Darth Vader Takara figures at a reasonable price. Yes, I still have the bug..!