Tuesday, October 05, 2010
One of the Bay Area's most successful artists: moviemaker George Lucas of Star Wars and Indiana Jones fame
He is best known for being the creator of the science fiction franchise Star Wars and joint creator of the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones. Today, Lucas is one of the American film industry's most financially successful independent directors/producers, with an estimated net worth of $3.25 billion as of 2010.
He attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. USC was one of the earliest universities to have a school devoted to motion picture film.
On a return-on-investment basis, Star Wars proved to be one of the most successful films of all time. During the filming of Star Wars, Lucas waived his up-front fee as director and negotiated to own the licensing rights (for novelizations, T-shirts, toys, etc.)—rights which the studio thought were nearly worthless. This decision earned him hundreds of millions of dollars, as he was able to directly profit from all the licensed games, toys, and collectibles created for the franchise. This accumulated capital enabled him to finance the sequel without groveling to the "suits."
His far-sighted decision to establish his own effects company to make the original Star Wars film has reaped enormous benefits; the award-winning Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) is acknowledged one of the world leaders in the field and has created groundbreaking special effects for many other box office hits.
Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic, the sound and visual effects subdivisions of Lucasfilm, respectively, have become among the most respected firms in their fields. Lucasfilm Games, later renamed LucasArts, is well respected in the gaming industry.
He lives in Marin County, north of San Francisco.