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Additional second unit Tatooine desert material was photographed in Death Valley and Yavin Jungle material was photographed in the Mayan ruins of Tikal National Park, Guatemala.
Noted composer John Williams spent a year preparing his ideas for the score. During March, 1977, he conducted the 87-piece London Symphony Orchestra in a series of 14 sessions in order to record the 90 minutes of original music.
Original sound effects for the galactic languages, vehicles, robots and weapons were collected and created by Ben Burtt. The final elaborate stereo soundtrack was mixed at the Samuel Goldwyn Studios, using the Dolby system of noise reduction for the ultimate motion picture high fidelity in the theater.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER...
During the last few years, there has emerged within the motion picture industry, a whole new generation of talented filmmakers. These young directors were brought up on motion pictures and television. They extended their childhood passions for the film medium by attending film schools. They studied theory, explored the technical demands of motion pictures by making their own short films, and endlessly viewed past works in an endeavor to rediscover those visual and narrative elements that made movie-going a weekly habit around the world. Their own work has exhibited a sense of craft, intelligence, youthful enthusiasm and a willing capacity to entertain audiences.
In the forefront of this new generation of filmmakers is 33-year-old George Lucas, who directed and co-wrote the enormously successful and critically acclaimed American Graffiti. It was hailed as the quintessential movie about American teenage life and rituals when it was released in 1973. In direct contrast to that subject matter, Lucas has now written and directed Star Wars, an action-filled space fantasy.
George Lucas attended the University of Southern California Film School, where he quickly turned out eight films. He subsequently became a teaching assistant at USC for a class training U.S. Navy cameramen. With half the class assisting him, he made a science-fiction short entitled THX 1138: 4EB. The film won top honors at the Third National Student Film Festival in 1967-68 and many other awards.
In 1967, Lucas was one of four students selected to make short films about the making of Carl Foreman's McKenna's Gold. Lucas' short was Foreman's favorite, although it told more about the mysteries of the desert than about Foreman's film. He then won a scholarship to Warner Bros. to observe the making of Finian's Rainbow under the direction of Francis Ford Coppola. While working as Coppola's assistant on The Rain People, he made a forty-minute documentary about the making of the movie entitled Filmmaker, which has been recognized as one of the best films on moviemaking.
George Lucas' first professional feature motion picture was THX-1138, which was an expanded version of his prize-winning student film. Francis Ford Coppola acted as executive producer on the film. Starring Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasence, THX-1138 was enthusiastically received by critics when it was first released and has since become a cult favorite among audiences.
In 1973, Lucas co-wrote, with Gloria Katz, and Willard Huyck, and directed American Graffiti. Gary Kurtz and Francis Ford Coppola co-produced. The movie was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. It won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion PictureComedy, and both the New York Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Screenplay.
George Lucas was born on May 14, 1944. The son of a retail merchant, he was raised on a walnut ranch in Modesto, California. His two passions as a teenager were cars and art. Determined to become a champion race car driver, he worked at rebuilding cars at a foreign car garage. He also worked in pit crews at races throughout the country. Following a serious automobile accident a few weeks before his high school graduation, he gave up any hopes of becoming a race car driver.
He attended Modesto Junior College for two years and majored in social sciences. By chance he met cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who encouraged him to study filmmaking and helped pave the way for his admittance to the University of Southern California Film School.
George Lucas met his wife, Marcia, when she was hired to assist him on editing a documentary under the supervision of Verna Fields. They live in San Anselmo, California. Marcia Lucas was one of the editors on Star Wars and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Editing with Verna Fields for American Graffiti. She has also edited Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and Taxi Driver.