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The inside story of George Lucas, his secretive company, and their work to revolutionize filmmaking. In the process they made computer history.


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The inside story of George Lucas, his secretive company, and their work to revolutionize filmmaking. In the process they made computer history.

30 review for Droidmaker: George Lucas and the Digital Revolution

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie Capell

    Fantastically detailed account of how George Lucas (with a little help) changed the film making industry in the 1970's and 80's. I have always known the general outlines of this story, and often said that Lucas' greatest achievement was not creating several of the greatest movies ever, but rather the changes he wrought on the way movies are made. Partly, his achievements are a case of being in the right place at the right time. His development as a film maker coincided with the rise of the person Fantastically detailed account of how George Lucas (with a little help) changed the film making industry in the 1970's and 80's. I have always known the general outlines of this story, and often said that Lucas' greatest achievement was not creating several of the greatest movies ever, but rather the changes he wrought on the way movies are made. Partly, his achievements are a case of being in the right place at the right time. His development as a film maker coincided with the rise of the personal computer; if Lucas had come to film making just a decade earlier or a decade later, our collective experience of films would be markedly different. From the way images and sounds are edited to the technology used by theaters to exhibit movies, and reaching out into the worlds of gaming, medical scanning, and everyday computer apps like Adobe Photoshop, all were fundamentally transformed by the research and development done at LucasFilm. This book is a history of the time period in which Lucas went from being a young film student at the University of Southern California to owning a filmmaking empire. Its author purposely avoided rehashing previous biographies of Lucas. Instead, Rubin conducted interviews with nearly everyone mentioned in the book (including Lucas) and had access to the archives at Skywalker Ranch. Oh, and the author was also an employee of LucasFilm for a time, giving him unparalleled understanding of the internal and external politics involved in the evolution of the company and its products. While Lucas was the driving force behind the innovations, the book focuses on the roles played by dozens of employees at LucasFilm. A few of the names might be known by hard-core Star Wars fans, and others are rock stars in their very specialized industries, but for the most part, these are the stories of everyday people who came together in a very special place that fostered their talents and made it possible for them to innovate on an unprecedented scale. In this sense, the book very much reminded me of Apollo: the Race to the Moon, which barely mentions the astronauts, focusing instead on the work of the technicians, engineers and scientists who made the moonshots possible. To be honest, there were sections (toward the end) that I skimmed because they were heavily detailed accounts of the development of computer games that I have little knowledge of, but I'm sure others, particularly students of computer game programming, would very much enjoy reading about the "stone age" of computer games and how these pioneers continually pushed the envelope of what computers were capable of in their quest to entertain (and make money!). Importantly, this insider view of how computers changed one industry is also a highly readable chronicle of the rise of the personal computer. For those of us who have lived through this revolution, the book is a trip down memory lane alongside the paths of giants. For younger folks who have grown up with a cell phone in their pockets, it's a textbook on how to use technology to achieve your vision and a reminder that we are where we are today because we rest on the shoulders of giants.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This wasn't a bad book - but it wasn't what I was expecting... The book gives a good review of all of the efforts that Lucasfilm spearheaded in Digital Editing, Sound and games. What I was hoping it would have was a lot of the interesting ancecdotes that must have come out of the unique personalities and the R&D environment - and was disappointed that there were very few. If you're interested in a textbook retelling of development of Digitial film and sound editing this is a good book. This wasn't a bad book - but it wasn't what I was expecting... The book gives a good review of all of the efforts that Lucasfilm spearheaded in Digital Editing, Sound and games. What I was hoping it would have was a lot of the interesting ancecdotes that must have come out of the unique personalities and the R&D environment - and was disappointed that there were very few. If you're interested in a textbook retelling of development of Digitial film and sound editing this is a good book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    John

    Creative people will appreciate the pathway of Lucas (and Coppola, to a lesser extent) to moviemaking, which was not a straight line or free of frustration. I was struck by the endless revisions of some scripts. He's human! It didn't come easy! Peeking behind the curtain at his large company was a treat. The tech stuff was almost a secondary character. That is to say, tech is prominent in the book, but there's always a story that the tech happenings are there to tell. I liked it. Creative people will appreciate the pathway of Lucas (and Coppola, to a lesser extent) to moviemaking, which was not a straight line or free of frustration. I was struck by the endless revisions of some scripts. He's human! It didn't come easy! Peeking behind the curtain at his large company was a treat. The tech stuff was almost a secondary character. That is to say, tech is prominent in the book, but there's always a story that the tech happenings are there to tell. I liked it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    What a wonderful, anecdote-packed book this is. A high tech magnum opus concentrating on the minds who created Lucasfilm and eventually Pixar. Michael Rubin, in the words of Alvy Ray Smith, the first head of computer graphics at Lucasfilm, "got it right." A tour-de-force in the history of high tech and its profound influence on the American film industry. What a wonderful, anecdote-packed book this is. A high tech magnum opus concentrating on the minds who created Lucasfilm and eventually Pixar. Michael Rubin, in the words of Alvy Ray Smith, the first head of computer graphics at Lucasfilm, "got it right." A tour-de-force in the history of high tech and its profound influence on the American film industry.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tao

    A well researched history on LucasFilms, esp. the development of EditDroid editing system, the founding of Pixar, etc. If you are a geek enjoys Star Wars and a movie nerd, you gonna love this book. The author gave out the book for free, sweet! Book download link A well researched history on LucasFilms, esp. the development of EditDroid editing system, the founding of Pixar, etc. If you are a geek enjoys Star Wars and a movie nerd, you gonna love this book. The author gave out the book for free, sweet! Book download link

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Harper

    If you are involved with computers, editing, computer games, visual effects, digital video, digital audio, graphics, Photoshop, a fan of Star Wars, and or Pixar, you have to read this book to see where the tools and methods that we use (and too frequently take for granted) today originated and were refined.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sam Hatfield

    Perhaps this is not surprising given my interest in Pixar and everything Lucasfilm, but I loved this book. Filled with interesting information and entertaining anecdotes on not just Lucas, but Pixar, ILM, THX, Lucasarts, and the rise of digital non-linear editing in general. A really great read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Justin Yost

    Decent telling of the history of Lucasfilm as it goes from the start of Star Wars through the mid 1980's, telling the story of how George Lucas created a world that worked to remake the process of film making using digital tools and computers. Decent telling of the history of Lucasfilm as it goes from the start of Star Wars through the mid 1980's, telling the story of how George Lucas created a world that worked to remake the process of film making using digital tools and computers.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Amazing, amazing book. For anyone with an interest in digital filmmaking, this book is like reading Genesis.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Lassetter

    A facinating story of film making and film making technology over the last four decades. For those who like movies and especially those interested in Lucas Films, this is worth reading.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Luke Burrage

    Pretty good.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ron Hill

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jack

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  15. 4 out of 5

    TEELOCK Mithilesh

  16. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Watkins

  17. 5 out of 5

    ReplicantDeckard

  18. 4 out of 5

    Daniël Duwé

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lars Rumpf

  20. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gashbin Khdr

  22. 4 out of 5

    Topherjaynes

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andreas Wacker

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tom Merritt

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nils Thomas

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vivek

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paul Simpson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Thomas Thomas

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