What's the most graphic FX sequence in the film?
In one scene, we were asked by George to do a CG rendition of a "creature" that one second has a head then the next second the head explodes. Graphic for a SW pic, but still within the PG-ratings realm we believe.
Are the yellow fighters that we have seen on starwars.com and in the Star Wars Insider Magazine involved in a space battle?
No, the dog fights that these particular craft are involved in are planet based, which means a blue cloudy sky will be the backdrop of the dog fight. We call it the sky battle. It makes the battle on Hoth look very primitive and ancient.
Do R2 and C-3PO have any scenes together?
Not that I'm aware of. Anthony Daniels spent a day performing the voice overs that George will later add to 3PO's scenes.
You mean we don't get to see any playful banter between the two like we saw in the Classic Trilogy?
No. George wanted to do something original for this film and felt that making R2 and 3PO constant companions in this film would be too much like the first three films. George is being extremely creative with this film.
What on earth does C-3PO look like?
We see the primitive beginnings of 3PO. His look is very creative and should elicite many positive responses from the audience when 3PO is first seen on screen.
What can you tell us about Liam Neeson's scenes in the movie?
George wants that to remain a surprise.
How extensive will computer animation be in the film?
Practically every single film frame will be graced with some kind of CG effect. Exotic sets and backgrounds that exist only in the computer will be used. Background characters, ships moving about, those kinds of things, etc. will constantly appear in the film. The vastness of the SFX shots gives the film an epic scope. Synthetic digital creatures will seamlessly interact with the human actors. These digitally-animated characters are 100 times more photo-realistic than the CG Jabba that appears in SW:ANH SE. Remember, we only had $ 10 million for the entire revamp of the special edition of A New Hope so we just didn't have the money to make CG Jabba look as good as we could have. Also, our software is now light-years ahead of what we used for the special editions. We're creating the best eye-candy that has ever appeared in a film.
What's up with the recent Episode 1 reshoots?
With this film, George is utilizing a non-linear production. In the normal linear film production, the script is written, the film is then shot and finally the film is edited. With a non-linear production, George is literally doing all three of these functions simultaneously. George has been making rough edits of the film since he wrapped up live-action filming last year. As he watches what has been filmed, there are certain scenes that George says: "That's not exactly what I was hoping for," or "I just thought of a better way to do that cut," or "Let's try something different." So he's been writing new dialogue and a few new scenes. He keeps re-editing the rough cuts of the film to make this film as perfect as possible.
What makes non-linear film making so great is that the director can go back and change scenes way after the first live-action filming has been completed. In the normal film production, you can't do this because all the actors have gone on to other projects and are unavailable. George planned these reshoots many months in advance so that the actors would be available for the changes that George knew he was going to make. He didn't know what changes were going to be necessary until he started putting the film together in the various rough cuts. George has stated that there is always something that you wish you would have done different when you were filming the scenes the first time. Hindsight is always twenty-twenty. Fortunately, George has the unique luxury of going back and changing certain aspects that he is not completely satisfied with. George is the ultimate perfectionist.
Once he sees all the footage. He then has the chance to decide what scenes and dialogue need to be changed in order to capture his vision. This is what makes the film so malleable and fluid. The film has been in constant fluctuation during each successive edit that George had made. The final form that this film will take is still months away.
Have alleged leaks on the internet had any impact on the film?
No. Most of what has been leaked on the 'net is stuff that George didn't feel was significant to the secrecy of the film. Of course, some things did leak that George had hoped to keep confidential, but I can't elaborate on what those things are . . . I don't know if the changes George is making to the film have anything to do with leaks on the 'net.
Does George ever surf the internet for prequel-related information?
No. He doesn't have the time or the inclination to search for that kind of information-- though there are those who will inform him if something "important" about Ep. 1 gets posted on the 'net.
With a film as complex as Ep. 1, how does George keep from accidentally or inadvertantly contradicting the Classic Trilogy and other SW cannon/history?
George has employees, who carefully scrutinize George's evolving script, to make certain that the film does not contradict with "important" Star Wars continuity.
What is "important" Star Wars continuity?
For example, if one of the continuity experts believes that dialogue in Scene X potentially contradicts with something that appears in the novels, they bring this to George's attention. George then makes the call on whether the Star Wars history in the novel is important enough to preserve. George only contradicts primary and secondary sources when absolutely necessary.
What primary and secondary Star Wars sources has George contradicted thus far?
I can't tell you because that is one of the aspects of Ep. 1 that will greatly entertain the fans and have them talking and debating for months after they see the film next May. George jokes that there is "going to be h*ll to pay" for some of the things he is doing in this film. Geroge knows that the hard-core Star Wars fan is very particular and that it is impossible to satisfy the individual tastes of each individual fan. The only person that George knows he can satisfy is himself so the film reflects what he wants to see in a Star Wars film.
Are you guys giving any guided tours of ILM right now?
Yeah, come on down and bring your video camera. George will greet you at the door. LOL.
If I search the dumpsters/trash bins behind ILM, will I find anything interesting (i.e, pages from the script, things used to create creatures or models)?
Any paper documents that leave ILM for disposal are shredded. Any physical parts or pieces that aren't needed for the film are destroyed or are preserved in the archive at the Ranch. You can spend all the time you want in our garbage. LOL.
How many people are currently working on this film?
How is it possible for George to keep you guys from leaking sensitive info to us?
George has the various SFX sequences divided up amongst different teams. Hence, if something sensitive about SFX sequence 12 leaks, then George can trace the leak back to the team that is working on sequence 12.
What kind of punishment would George inflict on the guilty party?
Fortunately, no leaks from ILM have occurred. So George hasn't had to crack any heads . . . yet. LOL.
So then we can expect NO leaks from ILM?
99% of the people working at ILM love George, Episode 1 and their jobs too much to leak any sensitive info to the public. What do I have to gain by spoiling the film for the fans? Nothing. I want you guys to enjoy all my hard work next May.
What can you tell us about the rumored "aquatic" battle that we're suppose to see in the Prequel Trilogy?
That particular rumor got its origin back in the early 1980's. Fans were speculating back then that there would be a "water" battle sequence in Empire or Jedi, but George avoided that particular environment.
Why is that?
Special effects involving water are by far the most difficult to pull off. It is very difficult to make these sequences look real. The technology to do these sequences, without it looking real cheesy, did not exist in the 1980's.
Does that technology exist now?
Yes, we can do whatever we want now for a price. If a full-scale water or amphibious battle sequence is seen in the prequels it will be in either Ep. 2 or 3. It's one of the few environments that George hasn't used yet.
Why was Episode 1 moved up from May 25 to May 21?
It was a tactical (i.e., business) decision. The inner circle here believes that the studios are going to avoid opening any major films against Ep. 1 for at least a couple of weeks. Hence, it made sense to open Ep. 1 a weekend earlier. This way Ep. 1 gets to monopolize the weekend of May 21 and the extremely lucrative Memorial Day Weekend. If Ep. 1 doesn't face any serious competition during its first couple of weeks, then its success is all but guaranteed. Or so the theory goes according to George and his inner circle.
Has George or Rick McCallum talked about why Hollywood is scared to death to compete head-to-head with Ep. 1?
The fear of the new Star Wars movie began with the monstrous box-office success of the theatrical release of the special editions. As you know, the special editions gobbled up $ 250 million in U.S. ticket sales in a matter of weeks. To Hollywood, this is mindboggling. According to the conventional wisdom in Tinsel Town, twenty-year-old movies don't earn that kind of money. Studio execs ponder that if those ancient movies, that had been seen countless times on TV and video, can bring in $ 250 mill then Ep. 1 is likely to earn as much as $ 800 mill. To me that is kind of ridiculous, but since when did the guys that run Hollywood ever make sense?
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