4 items from 2017
May the 40th Be With You: 25 Stellar Facts to Celebrate 40 Years of Star WarsMay the 40th Be With You: 25 Stellar Facts to Celebrate 40 Years of Star WarsKurt Anthony5/25/2017 9:30:00 Am
A long time ago in a decade far, far away…
Star Wars blasted into theatres! Later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, George Lucas’s epic space opera was released on May 25, 1977 and has since become one of the most successful media franchises in the galaxy.
Originally set to a budget of $8M (later increased to $11M), Star Wars was met with lightspeed success. Nominated for ten Academy Awards, the film’s groundbreaking, out-of-this-world special effects and production design helped to make the sci-fi fantasy a universal phenomenon. A New Hope has since earned over $775M worldwide, proving the Force is still strong with this one.
Strap yourselves in and make the jump to hyperspace with »
- Kurt Anthony
On March 24, 1976, Variety reported that George Lucas had begun filming “Star Wars,” an $8 million film for Fox, in Tunisia. Alec Guinness would play “a bearded old desert rat who was once a leading general in galactic wars.” The article continued that the three younger leads hadn’t yet been revealed, but a few weeks later, Mark Hamill was announced as Luke Starkiller — yes, that was his name then — in “the outer-space comedy-adventure.”
After the movie’s May 25, 1977, opening, our front page proclaimed “Star Wars Best Start Since Jaws,” citing the nearly $2.6 million at 43 locations (an average of almost $60,000 per theater). On June 10, Variety reported “The direct cost of the film was about $10 million. Fox has 60% of the profits, Lucas 40% (from which he dealt out points to others). Break-even is estimated in the neighborhood of $22 million-$25 million.”
In 2017, it’s shocking to think anyone even speculated about whether “Star Wars” would break even. »
- Tim Gray
Ben Burtt isn’t one of the names people most associate with the making of Star Wars, but his groundbreaking work provided the films with one of their most defining aspects: unique and memorable sounds. The latest video essay from Kristian Williams, who goes by KaptainKristian on YouTube, delves into Burtt’s process for creating some of the series’ iconic effects, while doing a great job of emphasizing just how important those noises were to making Star Wars feel like a living, defined universe.
As Kristian points out, the impact that sound has is easy to overlook. Often, it’s meant to exist alongside a film’s visuals, complimenting them with contextual sounds and bringing a scene to life. But when it comes to something as thoroughly fantastical as Star Wars, we don’t have a natural context for what we’re seeing should sound like, so Burtt had to »
- Matt Gerardi
Several of this year’s sound contenders explored battles and other action in a retro fashion very different from the usual superhero mayhem. They include the World War II arenas of “Hacksaw Ridge” and “Allied,” as well as the grittier “Star Wars” battles in “Rogue One”; the terrorist bombing of “Patriots Day”; the miracle on the Hudson in “Sully”; and the unique Indian presence of “The Jungle Book.”
To comply with director Gareth Edwards’ desire for a grittier “Star Wars” movie, sound editors Matthew Wood and Christopher Scarabosio created a new kind of soundscape. “We tried to make it more war-like than a classic ‘Star Wars’ battle,” Scarabosio told IndieWire. “Obviously there are lasers but we were going for impacts that were more realistic, more like you would hear when a bullet hits a tree or some kind of container, and of sand kicking up. »
- Bill Desowitz
4 items from 2017
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