At the 2012 Global Conference in LA, George Lucas discussed his recent film Red Tails, which illustrates the adversity African Americans faced during WWII. Red Tails is an inspirational tale that showcases how African Americans overcame incredulous obstacles and ended up becoming some of the most successful pilots during WWII.
George Lucas had been persistently working on this project 23 years and comments on the technology used during production. Aerial combat scenes required high-level digital technology methods that were developed at Lucas Films, which included 1400 special effect shots and hours worth of dog fighting. He notes that that it was actually the same technology used in the Star Wars series, but Lucas Films was able to utilize the technology in a much less expensive way and able to produce the movie for a much lower cost.
Lucas acknowledges that the medium will always be limiting for the artist. The special effects shot in Red Tail used to be impossible to generate without digital technology. Lucas believes digital technology allows filmmakers to make historical movies such as Red Tail and create a level of ultimate authenticity. Filmmakers are now utilizing digital technology to a much greater degree than they typically have in the past. However, cheaper and more efficient technology results in large-scale distribution management. Unfortunately, these corporations are often too hung up on the business aspect rather than the creative aspect of film production.
Lucas notes that executive management teams that are ran by huge corporations often hinder creativity. Ivy League business tools applied to movies does not result in the most fortuitous artistic outcome in Lucas’ opinion. He believes that executives do not have a full understanding of creative processes concerning directors, writers, and simply why things are the way they are.
However. Lucas does see the light at the end of the tunnel. He believes that as the process of movies and content distribution move to a much broader base, many smaller companies will be making movies. These smaller companies will be ran by industry professionals that know how to make movies. The democratization of media will allow the most talented filmmakers to distribute high quality content to a much broader audience than previously possible. Although, Hollywood often gets too consumed with crunching numbers before a film is even produced, new generation filmmakers have the ability to continuously expose audiences to their work at no cost.