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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

With Thunderous Applause: How George Lucas' Dream Dies

There was a time when a young George Lucas, frustrated with the monochrome, risk-adverse model of Big Studio Hollywood decided to branch out and do something different.  With substantial risk and a great deal of creativity, he gave the world Lucasfilm.  The money he made from his wickedly successful franchises went into future projects and companies including ILM, Skywalker Sound and LucasArts.
Under George Lucas, every employee who worked on one of his films, down to the janitor, gained something.  They were part of the team.
Fast-forward to now; The Disney Empire has taken over his beloved company.  No doubt they'll deliver some whiz-bang films that will make a lot of money for the studio, but everything else appears to be going out the window, including the ground-breaking Clone Wars cartoon.  Employees are being downsized, risk is being handed off to others and as a result, the innovative, daring spark that breathed life into Lucasfilm is being extinguished.  Or perhaps I should say, "their fire has gone out of the universe."
Naturally, this is all just good business.  Business isn't about innovation - it's about efficiency and control.  If you want innovation, you don't focus on the bottom line, you focus on the value-add, as Lucas has always done.  There's no small amount of irony in how the rise and consumption of Lucas' creative empire mirrors the narrative arc of the Star Wars films.
Innovation is a bit more of an adventure.  It's a dangerous business stepping out your front door; you never know where you'll be swept off to.  Bean-counters are adverse to adventure.  Thank goodness they don't rule the world.  If they did why, there'd be no innovation at all.  They can't win, though - there is always new hope out there, just waiting to be kindled.


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