Has Lucas already shot footage for the live-action show?

George Lucas was on Attack of the Show this evening. He mostly talked about 3-D and 3-D conversion, but also quite a bit on the live-action show.

Where is is? “It sits on the shelf. We have 50 hours and we’re just waiting to figure out a different way of making movies: A different technology we can use that will make it so it’s easy enough to make it feasible to shoot the show.” That’s pretty on line with what he’s said before.

You want a money shot? Here’s a money shot: “Right now it looks like the Star Wars features,” Lucas said. Looks like? Actual footage? Just tests? Effects? And what does that mean for those ’50 hours?’ We’ve assumed, in the past, that they were talking about scripts and concept art and the like, but this puts a whole new spin on things. I’m guessing it’s mostly for test purposes, but still, this puts things much further along than we suspected.

UPDATE 05/27: io9 contacted Lucasfilm about the whole ’50 hours’ thing, and they confirmed he was referring to the scripts. Could there still be test footage? I suppose, but I doubt LFL is going to say and none of us can be sure in any case.

“We have to figure out a way of making it for about a tenth the cost of the features, because it’s television,” Lucas goes on to say. “We’re working towards that… We will get there at some point, but it’s just a very difficult process. Obviously when we do figure this problem out it will dramatically effect a lot of movies.”

10 Replies to “Has Lucas already shot footage for the live-action show?”

  1. Woah, woah, woah! Hold the frakking phone!

    “We’ve got 50 hours?” What on earth is that supposed to mean? I can’t believe that they’d already shoot 50 hours worth of content since he seems to be talking about cutting back quite frequently.

    Now 50 hours of effort put into production? That sounds more spot on.

  2. I’m guessing 50 hours of special effects testing…Can we pull this shot off and have it look like a film without costing like a film? I’m just hoping the final product looks more like the original trilogy, more focus on the characters and less on the scenery.

  3. Hmm. Curious. George’s wording has proven to be slippery in the past, so I’m taking this to refer only to effect tests. I simply can’t imagine anyone, even the secretive as all get-out Lucasfilm (my dad used to work on the Ranch’s Xerox machines years and years ago, and he had to sign an NDA on every visit just to step through the front door), can script, cast, and shoot fifty hours of television without anyone finding out about it.

    No matter what though, we’ve got confirmation that they’re working on it. They’re actually working on it in a tangible way, and at this point in the game that’s almost enough to completely blow my mind.

  4. 50 hours (episodes) written is what he means. I’m 90% sure on that, he said something to that effect at Celebration V.

  5. Yeah, he’s saying they have 50 hours of scripts and they are as sophisticated as the films in terms of sets and special effects sequences. Therefore, until they continue to change the way production flows, they are too expensive to make. The scripts themselves are sitting on the shelves, not film. To understand it that way requires a litter reading of what Lucas just said. However, things shot digitally do not really sit on the shelves. Scripts can though.

  6. He did. And I agree, in all likelihood all he’s talking about is the overall setting, the scripts and – as far as can be told – the pacing.

    What I’d like to know is, where they’re “making progress”. If you look at the technology used on the prequels, much of it came from successful production tests on Young Indy. The money to build Lucasfilm and ILM came from Fox via Star Wars, the money to set up Skywalker Ranch came via Empire. Whenever GL advanced anything he didn’t just pour his money into it to make progress in some theoretical sphere, but had other people give it to him for some project. The actual progress was a side effect of working on something.

    My bet is, that something is The Clone Wars. The visual progress made on the show has been extraordinary, and they’re still on a TV budget. What if the live action series will start post production the very day, TCW reaches live action level on their budget?

  7. Aaron,

    I certainly agree that the production schedule for turning out quality shots on time will be a product of The Clone Wars. However, we have no idea how much revenue the series itself actually turns in. My guess is that the 3D release of The Phantom Menace will give Lucasfilm a stream of revenue to sink into the production of the Live Action Series without having to reconfigure the company around it.

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