Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Disney Buys Lucasfilm
It's now been approximately two weeks since the news broke that Disney bought LucasFilm for a little over four billion dollars. Many of the arguments and controversies that exploded on the web after the news broke have died down. After all, George Lucas had the right to sell and Disney had the right to buy. And who among us doesn't wish they created characters and content worth four billion dollars? I think it was a great deal for both sides. Some fans were concerned that Disney will "Disnify" the Star Wars franchise, but in fact Disney has a great record of letting their acquired companies create their own identifiable content. Look how they handle Pixar, for example. Disney got a bargain at $4 billion, because they own not only an iconic franchise that will continue to generate income, but also Industrial Light and Magic, one of the most innovative special effects companies in the business. That will bring in income and provide more expertise for Disney films. George Lucas will still have influence on the Star Wars franchise, but no longer the burden of maintaining the brand by himself. Some collaboration on the Star Wars brand might even improve the quality of the next three movies. Disney's resources will ensure that the Star Wars brand will endure for a long, long, time, even in galaxies far, far, away. For those of us who create content, this deal underscores the value of our work, and the importance of believing in your vision. When Lucas pitched the first Star Wars film, his previous two films were a flop sci fi picture, THX 1138, and a hit teen nostalgia movie, American Grafitti. Studios would have eagerly purchased another film in the American Grafitti (in fact, a sequel was released a couple of years later) but Lucas wanted to make Star Wars. Only one studio head, Alan Ladd, Jr., at Fox, thought Star Wars worth buying. Today of course, we have many more ways to get our content directly to our audience. So keep creating. You never know which idea will turn into the next Star Wars.