a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Talented George Lucas


How George Lucas got into movies
Walter Murch Film-maker
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

One of the other students at film school at that time, at USC [University of Southern California], was George Lucas who was a... I think he had been at school for a year before we arrived, as an undergraduate. So Matthew and I arrived and Caleb Deschanel arrived the following year, the cinematographer, and George... We were graduate students. George had come in as an undergraduate, being suggested by Haskell Wexler that he should go to film school because George had a love of cars and racing and he had... That's what he wanted to do with his life and... but he was in a very bad accident in a car and barely survived, was hospitalised for a long time and emerged thinking, well, I don't think I can do this. But he would hang around fast cars and in one of those meetings or races he happened to meet Haskell Wexler, who also loved fast cars and they bonded. And Haskell asked George the same question that my mother asked me and said, 'What do you want to do?' 'Oh, I don't know. Something blah, blah, blah' and he said, 'Well, you should go to film school' and so George researched film and got interested in it and wound up applying and being accepted at USC. Anyway, George was another one of these pieces of flotsam and jetsam that the baby boom had thrown up, going to film school and he was immediately a star at the film school. I don't know where that talent came from but he had it.

Born in 1943 in New York City, Murch graduated from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema-Television. His career stretches back to 1969 and includes work on Apocalypse Now, The Godfather I, II, and III, American Graffiti, The Conversation, and The English Patient. He has been referred to as 'the most respected film editor and sound designer in modern cinema.' In a career that spans over 40 years, Murch is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Francis Ford Coppola, beginning in 1969 with The Rain People. After working with George Lucas on THX 1138 (1971), which he co-wrote, and American Graffiti (1973), Murch returned to Coppola in 1974 for The Conversation, resulting in his first Academy Award nomination. Murch's pioneering achievements were acknowledged by Coppola in his follow-up film, the 1979 Palme d'Or winner Apocalypse Now, for which Murch was granted, in what is seen as a film-history first, the screen credit 'Sound Designer.' Murch has been nominated for nine Academy Awards and has won three, for best sound on Apocalypse Now (for which he and his collaborators devised the now-standard 5.1 sound format), and achieving an unprecedented double when he won both Best Film Editing and Best Sound for his work on The English Patient. Murch’s contributions to film reconstruction include 2001's Apocalypse Now: Redux and the 1998 re-edit of Orson Welles's Touch of Evil. He is also the director and co-writer of Return to Oz (1985). In 1995, Murch published a book on film editing, In the Blink of an Eye: A Perspective on Film Editing, in which he urges editors to prioritise emotion.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: University of Southern California, George Lucas, Haskell Wexler, Caleb Deschanel

Duration: 1 minute, 59 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2016

Date story went live: 01 March 2017