PRESS RELEASE: Rick McCallum Officially Confirms His Departure From LucasFilm

Another sign that Disney are taking LucasFilm in a bold new direction here, as a press release issued on the official "Star Wars" website confirms that Rick McCallum (who has played a key role in the past 20 years of Lucasfilm productions) has indeed stepped down from the studio.

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By Josh Wilding - 12/2/2012
As Lucasfilm embarks on a new future filled with more Star Wars movies, Rick McCallum, one of the key talents responsible for the past 20 years of Lucasfilm productions, has embarked on an exciting future filled with his own films. Coming from a background of independent film production, McCallum is readying films that bring him back to his roots, but now with the wealth of experience that comes from his two decades of collaboration with George Lucas.

McCallum's professional association with Lucas began with The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992) and Radioland Murders (1994), and continued through the Special Edition release of the Star Wars Trilogy (1997), the prequel trilogy (Episodes I, II, and III, 1999-2005), and most recently Red Tails (2012).

"It's a producer's job to make possible a director's vision, whatever that may be," says McCallum. "George never let the limits of reality constrain his vision, so the challenge to production was always to find ways to make anything possible, while being respectful to the fact that he was financing his own movies. To do that, we needed to keep that independent filmmaking mentality that requires you to innovate and improvise, while making movies of enormous scale."

"Rick is a close friend as well as an extremely talented producer. No matter how impossible I made the task, Rick was able to overcome the challenges," says George Lucas. "In addition to putting together great crews and working miracles with the budget, he was instrumental in helping push filmmaking into the 21st century. He has a larger-than-life personality and made this amazing 20-year journey with him a fun one."

The partnership between Lucas and McCallum resulted in innovations that continue to shape the industry today. To deliver feature film quality production values on a weekly television schedule, McCallum's crew on Young Indiana Jones blazed new trails in digital postproduction that expanded crowd scenes, modified settings, and seamlessly blended scenes shot in wildly different conditions, all while traveling to over 35 countries around the world on the longest sustained location shoot in film history. These innovations were refined and expanded to create the amazing visual scale of the Star Wars prequels.

"We had hit the limit of production technology, and I needed someone with conviction and passion to help us into the digital realm," says Lucas. "Rick became an evangelist for the endless possibilities digital technology offered filmmakers. Rick and I fought many battles side-by-side, constantly facing nay-sayers who were convinced we could never make the lasting changes in the movie business that we set out to make. I cannot be more proud of what Rick accomplished. We worked with over 60 companies and hundreds of amazing engineers and artists over a 10-year period to bring about overdue changes: now digital cameras routinely capture images, films are released digitally, and the entire production pipeline maintains unprecedented quality by being digital. As I go off to make my own experimental films -- and I hope to be able to collaborate with Rick again on one of these projects -- I wish him the best and look forward to seeing his new films."

Since completing Red Tails, McCallum has relocated to Prague, his wife's native country, and he is now in development of a slate of smaller, independent films that more closely resemble the projects he was involved with prior to his association with Lucasfilm. "I have a Russian film about the Babi Yar Massacre in development that is being directed by Sergei Loznitsa. I am also working with Tomás Masín on a Czech story about two brothers who escaped Czechoslovakia during the Cold War while being chased by 28,000 Soviet soldiers in what is still the largest manhunt in history. I'm also working on a film with David Oyelowo and developing a film with Laurence Bowen about the Boy Soldiers of Sierra Leone."

McCallum looks forward to the new Star Wars films under the stewardship of Kathleen Kennedy. "There's only person in the world who could do this, and that's Kathleen Kennedy," he says. "There's no one more suited who is able to bridge the worlds of elite filmmaking within a studio context. The Star Wars saga will always be taken care of under her leadership. She is truly one of the greatest producers in America as well as being a great friend."

McCallum leaves behind a history of being extremely accessible to Star Wars fans during production, appearing at Celebration conventions, discussing behind-the-scenes developments with Star Wars Insider magazine, and engaging in online chats. During one such chat in 2005, a fan club member asked if there was any chance he could attend the scoring sessions of Episode III, and McCallum immediately invited him to the recording studio the next day.

"Thank you for being so welcoming, supportive, and so good to me," says McCallum to Star Wars fans everywhere. "You all made it the most worthwhile and amazing experience. I have nothing but the biggest faith and trust that where Kathleen is going to take Star Wars will be a bold, exciting, and daring future that will be worthy of all your incredible passion and loyalty for all these years. It will be awesome."


Source: Star Wars
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41 Comments
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NerdyGeek - 12/2/2012, 11:50 AM
One of the great boot-lickers of our time, you will be missed Rick.



"It's so dense, every single image has so many things going on."
DaenerysTargaryen - 12/2/2012, 11:55 AM
Adios. Now the chances of the sequel trilogy being good has tripled
toco89 - 12/2/2012, 12:02 PM
Good luck Mr.McCallum. And those new projects seem really interesting.
Todd0dinson - 12/2/2012, 12:03 PM
McCallum was cool. I bet the prequel trilogy would have been better had Lucas not been such a nut-bar.
themcdougalbugle - 12/2/2012, 12:14 PM
So long rapist #2!
Deadshot - 12/2/2012, 12:16 PM
[frick] you Rick.
Spideyguy94 - 12/2/2012, 12:25 PM
One of the biggest yes men In hollywood
RorMachine - 12/2/2012, 12:29 PM
[frick] you Rick Burman!
MGS - 12/2/2012, 12:31 PM
20 years too late!
SCURVYDOG619 - 12/2/2012, 12:43 PM
This will be a day long remembered...

By the way,Rick,Han shot FIRST..
HeadPool420 - 12/2/2012, 12:55 PM
This news made me smile. :D
Jollem - 12/2/2012, 1:17 PM
take the money and run
astromerc - 12/2/2012, 1:19 PM
TFG !!! That guy sucked A$$, stay in Russia bye BYUTCH!
NerdyGeek - 12/2/2012, 1:55 PM
nld3 - 12/2/2012, 2:01 PM
Why is he leaving. GL wants to make the same small movies.
santoanderson - 12/2/2012, 2:05 PM
The guy comes off like an insufferable kiss-ass on the prequel DVDs. "Oh George, your ideas are like poetry. You are a genius storyteller. I wish I had an ounce of the talent you possess." - Rick McCallum
pintoman - 12/2/2012, 2:17 PM
You guys have covered it all. McCallum was the single weakest link in the Lucasfilm chain. Lucas should take some blame for hiring this "yes" man. A producer has to serve as the liaison to the rest of the world and fight for things worth fighting for.
CoolantTech - 12/2/2012, 2:19 PM
[frick] McCallum for being a 20 year yesman he should of fought George about the weak monotone acting and the messy incoherent writing of the prequels

Revenge of the Sith is by far the best out of the prequels ist even better than ANH but on par with ROTJ, Empire will remain the best though
soberchimera - 12/2/2012, 2:28 PM
beane2099 - 12/2/2012, 2:35 PM
Feel not the slightest bit upset by that departure. Yet another step in the right direction for that company.
Asterisk - 12/2/2012, 3:08 PM
[frick] YOU RICK BURMAN!
blackster - 12/2/2012, 3:23 PM
ElShumway - 12/2/2012, 3:56 PM
Go [frick] yourself Rick! I hope someone sticks a giant metal umbrella up your ass and opens it! Douchebag!
Pooh - 12/2/2012, 4:03 PM
Another reminder that success at the box office isn't always because of the director.
m0th3r - 12/2/2012, 4:18 PM
Ding dong the witch is [frick]ing dead...[frick] you and good ridance. YOU were the one whos job it was to tell Lucas when he was [frick]ing up. George might have shit the bed with the prequels, but you allowed him to eat 8 lbs of shitty McDonald's food...[frick] you [frick] you [frick] you

i really hate that guy.....apologies.. :)
m0th3r - 12/2/2012, 4:20 PM
Everything he touched pretty much blew. We hate the special edition, the prequels sucked, so did red tails, and Young indy was so-so. Please go take all the money we gave you and choke on it
Tevii - 12/2/2012, 4:44 PM
The lack of respect for what these men accomplished is disgusting. It's so easy to hate people that revolutionized an entire industry while you don't make a difference at anything. Why do anything with your own lives when you can tear down what others have done . Pathetic. Every single genre movie you enjoy today you can thank these men for paving the way.
TheBigBoss917 - 12/2/2012, 4:51 PM
Whats up with Ricks?
HughJasol - 12/2/2012, 4:56 PM
Biggest kiss ass/yes man in show biz.
ComfortablyNumb - 12/2/2012, 5:25 PM
Thank the force he's gone!!
M3T4LL0 - 12/2/2012, 6:52 PM
ElApe - 12/2/2012, 7:01 PM
Erm, I'm guessing Mr McCallum is not going to be missed by many people then. What the hell does a producer do anyway? Must have a big influence on the films if he can be blamed for how irritating Phantom Menace was. The article seems to suggest he helped with all the digital effects and that sort of thing. All 3 prequel films look amazing.
NeoBaggins - 12/2/2012, 7:54 PM
Goodbye

DarkArts - 12/2/2012, 10:23 PM
Disney buys Lucasfilm very soon after a CANCER that existed at Lucasfilm RESIGNS??
Often in the CEO world resigns really means "Youre gone! But we will allow you to resign to save face."
BatmanBlueLantern - 12/2/2012, 10:52 PM
Okay?
Maia87 - 12/3/2012, 12:18 AM
Wow, so muche trolls and hater here.
GrayMatter - 12/3/2012, 1:44 AM
Hey hey now. Let's all be reasonable. Rick Berman here wasn't the one who screwed up Star Wars. That was all Lucas.

'Course, it was his job to filter out all of Lucas' shit and keep the good stuff, like how Gary Kurtz did on the original trilogy, only he failed miserably since he's an unequivocal yes-man. Soo......

Actually, I don't know where I'm going with this. So I'll just sum up and say that everything I'm hearing is making me more excited. Having Lucas consult, but eliminating all his stooges and having other people be in control (especially when it comes to writing) is prety much the best thing we could have hoped for.
Fabius - 12/3/2012, 3:42 AM
Dark force is coming now...bad feeling
thejon93rd - 12/3/2012, 8:14 AM
F you, Rick Berman.
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