In this special January 2007 issue on Interactive Entertainment, the Interviews column features a video interview with George Lucas on October 4th, 2006 at the University of Southern California.
On that same day, George Lucas formally announced his donation of $175 million to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, formerly known as USC School of Cinema-Television. The reason that George Lucas renamed the world-renowned film school is due to the growing importance of interactive media in Hollywood and worldwide.
Computer games have, for many years, captured the attention of Hollywood moguls such as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. George, Steven, and many supporters of USC have decided that formal education on interactive media and gaming should be given equal priority and funding as traditional movie making and television production. Therefore, instead of appending "Interactive Media" to "Cinema- Television," the USC school simply changed its name to "Cinematic Arts."
The implication for interactive entertainment cannot be understated. George Lucas has essentially proclaimed that interactive media and gaming are a part of cinematic arts. Will there be a George Lucas or Steven Spielberg-like genius in next-generation interactive entertainment that will win an Oscar? You bet there will be in the near future.
In the video interview, you will hear George Lucas' answers to the following questions as well as his comments at the USC School of Cinematic Arts on October 4th:
1. Is your educational foundation "edutopia" doing anything about the digital divide, especially in terms of access to interactive entertainment?
2. One of the themes in all of your movies is human relationship to machines and technology - either controlling them, or being controlled by them. Is that true?
3. What do you think about the future of entertainment technology?