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Star Wars Prequels Media Movies Entertainment

Lucas's New HQ 146

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-wish-i-had-that-kind-of-metal dept.
pin_gween writes "The KS City Star reports George Lucas (of the "It's not about the money" fame) has opened a new headquarters for digital film works. The campus has, among several movie theaters, "data network with more than 300 10-gigabyte ports. Fiber-optics cables are connected to every artist desktop, allowing high-resolution images on each computer. In all, there are 600 miles of cable throughout the campus's four buildings." Not too shabby, or cheap."
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Lucas's New HQ

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 26, 2005 @08:44AM (#12913782)
    "In terms of being a corporate executive, I'm pretty much tired," he said. "I'm going to focus on making movies."

    Noooooooooooo......!
  • by ip_freely_2000 (577249) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @08:46AM (#12913792)
    The Presidio facility has been open for a bit. Yes, it's sweet and one thing that can't be said about George is that he does thing half-assed.

    Of course, the expectation is that you work INSANE hours. I only wish I could get this set up at home so I can balance my life a little better.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    But on top of it he is trying to ridicule all us geeks with ungodly huge data pipes!
    • The campus includes a data network with more than 300 10-gigabyte ports. Fiber-optics cables are connected to every artist desktop, allowing high-resolution images on each computer. In all, there are 600 miles of cable throughout the campus's four buildings.
      Just imagine the multiplayer games one could host. :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Apparently, Indy finds out that Dr. Belloq is really his father in a shocking scene.
  • Federation (Score:5, Funny)

    by cmcsonar (527254) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @08:51AM (#12913819)
    Once he's tired of the location, the Federation can buy it, because it is located on the grounds of the future Star Fleet Headquaters.
    • "Once he's tired of the location, the Federation can buy it, because it is located on the grounds of the future Star Fleet Headquaters."

      Heh. Funny thing is, ILM made Starfleet headquarters.
  • by DrSkwid (118965) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @08:52AM (#12913820) Homepage Journal
    then I could have high resolution images on each of my computers.

    I'm fed up being stuck on 100Mbps' 640x480x8 !

    lol, good grip on the technology there JUSTIN M. NORTON, any other great stories you have written ?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      lol .. don't forget the 10 gigabyte ports !!! 300 of them !!!
    • You're forgetting that they might be doing distributed rendering (for instance, one frame goes to machine a, another to machine b, etc.).
      In this case, that 10gbps pipe would be very useful in sending and grabbing each frame.
      • rubbish - lets assume that a cinema-grade frame would take about 25 minutes to render, your 10gbps pipe to and from the supervisor isn't going to make much of a difference on the grand scale of things
        • Sure it will - you're looking up gigabytes of textures at any moment.
          • That would not be terribly efficient.

            Most rendering farms probably load all scene textures/geometry to allocated renderers then the workstation simply queue frame requests to each renderer, reducing the bandwidth requirement to little more than finished frames' (1920x1080x3*10/8 = 7.8MB/frame) transfer, assuming the scenes are fairly lenghty or the software is written to cache across scenes/jobs and the scenes use a substantial common texture/geometry base.

            So the gigabytes of textures/geometry probably on
        • Not just rendering (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Namarrgon (105036)
          3D rendering involves a LOT more than just output, as someone else pointed out. And digitally post-producing movies requires a LOT more than just 3D renders.

          There's all the live footage elements to consider - potentially dozens of layers for every final frame - each of which must be stored, converted, colour-graded, maybe stabilised, grain-matched, composited and edited.

          What's more, any CG in the movie would be rendered as multiple separate 3D layers, not just a single frame, and all those layers also

  • Fine and Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @08:55AM (#12913835)
    This is all fine and good, but it would sure be nice to spend some of that money on writing classes, or directing semminars.

    Yes, all that technology is nice, but ultimately worthless, if the movies coming out of it have no substance.
    • Re:Fine and Good (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Adrilla (830520) *
      Yes, all that technology is nice, but ultimately worthless, if the movies coming out of it have no substance.

      It's not worthless if it's going to be making him money, let's say oh about 50 million on opening day. Indy Jones is coming, and the money that movie is bound to make will pay for this technology many times over. Plus the Star Wars TV show(s), video games, etc. Sure the quality of the movie may not be what you want. But, it's obvious someone is watching them, in fact it's highly likely this is a g
    • Yes, all that technology is nice, but ultimately worthless, if the movies coming out of it have no substance.

      In other words, it's kinda like what the games industry has been reduced to. All flash and very little substance.

      Just look at all the crap coming out about the Xbox360 and PS3 - everyone focuses on talking about the numbers (amount of teraflops and such) or how the graphics will be realtime-rendered with 7.1 Digital Audio.

      But everyone seems to be forgetting the gameplay.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'M SORRY I CAN'T QUITE HEAR YOU! These dump trucks delivering all the cash from my latest royalties are kinda loud.

      - George
    • Re:Fine and Good (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fm6 (162816)
      Lucas graduated from film school at USC [usc.edu]. Before he became a Visionary Mogul, he actually made one or two decent films, including American Graffiti. I think he has a small problem, and a big one. The small problem is that he hasn't actually done that much writing or directing since he became a VM, so he's out of practice. The big problem is that he is a VM, so nobody is in a position to tell him that his shit smells. Especially when that shit consistently makes a profit.

      Some of that's going on with the big

    • This is all fine and good, but it would sure be nice to spend some of that money on writing classes, or directing semminars.

      No, not really. It's just a movie set, that takes place in the computer. Lucas isn't going to be writing and directing the movies - he's just going to be making them.

      You come up with the script, you take it to Lucas and they show you what they came up with. Now, I've never seen a Harry Potter movie (all of the way through) but that is the type of customer Lucas wants. Potter's soun
  • byte or bit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Sunday June 26, 2005 @09:08AM (#12913888) Homepage Journal

    data network with more than 300 10-gigabyte ports.

    I think that means gigabits. Unless they started rating cards in bytes overnight.
    • And I think it means Gbps. Unless cards wear out after 10 Gigabits. :)
      • > And I think it means Gbps

        How is that different from the parent who said gigabits?
        Or you aren't quite sure what you're saying here?

        >Unless cards wear out after 10 Gigabits. :)

        ???
        • How is that different from the parent who said gigabits?

          One is Gb, the other is Gbps.

          Here, the difference in bold: per second

          HAND
  • now that's Industrial .... Light .... and .... Magic ....
  • ... on Google Maps? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jugalator (259273) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @09:10AM (#12913899) Journal
    Is that what this [google.com] huge dirt place is all about?

    Maybe the pictures were actually captured a while back.
  • "The KS City Star reports George Lucas (of the "It's not about the money" fame) has opened a new headquarters"

    And I have a pretty good idea of it's exact location. [sithsense.com]
  • San Francisco gave him land for the studio in the Presidio, the most sought-after location in SF, which has among the priciest real estate in the country. If I were cutting that deal, I would have required Lucas to wire the entire park, and his IT staff to keep the network running, for every tenant, including public use. Now that would be News for Nerds.
    • Re:American POP (Score:5, Informative)

      by MushMouth (5650) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @09:24AM (#12913966) Homepage
      A) San Francisco doesn't own the Presidio, the Federal government does. B) He leases the land, and it ain't free. C) The presidio has tons of empty office space and buildings they have been trying to lease for years. D) SF currently has historically high amounts of vacant office space, in many ways the Presidio Trust got very lucky that they struck the deal with Lucas when they did, at the height of the Dot Com Bubble.
      • Re:American POP (Score:3, Informative)

        by Doc Ruby (173196)
        SF doesn't own the land, but of course they control it - like any other city, with zoning, incentives and other political checks. That space is vacant because SF is very selective, reserving it for long-term strategic anchor tenants [propertyri...search.org] like Lucas. SF certainly was lucky that Lucas decided to expand his studio across the Golden Gate Bridge into the Presidio, rather than LA, or New Zealand or someplace else even cheaper. But Lucas is also lucky SF let him into that exclusive property. There are several Lucases,
        • The land is controlled by the Presido Trust [presidio.gov], not the City and County of San Francisco. San Francisco would not allow President Bush to appoint policy makers.

          I think if were up to the locals, there would be no private development in the Presidio. This unusual arrangement for a National Park was the result of a comprimise devised by the Republican Congress who disliked such glorious pork in a Democratic stronghold.
          • Pork is when tax money from outside a constituency is spent inside a constituency without merit, other than the horsetrading skills of the politician. There is a great deal of merit in the international organizations installed in the Presidio, not least of which is their attraction of money from outside SF into the city. And their contributions to rehabilitating the park from an unusable military relic, including their rent. The military relic, incidentally, was the pork in SF for 300 years.

            Now, if you hav
            • I agree that Presidio National Park is a great thing, and has been planned as a matter of law since the 1970s.

              But the fact is that, contrary to Base Closing and National Park policy, the Gingrich Congress refused to fund the necessary reconstruction and preservation. Regardless of how you define pork, what matters is how they define it. (Even though the park is much cheaper to operate than the military base was.)

              Pelosi and Feinstein (who's home overlooks the park) cut a deal where the park would be funded
      • B) He leases the land, and it ain't free.

        In fact, the rent will make up a good chunk of the budget for the Presidio. From an article [sfgate.com] in today's chronicle:

        The Lucas campus is crucial to the operation because the [Presidio] trust is relying on $5.6 million in annual rent to help shoulder the park's costs. Income from Lucas will account for about 17 percent of the Presidio's budget.

    • Re:American POP (Score:3, Interesting)

      I remember that Lucas drove a hard bargain, and got a really good deal from San Francisco. The deal was pretty controversial, but most people seem happy with with the deal today.

      There was a big competition between several Bay Area cities (and Marin County) to get Lucas to move to their Area. Each City made sweet offers-- cheap rent, pay for some of the upgrades, give Lucas alot of freedom to do what he wanted, etc.

      I think SF actually did ask Lucas to help wire parts of the Presidio, but he said no-- and
      • If SF were smart (of course it is, but I mean smart on behalf of all San Franciscans), it would have a chance to renegotiate the lease. Then we'd see how Lucas deals with the cost of moving his entire studio from its priceless location on the Golden Gate.
        • Unfortuanately the feds (not SF) gave LucasFilm a 90 year lease, and they have the right to sublet the land for profit.

          I cite the Bay Guardian with caution, but I think this outlines how little SF gains from this deal:
          http://www.sfbg.com/News/33/44/presidio.html [sfbg.com]
          • "Under the legislation that established the Presidio National Park, Lucas will pay no local taxes, no property tax, no real estate transfer tax, no school taxes, no affordable-housing fees, and no fees for transit, open space, or public art."

            SF had to agree to those terms. Or its sponsor, Pelosi, would have trashed her relationship with the city, which she represents in Congress. And the city would have found other ways to fight the project, including Federal lawsuits to collect those taxes and fees. Which
            • Rereading my post, I can tell my sense is not clear. I mean to say that I'm sure that SF agreed to those terms, because it was in a position not to. So the 90y lease, without full benefit to the city (deficit, in fact), was a bad deal. Exactly the kind that I'd expect Willie Brown to pull, while wearing his Ed Koch hat around SF.
  • by ghee22 (781277) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @09:17AM (#12913925)
    should i post this on slashdot as well?
  • by cryptocom (833376) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @09:26AM (#12913969)
    The paragraph submitted above for this article makes it seem like Lucas is hoarding all his money and somehow going against a cardinal rule of not making money. For one thing, non profit artists may seem romantic and all, but in truth we all want to get paid...and if what we do is make movies that cost millions of dollars, you better believe we want to get paid millions of dollars or more. Secondly, it's not like he's spending all his money on Bugatti's and trips to Bali...he's invested a large chunk into a creative complex where artists and movie-goers can benefit from his fortune. I'd say that's pretty damn cool.
    • Sure, but the irony is that he's spending millions on this new studio at the same time he's trying to shed his techno-geek image and show himself as a guy who just wants to make small art films, like Indiana Jones IV.
      • He didn't necessarily mean IJ 4 is small art, what I find more likely is that he said he wish to do a final IJ movie, then smaller film projects. This is the kind of ambiguous quote anyway:

        But Lucas said he'll likely keep away from the center and instead focus on developing a final "Indiana Jones" film and smaller film projects.

        He has earlier said he nowadays do movies for himself, something I find easy to believe considering his wealth. He could live a happy rich life at his age if he wished to.
    • Well, guess what? Lucas has actually said "It's not about the money" in an interview.

      Why? Because he crassly commercializes his films, but resented the accusation that he's only in it for the money. The thing is... he cashes in every single chance he gets.

      It's not just about making art or making entertaining movies for him, it's about doing that, and then cashing in on it to maximum effect. Which is not a problem at all, except it can and does detract from the merit of the films and ultimately undermi
    • Artists benefit? It's a commercial complex. It's for making money. This isn't an art enclave any more than Nickelodeon Studios is. This complex is for making art which can be replicated and sold to earn him even more money.

      Movie-goers benefit? So he can make Star Wars 3.5? Or remake them all in stupid 3D?

      Lucas made a lot of money off his films and effects studios. He used it as hw saw fit, which was to make a place where he can more effectively more money.

      That's all fine. It's his money. But pardon me if
  • And if they ever come to take our Shrine to Father Lucas, followers are instructed to make their way to the primary food dispensing bay, where they will be given a special drink taken from the campus vaporators. The effects would be nearly instantaneous.

    It is our hopes that our shining example would encourage Jedi everywhere.

  • by MushMouth (5650) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @09:27AM (#12913976) Homepage
    And we have a pretty big news rag [sfgate.com] in SF.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    those of us who live in Kansas City and I suppose anyone who lives in Missouri as well call it the KC Star.
  • by alewar (784204) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @09:38AM (#12914024)
    Thanks to all of you who download pirated-copies of movies and games from the net, L&M had to move to another studio...
    I knew this was going to happen, they are losing BILLIONS because of YOU.
  • Lucas had to catch up. Disney built a complex in Burbank in the 1990s with columns modelled after the Seven Dwarfs and other theme-park features. (This was followed by a layoff, a pay cut, and the closure of Disney Animation in Orlando.) Pixar has a modern building in Marin with a really big atrium. Dreamworks/PDI moved into a huge glass and steel complex at the edge of the Bay in Redwood City originally built for Excite@Home.

    Lucasfilm/ILM had some boring industrial buildings in San Raphael. So this

  • Fiber-optics cables are connected to every artist desktop, allowing high-resolution images on each computer.

    This doesn't seem like a logical connection to make. :)

    Obviously, it's for fast transfer of high-res images between workstations, but hey, I could be wrong. They *could* have fiber-optic cables for the pure intent of having high-res images on the desktop, but it doesn't seem very likely ;P.

    • Makes perfect sense. Most times the definitive frames for a shot are stored on a remote server. Most production pipelines involve creating local low resolution proxies to work with - to avoid placing too much strain on the main fileserver, and to prevent saturation of the network.

      The bigger your pipe, the fewer proxies you need, the larger the frames you can get from the server, and the less complexity in your pipeline over all.

      • Yes I know, but the blurb merely said it provided fast network speed for high res pics on the desktop. Nothing about decentralized storage or the *use* of the hookup. :)
  • I'm not sure what the point of gigabit Ethernet is through a bus than can never pump a gigabit across it. Like putting a Fast Token Ring card on an ISA bus, what is the point if that bandwidth can never be approached by the system interface?

    Other than that, the rest of the notice is of little interest as I had my fill of Lucas years ago. He should have done more work after RotJ, but instead faded into the background with ILM. Other studios instead produced the big glitzy works while we waited like idiots
    • Re:Nice, but... (Score:1, Insightful)

      by marc252 (658303)
      The point is that is easy to get a new computer every 3 years but it's quite difficult to wire a hole building every 3 years.
  • Maybe Jorge will be filming his next blockbuster next door at the Public Health Service Hospital (1 [mailto]) (2 [phsh.org])
  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Sunday June 26, 2005 @03:56PM (#12915944)
    The Good News is that he didn't open this in Bangalore, India.
  • I live in the Presidio, several blocks away from the LucasFilm complex. For one, I am very happy to have this new company move into the park. Although it will mean additional traffic and parking problems, I have found the Presidio to be too quiet. We might even have more decent restaurants and nightlife in the park now.
    The development is contraversial because it is located on Federal Propoperty in a National Park. This means that it did not have to go through the byzantine zoning politics that prevent almos
  • I've always thought it would be fun to go on job interviews to some places just to get a chance to look around. It's not like you'd actually take a job if offered. And, then again, you might.

    This would easily fit within that category.

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