tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg December 28, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm EST
>> toshiba seeking the second credit line from banks in three months. k faces mounting cost from its accounting scandal. to company says it intends apply for funding by the end of next month. againcahn has once escalated his bidding war with bridgestone as a billionaire investor seeks control of pep boys.
raising his offer to more than $1 billion. the car parts chain had previously accepted a sweetened offer of $70 a share. and hyundai workers in south korea have reached a wage agreement. the deal would see monthly base salaries increased by $73 and it comes with the automaker set to admit its and you will fill target since the first time since 2008. shares one .3 percent down. china is cracking down on online lenders by releasing guidelines for peer-to-peer platforms. it is a first for the industry. the new rules state the platform should simply serve as an intermediary and not raise who led the money themselves.
it comes with strengthening oversight of online payment firms. china bank says it plans to issue new shares but gave no further details. this comes as china's biggest homebuilder wages a struggle for control against its largest shareholder. shares were suspended on december 18 and there have been no further updates regarding the resumption of trade. let's leave you with a quick check of the markets trading here in the asia-pacific. between gains and losses. those were your top headlines. i will be back with the latest news at the top of the next hour. ♪ >> from new york city, this is charlie rose. charlie: you have every honor the man could have.
george lucas: no oscars. i don't really have a lot of awards. i get a lot of little awards. i have two emmys. never an academy award. i've been nominated but never won. i'm too popular. charlie: meaning what? george lucas: they don't give academy awards the popular films. charlie: are you proud of the popular films? george lucas: that's ok with me. it's an important part of society. if you make a work of art or a film and nobody sees it, and award does not do you any good.
charlie: francis is making movies by one person, him. george lucas: i'm not sure with society at large, it is helping much. that's what i'm going to do now. i will make movies that only i want to see. i have always wanted to do that. i fell into popular films by accident. i always disliked hollywood films and don't want anything to do with them. charlie: but you know how to make them. george lucas: i guess it was embedded in my dna. it is that particular thing, which is that i'm not sure whether it is a coincidence that people like steven and i, steven spielberg, grew up in the same environment. we liked the movies. it's whole generation that came
of age in the 60's, that grew up on movies. i did not grow up on movies. it was a part of my life. i came up at the beginning of television. the idea of visual storytelling came at the right moment. i got in there, and what i wanted to do, what a lot of people wanted to do, was to make films that people liked, that entertain them. that is what we are in the business for. charlie: but you're certainly one of the most innovative film makers ever, in the history of cinema. george lucas: the innovation part is because i, like an artist, they were for thousands of years the scientists, the engineers, the artists. to a couple of certain works,
especially in architecture, you had to figure out how to accomplish it. in florence, for hundreds of years, they could not figure out how to put a dome on it. brunelleschi studied it in rome. they used to do it in rome. in the renaissance, it was after the dark ages. nobody knew how to do it anymore. he had to invent the ratcheting pulley so that oxen could pull bricks up that high. charlie: so you have created things because you were able to do it on your own. george lucas: there's a gap between what is possible and where the vision is. i have had to fill the gap.
you don't invent technology and then figure out what to do with it. you come up with an artistic problem and invent the technology. any artist will tell you that. art at all levels is technology. people will say monkeys can make paintings, but they can't. they can scribble, they can do what my 2-year-old does. but, if you want to convey emotion to another human being, that is something that only human beings can do. animals can do it by biting your hand. but to do it in a painting, to do it in a play, to do it in the story, in poetry, anything in the arts, you have to be a human being. charlie: talking about the artist, the filmmaker, the innovator, director, the storyteller, someone who has a fetish with making the world the way he wanted to be. all directors are no different. george lucas: they're all vaguely like emperors.
they want to build a society to reflect what they want. the great thing is that you don't have to kill people and spend money. it is good for society. the director can do it with a lot less money and say they want to build a world where people can fly. charlie: what does indiana jones and star wars say about the world you want to create? george lucas: star wars, more than indiana jones was created with suspicion. indiana jones was for fun, to entertain people.
there were messages in there about archaeology and what we believe about myths. the patron creates the propaganda. some of the older propaganda was consistent to all societies to say what did they all believe? what are the things that they all actually believe? we are talking about relationships with your father, your society, your history, with the gods. all of this stuff is old, but their psychological motifs, created through storytelling. primarily, oral storytelling. i want to go back and find the psychological motifs that underline that.
they grow out of popular is him. to say that not all, but a majority of people have a certain psychological relationship with their fathers, that has been going on for history, and trying to explain that by saying "we know your darkest secret, and you are part of us because we all do the same things, we know what you think about your mother, your brother, your father, really." those of the things that make people say, "hey, this is why we believe this stuff." the crudest part of that, in terms of the religious, spiritual thing, some people
have taken those ideas, you store them, and you end up in a cult. they use psychological tools. it is the same thing. you go through history, and in most cases, you have open societies. you go outside the wall. they were so fulfilling, isolated human events. charlie: because you have worn all these hats, creator, director, what do you want your obituary to say? george lucas: i tried.
[laughter] charlie: do you consider any of those things first? writer, film maker, problem solver? george lucas: i think of myself first as a dad. i gave up being a director to be a dad. i ran a company. charlie: because he wanted to be a dad. george lucas: it's one of those things where you don't expect it to happen. it was like a bolt of lightning struck me. i ended up getting divorced. i decided, well, i will take care of my daughter. it was right after the return of the jedi.
i'm not going to escape star wars, my central concern is my daughter. i adopted another daughter, another son. it wasn't until 15 years later that i said i would go back and direct movies again. in the meantime, i had developed a lot of technology to do things. star wars is a science fiction film. it pushes the limits of the medium. science fiction, fantasy, those things, many things cannot be done. they just cannot. there's an equation, ultimately, which is how popular is something versus how much it costs.
people subtract one from the other to decide whether they will do it. a lot of films, they did not have room for spectacular, only for street movies. that's what i've been doing before it. to do something that was an epic, historical piece, but a science fiction, fantasy, you couldn't do it, because accosted too much. charlie: you're a kennedy center honoree. that's a big deal. what does it mean to you? george lucas: i can be glib. charlie: just be real. i'm sitting here with a guy who is the happiest he has probably ever been, married with a two-year-old daughter. he is sitting in a remarkable place.
they are saying that you are among america's finest artists. what does it mean to you to sit at the kennedy center? don't be glib, be real. george lucas: i will be real. i'm not into awards. it does not mean much to me. i know a lot of people got together and said they were going to give me an award. a lot of it is just basically, well, you're there for eyeballs. charlie: well, there are awards, but then there are awards. i have to believe it means something. what is it? george lucas: well, i've got other awards.
i know it's about the tv show, not me. charlie: this is not a tv show. it doesn't do very well. it shows in the middle of december. this is not the oscars. this is in washington, where all of washington turns out. it only selects five people per year, not based on what you did that year. they're putting you up in a pantheon of people that you really admire. steven spielberg, francis, you gave each other awards all the time. george lucas: i hate to say this.
there are thousands of award shows every year. i will take the ones that are meaningful, like the kennedy center. charlie: is there a competition between you and steven? george lucas: sure. charlie: what is it? george lucas: who can do the better work. it is the "oh wow" factor. i don't resent how many times, i just enjoy the fact that i can a movie and he can one up me and say, "that is unbelievable." charlie: american graffiti is
one of the best films "ever made" according to him. george lucas: that's easy to say. it was exuberant and had a lot of underpinnings of the kinds of things that a filmmaker wants to have in their movie. a lot of observations. philosophical musings. it was in the guise of entertainment. most people pay attention to that stuff. critics have a tendency to be extremely glib. they look at a movie a day or two with a and rattle off in an hour with their feelings are. as a result, you get ideology.
charlie: i'm asking you though, as a film maker, not the critics. george lucas: well i know how to make movies. i studied it. i practiced. i know what i'm doing. a lot of filmmakers try, but on the technical side of telling a story and putting it together and how you make it effective emotionally, i know how to do that. part of it is a talent, part of it is i know how to create and figure out how to do it. i'm reasonably effective. i've made a lot of movies. i've produced more movies that were failures and successes. as a director, most of my films have been successes except for one. most of them have not been. i know that going in. i know what will work and what
will not work. i like movies. i love movies. i know a lot of movies are not popular. in the system that was created for ourselves. you cannot lose money. you have to, i mean, you are forced to make a particular kind of movie. i say this all the time. way back when russia was the ussr, they would ask me, are you so glad that you're in america? i would tell the russian film makers have more freedom than i have. all of they have to do is be careful what they say about the government. i have to maintain a very narrow line of commercialism.
in addition to making films. you can preach to anybody you want to preach to come in because you are not dependent on anyone. george lucas: the issue is the reality of it, which is that i'm a unique blend of a practical person with a fantasy side, daydreaming guy who is not practical at all. charlie: so you combined to those? george lucas: the dna was at work there. charlie: whoever created george lucas gave him those two skills. george lucas: yes, and they are opposites. i have always been that way. francis and i, we started zoetrope, he was a hollywood director.
i was a crazy kid doing art films. i said i would never go into theatrical films. i would make documentaries. my ambition was to be michael moore, essentially. charlie: a documentary film maker? george lucas: yeah, and to cause trouble. i was a 60's kind of guy, i always have been. i grew up in san francisco, in the bay area. that was just my environment that i grew up in. i was happy to do it. i did not want to make theatrical films. i was winning awards. francis and i moved to san francisco, because neither of us like hollywood.
we started the company and i got to take a student film and make it a feature. it was just a visual storytelling, a tone film. the characters and plot were not as important as the metaphor and symbolism. as a result, and the emotional connection between the moving image and the audience, that probably bankrupted it, destroying everything. it caused him to be forced to pay off the debts, making he made the godfather. he challenged me, as he went out the door, to start doing things that weren't artsy-fartsy. "make a comedy!" i thought, i'm 23, i can do anything.
that is beaten out of you. when you're young, you think you can do everything. that started me on the whole new train. when i did star wars, i did not think it would be a hit. the studio hated the films so much, they shilled it. they said they would not release it. "maybe it will be a movie of the week, but not in theaters." that's where i was. i started working on star wars, and i was just doing it because i needed to eat. i wanted to do this kind of
experimental, in my mind, idea about mythology. i want to make these things into a very popular genre. out of that came both indiana jones and star wars. but, i thought that was my last movie. then, i would go back to doing what i wanted to do. i said, "at least, at the end, i will have done an old-fashioned movie on soundstages with makeup people and the sets." i could make one of those movies before i was kicked out. you know, the fluke of american graffiti becoming a hit was like, "oh my god, now what?"
so i made this movie, which probably wouldn't be a hit. star wars. but it's not really a science fiction film. you have giant dogs and describing it, and people think, "oh dear, this guy." [laughter] george lucas: i was further than my friends into the art world. nobody expected me to do a comedy. charlie: i will show francis i can do a comedy. george lucas: i will show those guys! when i made star wars, they asked why i was making a children's film. i said i could make more of an influence on people, and that
were things i could say that could influence people, adolescents, 12-year-olds. they want to make their way into the bigger world, and that is where the mythology is. "this is what we are as a society." the last time we did that was the westerns. that was the 70's. we had no national mythology. i said, i want to try this and see if it works. and, i thought it would be fun, because i like spaceships, adventure, fun, all this stuff. so, i will do it. i figured that would be the last. i will do it, i've done my thing, and then i got in trouble, because the script was too long. i had three scripts instead of one. i want to get them finished.
i got hooked into this tar baby and couldn't get out. now i'm always going to be george "star wars" lucas. charlie: just thinking about your career, you look back at a body of work, and you say, "star wars is my crowning achievement." george lucas: cinematically, i'd say yes. charlie: in what way is it not your crowning achievement? george lucas: i don't know. i have a low opinion of my movies. to me, i have always said, well, they didn't turn out the way i thought they would. i can see all the flaws. american graffiti is the most fun movie i ever made in terms of what i created.
the most fun movie to work on was indiana jones. i did not have to direct it. charlie: yeah, steven. george lucas: that's the one where everything went right. which happens very rarely in real life. it gets better and better, and you can't believe how it turned out. the other ones you suffer through and think they are terrible. people and say, oh, they are great. but, they are terrible to me. i can see all the scotch tape and rubber bands holding it together. this was particularly true of star wars. it barely got made. i was so disappointed about my vision and what it turned out to be. i complained about it a lot.
right after it came out, i said it turned out to be 35% of what i wanted. my vision was beyond what was possible. people then said it was the greatest movie of all time. i thought, hey, maybe it is pretty good. we will live with that. then, part of it was to continue the story. it was just the thing to finish the story. after that, i worked on the technology, and now i can tell the back story, because the back story seems to have gotten lost. it was easier to see the back story of darth vader. charlie: did you intend in the beginning to create three movies when you started? then you decided to only take one part of that story. george lucas: yes, i did the first act. but the first act did not really work. so i said, ok, what i will have to take the ending of the third film and put it into the first.
you have a lot of stuff on your desk, anything, well, let me put that in here. i thought, i have to make this the best film, because i want this to succeed and work. when i moved onto the other ones, i thought, well, ben kenobi is dead. i killed him. that was unfortunate. how will i fix that? what will i do about the fact that i already blew up the death star? that's my ending. it is a process where you are doing things and you maneuver through your imagination. part of it was simply that when i got down to the other movies, i was able to create an environment and a world that was not possible when i started the first one. to me, these things were technical or, in the end, getting yoda to do the sword fight.
which i had always wanted to do, but i could never do it because it was a muppet. charlie: you said famously, "flash gordon was the inspiration and the bible." george lucas: it's not the bible, by a long shot. it was the inspiration. at the same time, with flash gordon, i knew i wanted to make a movie based on those serials. it was not going to be flash gordon. i did try to get the rights to flash gordon, but i couldn't. that was good. i realize, after i did not get it, i did not want flash gordon. i want eight space opera like flash gordon. if i were making that movie, i would take flash gordon out and take all that stuff, mungo, all that stuff i don't want to do , that stuff. what i wanted to do was more on the lines of star wars and less on the lines of flash gordon.
there's a similarity, but there is definitely a difference in perspective about how they do it. that sent me in the right direction about thinking about how to mix of the new but inspired by it. you know, inspired by westerns -- people go through it and tell me what the inspirations are. they are. just like whether you are a writer or a politician, you steep yourself in the genre you are working in. you know all the various kinds of things, and you can pull the best parts of what you learned, in theory. works everywhere except in politics, because they do not listen to history. charlie: where did the idea of the force come from? george lucas: the whole thing in star wars was to take, again,
ideas, psychological ideas, from social issues, political issues, spiritual issues, and condensed into an easy-to-tell story. the force came from distilling all of the religious beliefs, spiritual beliefs, going all around the world all through time finding similarities and creating an easy-to-deal-with metaphor for what religion is. the point is, in the beginning, when you have people worshiping rocks and deer, you call it life force. they called it a force. that's what it was. and so where did the name come
from? it came basically from life force, from what primitive religions believed in. then you go through all other religions, they have the same thing. it is all the same, whether you believe in god or don't believe in god. the issue is you either don't believe there is anything else out there, which is hard to live with at the same time. i believe something is out there, but i don't know what it is. i know something is out there, but i don't have any idea what it is. there are human psychological needs that has been put together, mostly to create the society. ♪ we live in a pick and choose world.
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is what isre wha interesting to me about star wars too. all of these films are very personal. george lucas: people say it is for kids. the idea that it's a fun kid movie all of that stuff was very , important to me. i like that sort of thing. i like star wars. i didn't not because i thought i was going to make money, but because in the end, we finished it, showed it to the board of
directors of fox, and they , and the head of the studio fought for me. i had an ally who fought for me. no one thought it would be a hit, especially me. charlie: so the film becomes a blockbuster. george lucas: this is the second time, american graffiti was a very personal film. charlie: and also, star wars became a a cultural mainstay. stephen says, "this was the moment at which the entire industry changed." star wars is the moment when the industry changed. george lucas: it changed for the good and for the bad. again, when you invent things, well, you don't invent things. when you bring new things into society, you can either use it for good or for evil. it's like the balance of the force.
what happens when there is something new, people have a tendency to overdo it. they abuse it. there are two things that got abused in star wars. and still being abused. one, when star wars came out, everybody said, oh, it is a silly movie. it is just a bunch of space battles and stuff. it is not real. i said it was more. it is much more complicated than that. nobody would listen. so, the spaceships, that part of the science fantasy is terribly abused. everybody went out and made spaceship movies, and they were all horrible, and they all lost tons of money. you say there's more to it.
, you cannot go out and just do spaceships. the other part was that there's the technology involved. "we will just take this new technology, it's great." especially when it came down later to digital technology. people just abused it all over the place. they did it with color, they did it with sound. whenever there is a new tool, people go crazy and forget there's a story. you tell the story using tools, not the tools to tell a story. the other thing they got abused, naturally in a capitalist society and an american point of view is the studios said, well, we can make a lot of money. this is a license to kill. and they did it. canourse the only way you really could do it is to not take chances.
only do something that is proven. you have to remember that star wars came from nowhere. american graffiti came from nowhere. there was nothing like it. now, if you do anything, it is not a sequel, not a tv series. they won't do it. charlie: that's the downside of star wars. george lucas: that's the downside of star wars. it shows an enormous lack of imagination and fear of creativity on the part of the industry. corporations are not known, maybe not silicon valley, but the old institutions are not known for being risktakers. they are risk-averse. movies are not risk-averse. every single movie is a big risk. the movie business is exactly like professional gambling. except, you hire the gambler. you get a crazy kid with long
hair who says, i don't get this guy at all. you give him $100 million, tell him to go to the tables and come back with $500 million. that is a risk. studios don't think that way. they say, maybe if we told him that he can't bet on red, because you do market research that says you don't bet on red. they try to minimize the risk. of course, you are hiring the kid to take risks, to be creative, do things that have never done before, never tested. you have no idea whether it will work or not. that is the antithesis of what a big modern corporation is. test things 360 ways. charlie: hollywood is not like a big american corporation, because it will just throw money behind anybody.
george lucas: but they don't how to do that. the worst is when they think they know how to do it. they will make decisions to ensure this doesn't work. charlie: you were ahead of your time with star wars and american graffiti. have you been ahead of your time since then? george lucas: i have not directed a movie since then. charlie: i know that. lucas: producing? i was ahead of my time with "red tails." an all-black film. charlie: you're the only person they could've gotten it made. george lucas: they would not distribute it or make it or advertise it. charlie: racism? george lucas: the market research said no one will watch it. charlie: but the market research may have said no one will watch star wars.
george lucas: over time, a lot of these issues that are just becoming dimly aware of have become institutionalized. now thing know that that movie will do well in france, and denmark, in asia. they know the markets, they know how much of a share they will get. they do a little analysis, and then they say, we don't like the movie. that has nothing to do with what i say, which is making a movie, something people enjoy. i made money in spite of myself. i think i made money because i didn't care whether it was hit or not. i wanted to make a movie as a movie. that is the thing they will not do. it is not in their constitution to do that. i have a fiduciary duty to come up with the thing. my stockholders. that's why would never go public. i will not be beholden to anybody. that is why, even now, when i sold the company, i was starting
to make movies that were more personal and were losing money. i said, i really cannot do this much more, because the company will be dragged down. i have 2000 employees. i had people to think about. the best way to handle it is to sell it and take the money, put it into a bank account, which i call my "yacht." a lot of my friends have yachts. i said i will not buy a yacht. [laughter] george lucas: i will use that money to make movies that i know are experimental that i have no , way of knowing whether they will work or not. i want to see if they work. i don't have to show them to an audience. charlie: when will i see that movie? george lucas: you won't. well, maybe you. [laughter] george lucas: you know they don't make money. red tails, perfect example.
not only does it not make money but you can't get anyone to , distribute it. you can get any advertising money. it loses money no matter what. why go through all that and get bad reviews? crazy people yelling and screaming. white not just make the movie for yourself and your friends. charlie: that's where you are today? george lucas: yes. i'm doing what i wanted to do when i started. but i am going to learn things, and the things i learned possibly i will pass on to other , friends of mine, other people who are directors who said i did not know you can do that. directors learn from what their peers are doing. you see how they manipulate film, the visual image, the moving image, doing things that have never been done before. that's what i want to do. in the movie business, you cannot take a risk. you cannot do something that does not work. you don't get a second chance.
at the same time there is no , experimenting in movies. what you do is that every day on the set, what you are doing has to be right. if it is not right, and you make the mistake, the film will fail. if the film fails, people lose their money, and you usually do not get another job. charlie: is this what you believe today? in your life experience you know , how to make a popular movie, but that is just not what you want to do at this stage? george lucas: yeah. why would i? charlie: you don't need the money. george lucas: i don't need the money. my interests have shifted. i want more mature things. i did a kid thing. to me, it is six films. charlie: why to you call the kids thing?
george lucas: well, it is a kid film. adults like it, it is for everybody. the kind of movies i want to make now are more demanding of annoyance. most of the audience will not have anything to do with it, on a subject matter most people don't want to see movies about. but, i do. i have made movies for me that i wanted to see. but i knew what they were. this is this movie. this is this movie. in producing films, where i was able to get other people to put their money in, studios really, i would not take it from real people. i would only take it from corporations. it is a little bit of a robin hood thing. charlie: let me just talk about the upcoming star wars.
"the force awakens." how do you feel about it? george lucas: well, i made the decision to sell the company. i made that decision because i looked at the future and the baby and the fact that i was married and the fact that i wanted to build a museum. i want to make experimental films. my life was going on a different track. i noticed that the last few i made were costing the company a lot of money. i did not think that was fair to the people who work there. i made the decision to move ahead on the next star wars series. we were starting to do that. charlie: so you're starting to make the next star wars? george lucas: yes. charlie: you as director, film maker. george lucas: i was working with a writer and it wasn't working
out. i was stepping away a little bit to turn things over to kathy kennedy. what happened was disney said, bob iger said, "gee, are you really thinking about selling it? we are very interested." that started the ball rolling. i knew, from having the story treatments, outlines we were , working on the scripts. so i sold it. i knew that when i sold it, i said, "i have tried to make movies where i step away." empire, return of the jedi. after a couple of weeks, i knew
i couldn't do that. i had to stand over the shoulder of the director, help him, whisper in his ear to not to do this or that to guide it. that was harder than directing it myself. jj abrams is the director, a good friend. he is also a top director with his own company. disney, who was a little nervous -- one of the issues was that the first three movies had all kinds of issues. they looked at the stories, and they said, "we want to make something for the fans." all i wanted to do was tell a story of what happened, you know it starts here and it goes , there. it is about generations and the issues of fathers and suns and grandfathers. it's a family soap opera. we call it space opera, but it's a soap opera.
it is all about family problems. it's not about spaceships. so, they decided they didn't want to use those stories. they decided they were going to do their own thing. "fine." i said, "if i just get in there i will cause trouble." they will not do what i want them to do. i don't have the control anymore, it would muck everything up. i said, ok, i will go my way and let them go their way. it really does come down to a simple rule of life. which is that when you break up with somebody, the first rule is no phone calls. the second rule is you don't go over to their house and drive-by and see what they are doing. the third is you don't go to their coffee shop. you say, no, gone, history, i am moving forward.
charlie: do you have something within you that is a series of small personal films that you want to do? star wars kind of adventure for george? that's over? george lucas: yeah. these are little tiny movies that are experimental. i'm going back to thx and american graffiti where you -- i completely changed the way you tell a story in cinema. i produced some films that were like this. would do,like what i but they were using the visual style rather than the book. charlie: here is what is exciting. all of this stuff, within you, that made all of this, ta checks, american graffiti, star thx, american
graffiti, star wars, it is all within you. you can apply that in any way. that is in the end what you brought. your ideas, your insight, that is what you bought the film. george lucas: at the same time, i am fascinated with the medium. i'm fascinated with the true nature of the medium, which is very different. it is very much a recording medium, not an artform to itself. in the beginning, like in russia, this was a whole movement of how you tell visual stories basically without dialogue without all the things , that you use to tell a story. you just use the film itself. it is kind of esoteric. it hasn't come much further in 100 years. i am going to try to take it into something more emotionally powerful than most of the stuff we've done up to this point. charlie: thank you.
>> it is tuesday the 29th of december. toshiba seeking its second credit line in three months, gaining access to additional funds to pay for restructuring. the company, which received a $3.3 billion credit commitment, says it will apply for the funding next month. has escalated his war with bridgestone as he seeks control of pep boys. he raised his offer to more than $1