George Lucas recently made a final push to make his vision for a new museum in the Presidio a reality.
The proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum is vying for the a coveted Crissy Field spot along with two other projects; Presidio Exchange, proposed by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and The Bridge/Sustainability Institute, proposed by the Chora Group and WRNS. Presidio Trust officials are expected to discuss and vote on the projects at an Oct. 24 meeting.
The final proposals were presented to the at a Sept. 23 public Presidio Trust meeting where Lucas made a surprise last-minute appearance. See him speak in the top video.
At the beginning of his nearly six-minute speech, Lucas timidly spoke about how he spent his young years coming to San Francisco while he grew up in Modesto.
“This was the cultural center of my life,” he said.
He moved to the Bay Area in 1969, right after college, he said, and has stayed in the Bay Area since. “I’ve built my business here, I’ve never made a movie in Hollywood,” he said.
The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum will include a center on digital art, which was “essentially” created at Lucasfilm in the Presidio and in Marin County, he said.
“I think we need to put [digital art] in and say we’re all proud of it and it’s an important part of what San Francisco is,” he said. He pointed to other Bay Area studios that make the area the hometown of digital art, including the Emeryville-based Pixar and Redwood City-based DreamWorks Animation.
Lucas also had Disney and Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter speak about the museum proposal during the presentation.
Lasseter spoke about how Lucas decided to put his own money into a “crazy, nutty idea” in 1979 and launched a project that ultimately developed digital editing, digital sound editing, the digital compositing of images and 3D computer animation. “Each of those things at the time were thought of as insane,” Lasseter said. “It became the birth of digital art.” See him speak in the above video.
According to a report in Mashable, during a question and answer session after the presentations, Lucas apologized for the language he used in a New York Times interview about the project proposals when he said the Presidio Trust “hates us.”
"I used a bad word; I should never have said 'hate'," he said, according to Mashable.
Lucas told the New Yorks Times in an interview that Presidio staff and board members “stalled” for years on the project and “snubbed his taste in architecture.” Lucas had said if his project is rejected, he will build the museum in Chicago.
Luca made another surprise public appearance this summer, when he unveiled Yoda and Indiana Jones statues in a San Anselmo park (called Imagination Park) he donated to the community. He explained to a large crowd that the films Star Wars and Indiana Jones were created in Marin.
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