One of Lucasfilm’s earliest feature films, American Graffiti, made its original debut 45 years ago in August of 1973. Directed by George Lucas, our company’s founder was inspired by his own youthful experiences growing up in California’s Central Valley cruising the boulevards and racing hot rods down lonely country roads.
Earlier this year, employees of Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound gathered at Skywalker Ranch for a celebration of American Graffiti’s anniversary. Attendees enjoyed a unique display of original memorabilia and a specialized snack bar of fries and Coke floats. Dedicated volunteers from Cruisin’ the Boulevard, a local non-profit organization, personally showcased their own classic vehicles, a number of which are original to the production.
It was all capped off with a screening of the beloved film, followed by a very special Q&A discussion with George Lucas and starring actor Ron Howard (who was then busily wrapping post-production as the director of Solo: A Star Wars Story at Skywalker Ranch).
“I just thought that it was the most realistic coming-of-age story that I had ever seen,” Ron Howard remembered. Those qualities surpassed even the story itself, as the then 18-year-old Howard aspired to be a filmmaker during his time shooting Graffiti.
Attendees were treated to candid and hilarious tales from the set, in a rare sit-down with these two iconic filmmakers.