Mon, 2 June 2014
SciFi Diner Podcast: Ep. 207 - Our Interview with "George Lucas in Love" Creator, Writer, and Director Joe Nussbaum
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George Lucas in Love is an independent, live action, parodical short film that started attracting notice in June 1999 when it was passed around Hollywood offices as a filmmaker's "calling card". The film was directed by Joe Nussbaum, a University of Southern California graduate.
In the film, George Lucas is a USC college student in 1967, and he's suffering from writer's block as he tries to write a movie about a young space farmer with a bad crop of "space wheat". Everywhere he goes, viewers see classmates and teachers that either resemble, or will influence the creation of, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Jabba the Hutt, R2-D2, and C-3PO. Lucas is surrounded by inspiration, but he sees nothing. Not even his advisor, who looks and speaks suspiciously like Yoda, is able to help him.
Eventually, young Lucas meets his muse, a young woman (with a very unusual hairdo) named Marion who is "kind of leading a student rebellion". After they meet, everything falls into place for Lucas, as she urges him to "write what you know." His writer's block dissipates and he quickly finishes his masterpiece. However, his shot at romance with the girl is blown when he discovers she's his sister. In a post-credits scene, a depressed Lucas gets a new idea when his neighbor introduces Lucas to his new pet... a duck named Howard.
Joe Nussbaum is an American film director. A graduate of the University of Southern California, he got his break into the movie industry by passing around Hollywood offices his short film George Lucas in Love. The success of the film eventually got him a deal with Dreamworks, and he has since directed films such as the 2004 production Sleepover, the 2006 film American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile and the 2007 film Sydney White starring Amanda Bynes. His latest project was the Walt Disney Pictures film Prom, starring Aimee Teegarden and Nicholas Braun. He currently is working at MTV writing for and occasionally directing “Awkward."
Joe grew up in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota—a suburb of Minneapolis—through junior high school. At the age of twelve he received a camcorder and proceeded to write and make films without an editing machine. When he started high school the family moved to Brighton, New York—a suburb of Rochester. While in high school, he turned the morning announcements into a closed circuit television program. He also acted in high school plays and one at Nazareth College.
His parents are Daniel II, a retired developmental pediatrician and Alice née Rosenthal, a Jewish educator and internationally known Judaic needlework designer. His paternal grandfather was born in Germany. His maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother were born in Ukraine. His maternal grandmother's family probably came from northeastern Europe, but they have lost all their immigration data.
As a youth, Joe was active in haBonim, the labor Zionist youth movement. He spent many summers at their Camp Tavor in Three Rivers, Michigan, and a year on Kibbutz Urim in Israel.