I’m not quite sure how I came across this review of Michael Rubin’s excellent Droidmaker: George Lucas And the Digital Revolution, but I’m glad I did, because it’s a good distillation of this incredible book. Years ago I got wind of Droidmaker via Michael Heilemann (a Star Wars geek), and at his behest, decided to give it a read, despite it being available only in PDF at the time, and my semi-apathy regarding George Lucas, etc. It’s not that I was anti-Lucas or anything, but this just didn’t sound like the kind of thing I’d want to spend a whole book reading about. Lucky for me, this book ended up being less about Lucas, and more about the myriad technologies he and others (including Coppola and Jobs) helped to foster.
I couldn’t stop reading it, and as soon as it was made available for Kindle (last year, I believe), I bought and read it again. It covers masterfully the digital revolution, including computers generally, sound design and engineering, editing, CGI, Pixar, video games, etc. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a book along these lines that’s more encompassing, edifying, and entertaining–its breadth and depth cannot be overstated. It’s a book about endless (mostly technical) issues of first impression, and various geniuses’ solutions to those issues.
This is the kind of book that I buy for friends to guilt them into actually reading it…and then sit back and wait for the emails and texts about what a great friend I am for bringing it to their attention. ;)