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presidio.jpgGeorge Lucas led his team from Hollywood to a hidden area just north of San Francisco, and changed moviemaking as we know it. Good story today (or here) by Mercury News colleague Mary Anne Ostrom, about Lucas’ latest move: into a $350 million digital-arts studio at San Francisco’s historic Presidio

“San Francisco is where digital was invented, down in Silicon Valley,” Lucas told a crowd of 2,000 invited guests enjoying fried chicken and California wine on the sprawling lawn of his complex.

“This is where video games were invented. This is where the first movie was made digitally,” Lucas said. “I think eventually the rest of the world will catch up with us, but right now this is where it is.”

–A related Q&A (free registration required for this one) with Lucas about his retirement — yeah, right. He’s still going to be making movies.

–A related link about a Stanford physicist who helped

Footnote: Mercury News newspaper edition carries some great graphics, including a mapped description of the new Lucasfilm digs, and a separate map of Hollywood North — listing the other local companies that were spawned by Lucas’ move to the Silicon Valley region a generation ago. For some strange reason, the Merc refuses to post these graphics online. ARGH. Anyway, here’s a bare-bones list:

1) Industrial Light & Magic, San Francisco (All “Star Wars” movies, “Harry Potter”)
2) Matte World Digital, Novato (“The Last Sumurai,” “Down With Love,” “The Alamo”)
3) The Orphanage, San Francisco (“Sky Captain, “Day After Tomorrow”)
4) Giant Killer Robots, San Francisco (“Scooby-Doo,” “Romeo Must Die,” “Judge Dredd”)
5) Pixar, Emeryville (“Toy Story,” “Toy Story 2,” “The Incredibles”)
6) Tippett Studio, Berkeley (“The Matrix: Revolutions,” “Men in Black 2”)
7) PDA/Dreamworks, Redwood City (“Madagascar,” “Shrek”)

Update: And if you’re into Rize, and “krumping,” check this story for how the Bay Area was involved in the movie’s production.

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