NEW YORK (AP) — Martin Scorsese’s alma mater, New York University, is setting up a film institute named after George Lucas and Melody Hobson as a gift.
The formation of the Martin Scorsese Institute of Global Cinematic Arts was to be announced Tuesday by NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts., The institute will also include a virtual production center, support for the Martin Scorsese Department of Cinema Studies and student scholarships – along with tuition assistance for those selected as “Scorses Scholars”.
A large donation from the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation —The nonprofit run by the “Star Wars” filmmaker and his wife, Hobson, co-chief executive of Ariel Investments and president of Starbucks Corporation, made the new institution possible.
“This is a unique and remarkable honor for me, and I thank my old, dear friend George Lucas, his wife Melody Hobson, and their remarkable foundation for this honor,” Scorsese said in a statement. “His generosity of spirit and action is moving deeply to me, and doubly so because this state-of-the-art institution will be located at my beloved alma mater, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. I only wish my parents would see this.” be around for. He would have been very proud.”
Scorsese has a long history with NYU’s film program. As a student, he made his first short films there, including 1967’s “The Big Shave, A six-minute Vietnam War allegory in which a young man shaves his face until it turns into a bloody mess. Scorsese earned a master’s degree at NYU in 1968 and continued to teach filmmaking after graduation. The school also gave him an honorary degree in 1992, and Scorsese currently sits on Tisch’s Dean’s Council.
Virtual production is a rapidly evolving method of moviemaking that attempts to immerse filmmakers in a digital sandbox of real-time, using technologies such as game-engine software, motion capture, and augmented or virtual reality. It places actors and filmmakers in a soundstage environment where digital meets physical. While such effects are more closely associated with more spectacle-driven filmmakers, Scorsese used some of his tools in the de-aging process in “The Irishman.” He says that virtual production represents a “quantum leap forward”.
“George and I have known each other for what seemed like a lifetime, and they have always been inspired to create new, fantasy worlds on screen,” Scorsese said. “His obsession – his passion – is part of a tradition that begins with cinema and the films of Georges Mélis. I think you could say that my own passion grows out of another parallel tradition of cinema, that of the Lumiere Brothers. Arises With: An exploration of the mystery and beauty of life and the strangeness of the world going on before us.
Lucas studied film at the University of Southern California and in 2006 donated a total of $175 million to the school’s film program—then USC’s richest charity ever. The Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation declined to share the amount of the NYU donation. The Scorsese Institute is expected to launch next year, with a production center at a later date.
In a joint statement, Hobson and Lucas said the Scorsese Institute “highlights his legacy as a quintessential American filmmaker and will inspire generations of diverse, talented students.”
Follow AP Film writer Jake Coyle on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP