​A photographer walks around a small town, and as he takes pictures of its inhabitants, they disappear. Shot in widescreen and color, a technically impressive short, albeit somewhat uninteresting.

Anyone lived in a pretty how town takes its title from an unnamed poem of by E. E. Cummings published in 1940, the first line of which is often used as its title.

Lucas on location with two of his actors.

Impressive for its use of Techniscope film stock, which lent the short vibrant colors and a widescreen image, a first at USC according to Dale Pollock, it's slightly less impressive in what it depicts; a photographer who pops in and out of existence, stealing people with his antique camera, and storing them in his picture book.

Lucas and classmate Paul Golding (the two also collaborated on The Emperor) had written on the screenplay, with Golding also starred in the main role as the photographer. Despite the short’s title, most people would arguably be hard pressed to find any other similarities between the film and the poem, beyond that opening prose. Says Dale Pollock:

Lucas was determined to make Anyone in five weeks, not ten. Even his friends said it was impossible-it took ten days just to get color film processed in an outside lab. The haste with which Lucas and Golding made Anyone is apparent; it is the least likable and least impressive of George’s student films. The story concerns a photographer who takes pictures of a young couple, turning them into black-and-white still photographs in the process. At the five-week screening, George showed a finished answer print; none of the other crews even had a rough cut completed. Lucas demonstrated that he could make a film under the pressure of a deadline and bring it in on schedule and on budget (his total out-of-pocket cost was around $40).[k902, 1]

Though caution should be taken in deriving lessons from early work in this manner, it’s noteworthy of course because it shows Lucas’s continued dedication to pushing the envelope technically. He was already concerned with, and highly aware of production costs, a skill which would serve him well in his future work. Not to mention, eager to take on challenges.

Worth noting, is also the sunrise opening, a repeated motif in Lucas’s work.


  1. Dale Pollock. Skywalking: The Life And Films Of George Lucas, Updated Edition (). Kindle Edition.

Previous

Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB (1967)

Michael Heilemann
Early Career
Next

The Emperor (1967)

Michael Heilemann
Early Career