Presented by Scott Robbin
at Refresh Chicago on September 24, 2012

When George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were young, they were adventurous storytellers who took risks and thrilled audiences. Films such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones and E.T. stretched the boundaries of movie-making, using the most advanced technologies of their time to suspend disbelief.

The two had the golden touch: a combination of creativity and confidence that yielded impressive results. In 20+ years that followed, Lucas and Spielberg would go on to produce and direct countless films, including story continuations of previous blockbusters, the Star Wars prequels and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Like their contemporaries, they sought to engage moviegoers with the latest in effects technology — photorealistic renderings of scenes and creatures. While the results were visually stunning, the movies themselves did not resonate as did their predecessors. Many were seen as critical flops, and panned by longtime fans.

What went wrong? Did Lucas and Spielberg forget the magic formula? Did digital effects detract from the story line? As developers and designers, we are constantly striving to achieve the web-equivalent of Lucas and Spielberg’s golden touch. We attempt to keep pace with the ever-evolving technologies, and find balance with user experience. Interaction Jones and the Template of Doom will discuss design and development anecdotes, framed by Spielberg and Lucas’ blockbusters and follies.

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