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Charles Lippincott,, age?, film marketeer (orig Star Wars) - COVID-19
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That Derek
2020-05-20 17:50:43 UTC
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From Mark Evvanier's pop culture blog "News from ME":

https://www.newsfromme.com/2020/05/20/charles-lippincott-r-i-p/

Charles Lippincott, R.I.P.

Published Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 8:41 AM

That damned virus has ended the life of the very nice and bright Charles Lippincott — "Charley" to his friends and he had an awful lot of friends. Charley did many things in the worlds of motion pictures and publishing but the one that most impresses people was that he is credited with supervising the advertising and promotion that made Star Wars the box office/merchandising juggernaut that it was. He did that for a lot of movies including Alien, Westworld and many more, including Judge Dredd, on which he served as producer.

Charley was loved and respected by many and I wish I'd known him better than I did. My pal Craig Miller knew him very well and in his new book about Star Wars and its marketing, Craig wrote this…

Charles M. Lippincott, usually known as Charley, went to USC Film School at the same time as George Lucas. Charley became a Publicist, first at MGM, and worked on a lot of projects. He worked with Alfred Hitchcock on Family Plot. 20th Century Fox hired him to work with George Lucas on Star Wars.

Charley's title was Senior Vice President, Advertising, Publicity, Promotion, and Merchandising of Star Wars Corporation. Quite a mouthful. He oversaw every aspect of Star Wars related to those areas. And more.

Not to take away anything from George, whose creative mind conceived, wrote, and directed Star Wars. Or the film's producer, Gary Kurtz, whose knowledge of production got the film made. Or creative geniuses like John Dykstra, Richard Edlund, and countless others at Industrial Light & Magic who reinvented special effects to make miracles happen. They all made a great movie that wouldn’t have happened without them.

But without Charley, I don’t think Star Wars would have come close to the success it became.

Charley was responsible for a lot. He made sure every character, every name, every image was properly copyrighted and trademarked. He made the licensing deals (along with Marc Pevers, an attorney who was Vice President of Licensing at 20th Century Fox) for the merchandise that, despite the enormous box office gross, was the real profit center for Lucasfilm. He was even part of the pitches to the 20th Century-Fox Board, to help convince them to make the movie.

And he masterminded the campaign that truly changed the way movies were publicized. I'm quite proud to have worked with him.

Such a shame we can't all converge for a big memorial to the guy. It would be packed.
That Derek
2020-05-21 01:55:54 UTC
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https://variety.com/2020/film/news/charles-lippincott-star-wars-a-new-hope-publicist-dead-dies-1234612584/

Home Film News

May 20, 2020 5:09pm PT

Charles Lippincott, ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ Publicist, Dies at 80

By Dave McNary

Veteran film publicist Charles Lippincott, best known for handling the marketing campaign for George Lucas’ “Star Wars: A New Hope,” died Tuesday after being hospitalized in Vermont last week for a heart attack. He was 80.

Lippincott’s wife, Bumpy, shared the news on social media.

Lippincott joined Lucasfilm in 1975 as vice president of advertising, publicity, promotion and merchandising. He’s credited with organizing extensive promotion of the first “Star Wars” movie prior to its release in 1977 with a grass-roots campaign aimed at science-fiction fans and younger moviegoers. Those moves included publicizing the then-unknown star Mark Hamill, who accompanied Lippincott on a promotional tour starting in 1976.

The marketing guru also brought “Star Wars: A New Hope” to the San Diego Comic Con, a formerly small convention that soon became a destination for Hollywood blockbusters and fandoms.

“Charley was one of the founding pillars of the “Star Wars” films and phenomenon,” said Lucas in a statement. “He began in earnest the concept of licensing motion pictures at a time when the only other company doing so was Disney. Charley was the one who said early on that ‘we can make this work’ and was the first person to both develop “Star Wars” licensing and engage with the fans. He had insights into marketing and public relations that were truly unparalleled.”

Hamill shared a a statement on the official “Star Wars” blog. “He became a legend of marketing for a reason,” he said. “He was brilliant at what he did. We traveled the world together promoting “Star Wars” before anyone knew what it was. He was a good friend and I’ll always miss him.”

Lippincott also worked on campaigns for Michael Crichton’s “Westworld,” Alfred Hitchcock’s “Family Plot,” Ridley Scott’s “Alien” and “Flash Gordon.” He was a producer on Sylvester Stallone’s 1995 sci-fi classic “Judge Dredd.”

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/charles-lippincott-dead-star-wars-publicity-mastermind-was-80-1295384

Charles Lippincott, 'Star Wars' Publicity Mastermind, Dies at 80

May 20, 2020 3:17pm
by Aaron Couch

He also worked on campaigns for 'Westworld,' Ridley Scott's 'Alien' and 'Flash Gordon.'

Charles Lippincott, the veteran film publicist who masterminded the campaign for George Lucas' first Star Wars movie, died Tuesday night after being hospitalized last week following a heart attack. He was 80.

Lippincott had been living in Vermont, where he'd retired years ago with his wife, Bumpy, who shared the news on social media.

Lippincott worked on campaigns for a number of groundbreaking films, including Michael Crichton's Westworld (1973); Alfred Hitchcock's final film, Family Plot (1976); Ridley Scott's Alien (1979); and Flash Gordon (1980). But it was his work on Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) that left the biggest mark, and he helped reshape how movies are marketed.

Lippincott joined the Star Wars galaxy in 1975 as Lucasfilm's vp advertising, publicity, promotion and merchandising. To publicize Lucas' then-unknown property, he went outside normal practices for the time, teaming with Marvel Comics for a series that came out ahead of the release and organizing partnerships with The Richard Pryor Show and The Donny & Marie Show. He also teamed with CBS for the infamous 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special — all to keep the property in the public's consciousness.

In 1976, ahead of the film's release, Lippincott brought Star Wars to San Diego Comic-Con, then a niche convention that would become the go-to arena for movie studios to show off their blockbusters.

"Prior to Star Wars, movies didn't get announced at comic conventions, nor were comic books done in advance of a movie's release," Lippincott reflected in 2015. "Our first presentation had that very same Hollywood glamor that transformed Comic-Con from the tiny acorn it was into such a huge, crowd-bashing, sold-out event. A glamor, I might add, that even comic book folks are seduced by, as evidenced by the number of times comic book folk like to recount their brief touches with that Hollywood glow."

Lippincott also pushed for 20th Century Fox to trademark each Star Wars character, which allowed the franchise to become a merchandising cash cow.

"The stuff he cemented with Star Wars revolutionized how movies were marketed, with the more grassroots approach to marketing … taking things out to the actual audience," longtime Lippincott friend Craig Miller, who worked as a publicity assistant on Star Wars, told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. "It really changed the way everything happened."

Lucas also gave credit to Lippincott for his pioneering work in a statement.

"Charley was one of the founding pillars of the Star Wars films and phenomenon," Lucas said. “He began in earnest the concept of licensing motion pictures at a time when the only other company doing so was Disney. Charley was the one who said early on that 'we can make this work' and was the first person to both develop Star Wars licensing and engage with the fans. He had insights into marketing and public relations that were truly unparalleled."

Added Star Wars star Mark Hamill, "He became a legend of marketing for a reason … He was brilliant at what he did. We traveled the world together promoting Star Wars before anyone knew what it was. He was a good friend, and I’ll always miss him."

Reflecting on the popularity of Star Wars in 2015, Lippincott noted that part of its success lay in its scarcity between film and toy line launches.

"Instead of cajoling your mother into buying you a toy, you had to use your imagination and come up with your own toys. The more you have to use your imagination, the more vested you are in the product," he wrote on his blog.
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