Glassdoor Reviews Of Lucasfilm Paint An Interesting Picture

Thanks to an insightful Twitter thread, we can get a look into what life may be like for those working within Lucasfilm.  The following are screenshots taken from Glassdoor reviews presumably from former employees.  I’ve also mixed in a couple of reviews from indeed.

The positive comments generally all say the same things; prestige in working on Star Wars, looks good on a resume, beautiful facilities, etc.  So I’m not going to post those here, unless they’re relevant to the context of other remarks.  So if you want to see those remarks and the positive reviews that are on Glassdoor, you can head on over there and read them.  If for any reason the reviews suddenly disappear, you can read this archive.  But I’m going to focus mainly on the negative comments is this blog post, because my interest lies in the problems within Lucasfilm which manifests outwardly as inferior product.

Interestingly, many of the negative comments also say the same things, but I’ll comment on those year by year.  One of the primary overarching problems though throughout this timeline, is that Lucasfilm does not pay industry standard.  This seems somewhat odd for a company that is pushing propaganda about the evils of stingy rich people in the movies it produces.  A company that purportedly believes in equal pay for equal work.

It should also be noted that a few of these reviews are for Lucasfilm’s Singapore location, which apparently progressive Lucasfilm is exporting American jobs to.

Bet let’s begin with the year 2008, the year that Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull was released in theaters.  We can probably expect that George Lucas was fully invested in his company at least up until this point.

DISCLAIMER:  Reader discretion is advised, user reviews may or may not be from genuine Lucasfilm employees.  But their consistency does seem to suggest that they are.

Also keep in mind, that all comments regarding the President of Lucasfilm at least up to 2013, the year of the sale to Disney, including the Feng Shui comments  may be in regards to Kathleen Kennedy’s predecessor, Micheline Chau.

2008

1

2

3

4

5

So in 2008 we get the impression that George was already beginning to step away from the company and allow his management teams to take over.  This would be a theme repeated in subsequent years.

2009

6

LF

8

In 2009 that management seems happy to fill in the power vacuum that George is leaving open to them.

2010

9

10

We see a lot of comments that refer to being adverse to risk taking.  I’m going to interpret this as internal employees dissatisfied with having to maintain the Star Wars tradition, and not being able to change things up as they are now under Disney.

2011

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

In 2011 we see remarks about bad management and paranoia.  My guess us that rumors of an imminent sale to Disney may have begun to swirl as comments from upper management leaked to lower levels.  This probably heightened the level of hysteria.

2012

18

19

20

22

76

23

24

25

75

2012 saw an increase of comments regarding how Lucasfilm had become politically charged, and how much of the talent employed was mediocre.

KathleenKennedy

Fashion glasses make her smarter than “those people.”

2013 was the year of the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney.

2013

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37.JPG

What we see in 2013 is an increase in complaints about bad management during this time of transition to Disney ownership.  We see complaints about how Lucasfilm should promote from within rather than hire externally, and complaints about firings over minutiae.  This tells me that Lucasfilm was likely attempting to purge the Old Guard and replace it with politically compliant individuals, particularly given how many comments we see about politics and the hiring of “buddies.”  As a result the subsequent complaints about a loss of creativity and innovation are unsurprising.

2014

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

More politics.  More problems with upper management.

2015

49

50

51

52

53

74

More complaints about the upper management and their “toxic culture.”  Given the comments about long hours and terrible hours, the low pay, and the slashing of benefits, it would seem to me that Lucasfilm employees ought to unionize.

2016

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

Lucasfilm run like a 1950s era white boy’s club that holds down women an minorities in the year of our Lord 2016?  Surely this can’t be the all inclusive Lucasfilm that we see in the public eye.

2017

61

62

63

64

65

66.JPG

67

77

69

More comments about bad management and low pay.

2018

70

71

Male dominated?  In 2018?  Still?  But what about equality?  How can this be when the Force is presumably female?

Now, it’s possible that I may have missed some gems, so be sure to check the links out yourself.  And there may be employee reviews for Lucasfilm elsewhere on other websites as well.

SC Reviews discusses this story:

MechaRandom comments on this story:

That Umbrella Guy also adds his insight, as he’s previously covered Glassdoor reviews for Marvel and DC comics.

UPDATE:

The Lucasfilm Animation Department has its own Glassdoor account, and there are some interesting reviews there as well.

2011

2011

2011-2

2012

2012

2012-3

2013

2013

2013-2

2014

2014

2015

2015

2016

2016

2018

1

This blogpost has been archived here.

10 thoughts on “Glassdoor Reviews Of Lucasfilm Paint An Interesting Picture

  1. The hopeful part of me has been thinking, ‘Lucasfilm doesn’t want to fail. It has to become better, it just has to’, but this shows that they were well into their entropy phase 10 years ago, so a course reversal is probably impossible at this point 😦

    Liked by 3 people

    • Nice story, Itchy. My takeaways:
      1. The decreasing levels of employee job satisfaction is reminiscent of Eisner’s penny pinching reign as Disney CEO. After Roy Disney and friends pushed out Eisner a lot of people were unhappy with Iger as his successor as he was considered an Eisner clone. His firing of US natives and forcing them to train their imported replacements is a pretty big indicator that “profit before people” is the order of the day at the mouse house.
      2. The FX and CGI animation booms crashed some years back with massive layoffs at places like Dreamworks et al. So it isn’t a big surprise that layoffs and reduced employee compensation (and happiness) are on the plate in general.
      3. The first 3 movies show Disney Star Wars clearly isn’t looking to make astounding jumps in CGI vehicle or environment design so there isn’t that much left for talented Lucasfilm artists to actually find challenging.
      4. Disney makes a high percentage of animated and live action movies about empowering women while not actually empowering women – with the exception of the highly publicized hiring of the “force is female” KK and her 80 percent female story group.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting stuff.

    It’s hard to say what some mean with ‘politics’. Internal company politics? External politics? Both?

    In any case, this makes certain things more clear not only about what’s currently happening in the company, but also about the leadership shifts, cancelled projects and eventually downfall of divisions like LucasArts years ago.

    I’ve noticed that someone mentioned Strange Magic, George’s (pet project) animated feature that was being produced in Singapore. Indeed, it was out of odds with Disney, which is why they made sure that it would have a very limited theatrical run (probably contractual obligation) with no marketing whatsoever, but also not even get a Blu-ray release. One of George Lucas’ last works relegated to obscurity…

    Liked by 2 people

    • That was my initial suspicion as well with regards to politics, but a couple of reviews makes it clear that those comments are not about internal office politics.

      Though I’m sure there’s problems with internal office politics as well, given the comments about “paranoia,” issues with poor management, and firings at the drop of a hat.

      Yes, a few of these reviews are about Lucafilm’s Singapore location.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Aside: If you haven’t seen “Strange Magic” you might give it a shot, particularly if you’re into 70s pop. Not great, but a fun watch and the fairy king is a ringer for George.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I have seen it. While I’m not the target audience nor someone that’s a fan of musicals, there’s no denying that it’s a visual marvel in terms of animation (among the best of the genre). And I can appreciate it’s message to young girls, specially when compared to rival movies used for propaganda (i.e: Frozen).

        It’s baffling that it didn’t get a Blu-ray release. Even the cheap direct to video movies from Disney get them.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Disney Employees Reveal What Its Like Working There - Hint: Working On Star Wars Is NOT That Pretty - ThatUmbrellaGuy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s