Starwars.com chats with Texas-based filmmaker Adam White about his award-winning film.
What is your background in film? Did you study it in college? Did you make films as a youngster/teen?
I have been making movies my whole life. I studied film in college, my degree was called Media Production at the University of Houston. I now work as a freelance video editor and I write and make short films as often as my schedule allows.
What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? How has George Lucas and his films influenced your work?
I have been a huge Star Wars fan for as long as I can remember. My first memory of being at a movie was seeing Star Wars at a drive-in. I’m guessing it was the summer of 1978 for the first re-release as I had Star Wars figures in the station wagon with me. George Lucas’ films have been a huge influence on me, particularly the fun and lighthearted tone of many of his films. I have found that many of my films have tried to emulate this aspect of his films.
What is the backstory regarding your film? Where did you get your idea for your film?
My son, Christian, saw a fan film that I made in 2002 titled The Unconscious Jedi and wanted to be in a fan film. Christian, who is a huge Star Wars fan as well, wanted to make The Unconscious Sith as he is a big fan of all the Sith lords in the movies and comics. Christian is also Autistic, so that provided some challenges for shooting as we would not be able to shoot this in the traditional way movies are shot with multiple takes of the same actions.
After thinking about it a while I decided to have the film be a comic book that comes alive. This allowed us to skip forward in the story as we traveled from panel to panel which gave us the freedom to let Christian play in front of the camera, then fine tune the story in editing.
What are some of the technical aspects of your film? What did you shoot and edit with?
I shot the film on HDV with the Canon XH-A1 and edited on Final Cut Pro. I used Lightwave for 3-D animation and After Effects for the rest of the FX work. Most of the film was shot in front of a green screen (found a room with a green wall and used that) which was removed using After Effects.
What were some of the challenges and surprised that happened to you as you were writing/directing/filming your movie?
Figuring out where to find a green screen and trying to work out all the logistics of post production while keeping up with my day job. We had zero budget which was a challenge, but having limitations like that can force you to come up with creative solutions that can help your film and I think that was the case with this project.
Who were all the principle people in helping get the film made? Who would you thank if your film won an Academy Award?
It was a very small crew (I was the only one), and a pretty small cast as well. I would certainly thank my cast which included my son Christian, Luke and Elizabeth Schoppe, and my brother Aaron White. I would also thank Lucasfilm, Atom.com, and George Lucas. This contest is a lot of fun and being able to use John Williams’ music is awesome!
Do you have aspirations to make films as a career? Or is this simply a labor of love?
My goal for as long as I can remember has been to have a career as a filmmaker.
If you could meet George Lucas, what would you say?
First, I would thank him for making the Star Wars films. I’d ask for his advice for an aspiring filmmaker, then I’d have to ask if they were hiring for any upcoming Star Wars projects!
Why do you think recognizing fan films is important?
Making fan films is great because you get to work in a recognizable universe that has already been established for you by the creator of the material. I think that recognizing Star Wars fan films is especially important because the six Star Wars films have inspired so many people to pursue film careers over the past 33 years, and it is great to get an official venue to pay tribute to the films that have inspired us.
Watch all the fan movie winners here: