(Fanboys-director Kyle Newman presents Lee Vehe with the Best Comedy Award for The Eyes of Darth Tater. Photo by Jenny Elwick.)
Chicago-based filmmaker Lee Vehe, and winner for Best Comedy with his short film The Eyes of Darth Tater, in the Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge presented by Lucasfilm and AtomFilms, explains how a dream about a baked potato can lead to a lot of laughs.
What is the back story regarding your film? Where did you get your idea for your film?
The idea oddly enough originated in a dream, the singular shot of Darth Sidious beside a foil-wrapped baked potato. It was then just a matter of putting a beginning and end to that thought.
What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? How has George Lucas and his films influence your work?
I have been a finalist in this competition every year for the last four. Initially it was an excuse to learn a specific compositing program but I’ve also always thought of it as an unique opportunity to play in George Lucas’ sandbox.
What is your background in film? Did you make films as a youngster?
My father had a Super-8 camera and that’s probably where my initial interest came from. I also think the television special “The Making of Star Wars” created a lasting impact. Around 11, I finally got my hands on a camera. My first experiments were primarily stop-motion things and spaceships on wires. I was awarded a partial scholarship to art school but forfeited it because I really wanted to study film. Eventually, I earned a BFA in Fine Arts in Film/Video with a concentration in Directing.