Posts Tagged ‘Fan Films’



Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Wars: Retold

StarWars.com Team | August 4, 2009

As the winner for the George Lucas Selects Award in the Fan Movie Challenge presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International, Star Wars: Retold shows what can happen when someone who thinks they remember all the little plot points of Star Wars attempted to retell it, with hilarious results.

Starwars.com chats with Texas-based filmmaker Joe Nicolosi Jr.

What is your background in film?

I’ve been making films since the day my father brought home the first family camcorder. My first project was a stop-motion animation feature film done totally with LEGOs. Years later, I studied film at Ithaca College in New York where I continued exploring animation and live-action filmmaking as well as writing and theater.

What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film?

I made this film because I was inspired by how passionately someone who had never seen Star Wars thought she could tell the story. Star Wars was my favorite film growing up and is a big reason I make films today.

Where did you get your idea for your film?

My friend Amanda hadn’t seen any of the Star Wars films, so I was trying to convince her to watch them with me. She was reluctant and stubborn at first because she’d seen so much of the story in pop culture references, like through Family Guy and Kevin Smith films. She started telling me the story as she knew it and I told her to hold on while I got my video camera.

What are some of the technical aspects of your film?

I recorded Amanda’s retelling using my Panasonic DVX100a and cut the audio track in Apple’s Final Cut Pro. I used Adobe Photoshop to cut out all the characters and background and for the photo manipulation I did. I took all the elements back into Final Cut where I did my very crude animations.

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Sports

StarWars.com Team | August 3, 2009

Photos/Artwork by Mike LoVerme, Mike Cirelli, and Jeff Capone

As the winner for the Best Parody in the Fan Movie Challenge presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International, Star Sports ponders what would happen if your favorite Star Wars characters fought against each other through dodgeball, baseball, hockey, basketball, football, soccer and other high school sports.

Starwars.com chats with New Hampshire-based filmmaker Jeff Capone.

What is your background in film? Did you make films as a youngster/teen?

As a teenager I worked in a video store, and while I was in college I managed a movie theater, so I suppose you could say I was involved with “The Industry” at the distribution level for many years. When I was growing up, digital video technology wasn’t as accessible as it is today so I didn’t get my hands on actual movie making equipment until I attended film school at Emerson College.

Appropriately enough, my first short film was a crudely animated, farcical sequel to Return of the Jedi starring my vintage action figure collection entitled Star Wars: Episode VII: The Rebel Empire. After graduating with a B.S. in Communications, I then went on to earn my master’s degree in Education. Shortly thereafter, I landed my first teaching job in Technology Education and Video Production at Merrimack High School in New Hampshire where I’ve been working since 2003 to build and expand the MHS Videography program.

MHS Videography is the television production program at Merrimack High School in southern New Hampshire. Since 2004 we have been creating everything from feature length movies to promotional videos for the high school as well as for Merrimack TV’s Community and Education Channels. Our continuing goal is to help students develop professional communications skills and gain real-world experience in media production at the high school level.

What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? How have George Lucas and his films influenced your work?

George Lucas’ vision demonstrated, for me, the power of imagination above all else. Films like American Graffiti and Star Wars tapped in to what younger generations were really feeling and experiencing, then and now. They captured the wonder and the potential for adventure inherent in every apparently “ordinary” life.

Lucas’ filmmaking process also proved that groundbreaking and lasting movie experiences like these can be created with limited resources. Books and documentaries about the making of Star Wars and his other movies instilled me with a mindset for innovation from the moment first I got my hands on a 16mm Bolex camera, to the present with my supercharged MacBook Pro.

His ongoing commitment to technological innovation at the professional level has resulted in the creation of tools I and my students use to make our movies today. His endorsement of fan films and their creators has paved the way for now-classic projects like Troops, Pink Five, and Ryan Vs. Dorkman. These pioneers of fan filmdom showed that amateur filmmakers could also make effective and entertaining movies with a great idea and a minimal budget.

With Lucas’ support, fan films have emerged to find larger audiences and a renewed sense of value and legitimacy. It’s become a respectable art form that takes creators who are typically found in the “outer rim territories” of the filmmaking world and suddenly thrusts them into the galactic core of the Star Wars magic. All of these factors were monumental in motivating us to develop our own brand of Star Wars fan film.

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: Saber

StarWars.com Team | July 30, 2009

As the winner for the Best Action and Audience Choice awards for the Fan Movie Challenge presented by Lucasfilm and Atom, Saber depicts a Cantina dream come true for many fanboys and fangirls alike. Starwars.com chats with Los Angeles-based filmmakers and stars of Saber — Clare Grant and Rileah Vanderbilt.

What is your background in film?

Clare: I actually studied theater in college at the University of Memphis, where I met a local director, Craig Brewer who encouraged me to gravitate more towards film by casting me in small roles in his local Memphis indy films.

Rileah: I never studied film in college, but I was very active in plays and sketches when I was younger. I’ve always wanted to be an actor as far back as I can remember!

What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? How has George Lucas and his films influenced your work?

Clare: Rileah and I met waiting tables at the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. We were stunned when we realized we shared a deep love for Star Wars and many other geeky things. We would serve drinks and pasta to folks all night and daydream together about how awesome it would be to actually fight with lightsabers on film. Ya know, just for us, so we could watch it whenever we wanted to make ourselves happy.

George Lucas made the most influential movies for me and Rileah. I’m pretty sure she, like I, walk around narrating our daily lives with Star Wars and Indy theme music.

Rileah: Yes, this is true! Clare and I have always been very much into sci-fi and fantasy. When we first sat down and decided to do an online project together, Los Angeles was in the middle of a writers’ strike, there weren’t any movies or TV shows getting made. Clare and I were very frustrated and fed up with waiting around for people to give us opportunities.

So we decided to produce and act in our own project. Saber was a way for us to not only be in charge of our own destiny, but hopefully also a calling card to lead to other opportunities. When deciding what really spoke to us, Star Wars was a logical choice since we both have such a love for that universe.

Thanks to George Lucas, I’ve been a Star Wars fan ever since the first time I watched the movie back when I was a kid! Movies like Star Wars and Indiana Jones are what really prompted me to want to become an actress. I’ve always wanted to do movies that had the same action, adventure and fantasy that Star Wars had. On a more nerdy level, I named my cat Chewbacca (aka Chewie) after everyone’s favorite Wookiee, and I have a pretty nice replica Princess Leia slave costume.

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Atom.com Launches Operation Olivia

StarWars.com Team | July 28, 2009

From the Atom.com community site comes this recap of Saturday’s Star Wars Fan Movie panel with host Olivia Munn, including details and links for further information regarding Operation Olivia, a new way to get involved with the annual Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge:

Olivia Munn joined Lucasfilm’s Bill Gannon and past Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge winners Trey Stokes (Pink Five), Robert Reeves (Padme), and Chris Crawford (Star Wars Gangsta Rap) on Atom’s fan film panel Saturday night at Comic-Con. And the audience followed, with nearly 500 fans packing the room, many of them “OMFG” members from Munn’s fan club, eager to get a close-up look at their idol, discuss Munn’s well-known love of pie, and find out what the Playboy cover girl is looking for in an Operation Olivia contest pitch.

One of the OMFG members in attendance was fellow panelist Reeves, who won last year’s “George Lucas Selects” award for his fan film “Padme.” Reeves presented Munn a pie before the panel, but (sorry Robert) Munn’s pregnant producer, Kristen Rutherford, was overheard saying she was going to eat it before the panel was finished.

olivia_blog.jpg

As expected, Munn dominated the panel with tales of her love of Star Wars, and pie. The multitalented actress-sex symbol even indulged in a little beat-boxing for the audience, displaying some highly impressive skillz, before Gangsta Rap’s Crawford one-upped her with a brief but professional-caliber burst of his own.

Read the rest here. Photos courtesy of atom.com.

2009 Fan Movie Challenge Winners

StarWars.com Team | July 25, 2009


(The big winners of the night for Saber!)

Atom and Lucasfilm once again filled a massive Ballroom 20 at Comic-Con International with fans eager to see who would be taking home the coveted golden droid statuettes in the 8th Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge. Special guest presenters Olivia Munn (G4′s Attack of the Show) and Seth Green (Robot Chicken) entertained the crowd, while filmmakers showed off their cinematic tributes to Star Wars.

Out of the 22 finalists, who all had astounding films, here’s a list of the winners who walked away with a golden statue.

George Lucas Selects: Joseph Nicolosi for Star Wars Retold (Award introduced by Clone Wars Supervising Director Dave Filoni, and via video, George Lucas)

Audience Choice: Clare Grant, Rileah Vanderbilt, Adam Green and Mike Civitano for Saber (Award introduced by Seth Green)

Best Action: Clare Grant, Rileah Vanderbilt, Adam Green and Mike Civitano for Saber (Award introduced by Olivia Munn)

Best Comedy: Rich Scheirmann for Family Dysfunction (Award introduced by Director of Lucas Online, Bill Gannon)

Best Parody: Jeff Capone for Star Sports Theatrical Trailer (Award introduced by LucasArt Marketing Manager Matt Shell)

Best Animated Movie: Oscar Fabian Triana Mendez for Star Wars in a Notebook (Award introduced by Manager of Content Development at Atom Entertainment, Ian Friedman)

Spirit of Fandom Award: Joe Presswood for Star Wars Cinemagic (Award introduced by Lucasfilm Events Manager Mary Franklin)


(Seth Green presents Audience Choice Award)

Check out more photos of the winners and special guests at the Star Wars Fan Movie Awards here:
Fan Movie Challenge Awards 2009 Flickr Set

Capt. Reynolds Says: Vote for Fan Films!

StarWars.com Team | July 9, 2009

Actor Nathan Fillion is one of those actors who makes everything he touches awesome. He gave us the heebie jeebies as the evil preacher Caleb in the last epic season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. He gave Han Solo a (parsec) run for his money as one of the hottest, most sarcastic heartthrobs in the galaxy as Captain Malcolm Reynolds on Firefly and Serenity. He made us laugh as the egostical and dubious superhero Captain Hammer in Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

So when Fillion tells you to do something, you better listen up. This week, on Twitter, Fillion reminded his followers to head over to Atom to vote for their favorite Star Wars fan film:

Be sure to vote for your favorite flick to win the Audience Choice Award, which will be presented in a lavish ceremony at Comic-Con on July 24! Voting closes on July 10, noon PST!

Watch and vote for your favorites here:
Star Wars Fan Film Finalists (via Atom)

Chad Vader vs. Keyboard Cat

Bonnie Burton | June 4, 2009

Our favorite grocery store Sith Lord Chad Vader and the awesome Internet sensation Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat finally have a duet!

WATCH VIDEO: Play Him Off, Keyboard Chad (via YouTube)

Read more about Keyboard Cat here.

Han Solo, P.I.

Bonnie Burton | June 3, 2009

We just can’t get enough of these fan-made Star Wars TV intro mashups! Here’s a side by side comparison of a fan-made intro of Star Wars re-imagined as the hit show Magnum, P.I.

Han Solo as Thomas Magnum is a no-brainer, but Old Ben Kenobi as Jonathan Quayle Higgins III is a completely brilliant match-up. Personally, I was hoping R2-D2 and C-3PO would be represented by Higgins’ dobermans.

WATCH VIDEO: Han Solo, P.I.

WATCH VIDEO: Magnum vs. Solo: sequence comparison

Check out more Star Wars TV intros here:

Starship Enterprise Destroyed by the Death Star

StarWars.com Team | May 8, 2009

Just because the new Star Trek film (out this weekend) is becoming a blockbuster hit, doesn’t mean Star Wars fans can’t have a little fun. Filmmaker Michael Horn (who previously brought us Death Star over San Francisco, is at it again. But this time the Death Star has its sights on destroying Star Trek’s USS Enterprise as it hovers near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco!

WATCH VIDEO: Starship Enterprise Destroyed by the Death Star (via Current TV)

Donald Faison’s Chronicles of Lando Calrissian

Bonnie Burton | May 6, 2009

Donald Faison, who plays Turk in the comedy Scrubs, was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon where he showed off his Star Wars cred (he’s seen The Empire Strikes Back over 300 times) and pitched his new TV idea The Chronicles of Lando Calrissian, starring, of course, himself as Lando.

It’d be The Chronicles of Lando Calrissian starring Donald Faison. I’d be Lando. And it would be before he lost the Millennium Falcon to Han Solo in that Sabacc game. And we would be cruising across the galaxy in the Falcon gettin’ chicks, drinking ale. And the hair would be phenomenal! I’d have to wear a wig or what we could do is just shave my head for back in the day when Lando used to shave his head. He’d have a whole new crew. It would be before Episode IV. So Episode 3.5 or 3.6.

He loved the idea so much that he even made a stop-motion animation movie of what it would look like with toys that he showed on Late Night. Not surprising, his love for Star Wars influenced him so much that he ended up taking a stop-motion class when he was just a kid. He shows the clip to Jimmy and makes the sound effects off to the side. Awesome!

WATCH VIDEO: Donald Faison on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
(via Hulu.com)