Posts Tagged ‘Fan Movie Challenge’



Fan Movie Winner Profile: Bounty Hunter II: Pit of Carkoon

StarWars.com Team | August 24, 2011

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at San Diego Comic-Con International, Bounty Hunter II: Pit of Carkoon won the Best Animated Feature.

Starwars.com chats with Nebraska-based filmmaker Jim Mehsling about his award-winning film Bounty Hunter II: Pit of Carkoon.

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

This is actually my fourth Star Wars fan film. I’ve always been a huge fan of the series and the chance to do my own take on the characters and play around with some animated designs in the Star Wars Universe is a fun challenge.

What is the back story regarding your film?

The back story is what the audience did not see in the films but surely must have happened in Return of the Jedi. Luke and friends must have discussed a rescue plan at some point and treating the skiff guard job like a job orientation presented some gag opportunities, for example, Bib Fortuna mispronouncing Boba Fett’s name.

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: The Tentacle Trap

StarWars.com Team | August 4, 2011

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at San Diego Comic-Con International, The Tentacle Trap won the Spirit of Fandom Award.

Starwars.com chats with Caribbean-based filmmaker James Austen about his award-winning film The Tentacle Trap.

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

In Star Wars, George Lucas created the richest of universes. Since watching A New Hope at age 3, I found there’s little that’s more exciting in movies than roaring spaceships, lightsabers and laser guns going pow, and the adventure of it all. When I decided to make a movie, there was no question that it wouldn’t be in the Star Wars universe.

What is the back story regarding your film?

Originally, the idea to make the movie came out of an idea to create visuals for some music I was writing (which was the origin of the Electric Space Banjo the pilot plays). It seemed like it would be a fun project. I’ve always been rather taken with the how stop-motion animation can make real objects come to life, and Star Wars, music and LEGO have been my three lifetime loves. So the movie became a brilliant project to draw all my interests together. I though it might keep me occupied in the evenings for a few months; then I thought of the potted plants and tentacles and it grew into a beast. By the time it was all done somehow it was three years later!

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: Solo Forever

StarWars.com Team | August 2, 2011

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at San Diego Comic-Con International, Solo Forever won the Best Comedy Award.

Starwars.com chats with Los Angeles-based filmmaker Trey Albright about his award-winning film Solo Forever.

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

I was prompted by the website. The fact that it’s out there for anyone to do. That’s pretty cool. George Lucas’ movies were my childhood. Star Wars and Indiana Jones where in constant rotation in the VCR. I remember climbing all over my parents car try to re-enact a scene in Raider’s of the Lost Ark. Climbing on the side of the car, opening the door and swinging in feet first. Kicking the hell outta some Nazis. I think that’s the kinda action hero I’d like to be. Really just wanted to be Han Solo and Indiana Jones rolled up into one. Maybe with a pinch of John McClane.

What is the back story regarding your film?

I’ve been creating sketches for about a year now and I was having a conversation with a writing partner about what he did with his action figures once he got too old for them. He said he lit them on fire. HA! I thought that was great cause I shot mine with a pellet gun. I remember shooting most of them and I kind of felt sad as I was doing it. But I was getting older and girls were interesting, and they didn’t play Star Wars. It was just a part of growing up; and who wants to do that?!

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Wars: Unlimited Power

StarWars.com Team | July 28, 2011

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at San Diego Comic-Con International, Star Wars: Unlimited Power won the George Lucas Selects Award.

Starwars.com chats with Los Angeles-based filmmaker Eliot Sirota about his award-winning film Star Wars: Unlimited Power.

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

Star Wars is what started me on my career path. From the moment I saw it at the tender young age of 5, I knew I wanted to tell stories, create special FX and make movies. So I suppose that’s one of many ways that George Lucas has influenced me! If I were to list all of them, I would have to write a book! The short and sweet version is that he made something no one else had imagined possible at the time and pioneered a whole new way of making movies, television and media. He saw that art and technology were two sides of the same coin and could be used together to create something that transcended both of them. Without “Uncle” George leading the way, many other great movies would never have been possible.

As far as what prompted me to a make a Star Wars film, the original trilogy films are still my all time favorite movies, and what Star Wars fan wouldn’t want to play in and expand on that world? I think I always wanted to make a Star Wars fan film, and maybe even someday have a hand in an actual Lucasfilm Star Wars project!

What is the back story regarding your film?

I had several ideas for what I wanted to explore. The background characters, creatures and vehicles in Star Wars are so amazing, and yet, to a character in the Star Wars universe, they’re just everyday things that are taken for granted. The amazing technology would have to be manufactured and advertised so that the intergalactic consumer could know what products were available and decide what to buy. That led me to the idea of doing a commercial. I just thought it would be funny to see how blue milk or evaporators would be advertised. But far more interesting than those items, to me at least, are droids.

I love the droids in Star Wars. They’re meant to be simple tools, but they all have their own personalities, quirks and even heroic qualities. We spend 6 movies getting to know two droids very well, but what about all the other unmentioned metallic masses? Especially the power droid we’ve all come to affectionately known as Gonk? And a commercial for a brand new power droid would have just been to clean and crisp and I found the idea of a used Gonk commercial particularly funny, like a bad used car commercial.

That’s basically where the idea came from. I suppose I was inspired a bit by Robot Chicken as well because they often explore similar “mundane” and yet hysterical ideas in fantastical worlds, especially Star Wars. Having the droid dance was based on the idea that it would be dancing to “The Power” by SNAP! but as the project moved forward I found it best to go another route.

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Comic-Con 2011: Star Wars Fan Movie Winners

StarWars.com Team | July 22, 2011

The Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge is produced by a long-running partnership between Lucasfilm and Atom, to celebrate the best in fan made videos and animations. The winning entry each year is selected by Star Wars writer/director George Lucas, and the finalists are also posted online, where a worldwide body of viewers selects the Audience Choice Award.

This year the famous golden droid trophies were presented to the winners at San Diego Comic-Con 2011 during the Fan Movie Award Ceremony on Thursday evening, July 21.

Below are a list of the winners who took home a coveted statue:

Best Fan Fiction – Fed Wetherbee for A Light in the Darkness
(Introduced by Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo)

Best Acting – Sasha Nixon for Star Wars: Hunter
(Introduced by Fanboys Director Kyle Newman)

Spirit of Fandom – James Austen for The Tentacle Trap
(Introduced by Lucasfilm Events Manager Mary Franklin)

Best Comedy – Trey Albright for Solo Forever
(Introduced by Robot Chicken co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich)

Best Sequel – Adam White for The Unconcious Sith Strikes Back
(Introduced by The Clone Wars CG/FX/Lighting Supervisor Joel Aaron)

Audience Choice Award – Fed Wetherbee for A Light in the Darkness
(Introduced by former Lucasfilm Director of Fan Relations Steve Sansweet)

Best Animated Feature – Jim Mehsling for Bounty Hunter II: Pit of Carkoon
(Award introduced by The Clone Wars Supervising Director Dave Filoni)

George Lucas Selects Award – Eliot Sirota for Star Wars: Unlimited Power
(Award introduced by The Clone Wars Supervising Director Dave Filoni, and via video, George Lucas)

Be sure to check out all our photos on the Star Wars Fan Movie Awards Flickr Gallery!

Stay tuned on Star Wars Blog for profiles of all the award winners.

Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Wars ’70s Animation

StarWars.com Team | August 30, 2010

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at Celebration V in Orlando, Florida, Star Wars ’70s Animation won the Spirit of Fandom Award.

Starwars.com chats with California-based filmmaker John Kolesar 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?

No film background. I made this Star Wars film back in the ’70s with the help of my younger brother Jim and friend Anthony. I also made a few other stop-frame animated films using clay animation, modified plastic models and other fun stuff.

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

We were creative kids, and my parents let us use their video camera. Once the Star Wars figures and ships started appearing in stores, I guess we thought it would be fun to make a film using those things. I read all the sci-fi magazines back then, and found the “making of” and special effects articles fascinating.

What is the backstory regarding your film? Where did you get your idea for your film?

We had quite a collection of figures. Our film is loosely based on a few scenes from Star Wars. We added some characters, modified some scenes, added new ones, etc.

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: The Unconscious Sith

StarWars.com Team | August 26, 2010

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at Celebration V in Orlando, Florida, The Unconscious Sith won George Lucas Selects Award.

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.

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: The Solo Adventures

StarWars.com Team | August 24, 2010

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at Celebration V in Orlando, Florida, The Solo Adventures won Best Animated Feature.

Starwars.com chats with Florida-based filmmaker Jeff Scheetz about his award-winning film, The Solo Adventures.

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

I grew up making Super 8 movies in my backyard with Star Wars action figures. I vowed to one day become a visual effects artist. I was an early adopter of CGI on the Video Toaster and my first job was on Babylon 5, then Star Trek Voyager. In 2000, my wife Anne and I opened an animation school at Universal Studios Orlando called The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School. We have been training visual effects artists and animators for 10 years. Our grads have worked on Avatar, Battlestar, Kung Fu Panda, and at Disney, DreamWorks, Sony and ILM!

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

We produce four films a year as part of our curriculum. The instructors write and direct and the students work on the films as they would if this were a production studio. We have made 33 films in 10 years. It was inevitable that we would eventually make a fan film, the questions was when. The answer came with the news that Celebration V was coming to home town Orlando.

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: Chronicles of a Young Skywalker

StarWars.com Team | August 24, 2010

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at Celebration V in Orlando, Florida, Chronicles of a Young Skywalker won Best Action Heroes Award.

Starwars.com chats with Hawaii-based filmmaker Blake Cousins 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?

Brent and I are known as the Cousins Brothers Productions. We have been making films for over two years. We broke into theaters with our blockbuster hit The Night Marchers series breaking box office records in the state of Hawaii! We also won the John Carpenter Award for our movie Slaughter Day in the Video Review Magazine Shoot off! Our most recent film is an apocalyptic horror called The Rising Dead — it’s a zombie movie that takes place at the end of the world, currently being distributed by York Entertainment.

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

With Brent’s 3-year-old boy Cameron Cousins, we decided that he loved Star Wars so much that we would test his skills with a lightsaber. Turned out he was fantastic, so we went ahead and did three feature shorts of Chronicles of Young Skywalker! Growing up in the 1970′s and watching Star Wars for the first time it changed our life in a way that would lead us down the road to making film!

What is the backstory regarding your film? Where did you get your idea for your film?

We came up with the concept of what would young Luke Skywalker and a teenage Han Solo do if confronted by a dark Sith? It turned out to be a real adventure! Having a 100-year-old sugar plantation in our backyard on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii would be a perfect back drop for our film!

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Fan Movie Winner Profile: Renaissance (Redux)

StarWars.com Team | August 23, 2010

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at Celebration V in Orlando, Florida, Renaissance (Redux) won Audience Choice Award.

Renaissance (Redux) is produced entirely by Chilean people, shot in Chilean locations and inspired by George Lucas’ Star Wars. Using only a video camera and domestic computers, the Estudio 19 and Droi-D crew intended to demonstrate that science fiction is possible in countries like Chile, without exorbitant budgets. Starwars.com chats with Chile-based filmmaker Inti Carrizo-Ortiz 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 went to film school here in Chile, at the ARCOS Institute of Art and Communications; but I made my first serious short film at age 17, using two old VCRs and a Mono cassette radio for editing. So I guess I took an early major in “Making Movies with Nothing at All;” a philosophy I stubbornly maintained during film school and beyond, and of course, with Renaissance (Redux). When the story is right, imagination is always the biggest budget asset.

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

Star Wars is what got me into movies; and movies is what keeps me going. It has been such a huge inspiration, I just needed to do something about it — to give something back, no matter how little, to that wonderful universe of crazy old wizards and men twisted and evil. And soon I discovered I wasn’t alone.

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