Posts Tagged ‘Fan Movie Challenge’

Fan Movie Winner Profile: Makazie One Team | August 20, 2010

At this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at Celebration V in Orlando, Florida, Makazie One won Best Cinematography.

The impressive fan film is set in the Star Wars universe during the time period between Episodes III and IV. An elite soldier has been sent to track down and destroy a known threat to the Empire through intense ground battles and haunting imagery of death that surround the environment. The unsuspecting enemy to the new Imperial order has no idea what he is up against when the two finally meet for an action packed surprise ending. chats with Florida-based filmmaker Clutch 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?

My only formal education that relates to film was attending Full Sail University that specialized in Digital Media, Film and Audio at the time. They’ve really expanded a great deal since then to include 3-D animation which I taught there for a number of years. I went through the digital media course which had classes covering a broad range of subjects like 3-D animation, composting, audio, cameras and 2-D graphics but no, I’ve never attended any kind of formal film school and Makazie One was my first film altogether. As a young boy I was inspired by Star Wars as many were and would make home movies with some of the toys while desperately trying not to burn down the garage in the process.

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

I’ve been a member of the 501st since 2001 as well as a former Marine so I always wanted to try to bridge the two worlds and make a Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers-type movie but with stormtroopers. I also wanted to twist our perspectives around and make a film from the Empire’s point of view where the Jedi were the bad guys. That’s just me though, I’ve always been partial to the villains. George Lucas created this great universe to explore and expand so as far as him influencing the project, it wouldn’t have been possible had he not created the environment to work with.


Fan Movie Winner Profile: The Notebook Strikes Back Team | August 13, 2010

As the winner for the Best Sequel presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Awards at Celebration V in Orlando, Florida, The Notebook Strikes Back captured the imagination of what The Empire Strikes Back would look like recreated with paper cut-outs in a notebook, much like last year’s winner Star Wars in a Notebook by the same filmmaker. chats with Columbia-based filmmaker Oscar Fabián Triana Méndez.

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

The first part had a really nice reception — lots of positive comments and reviews! I watch the film featured in blogs and sites from everywhere: obviously the USA but also France, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Perú, Australia, Russia, Spain even Thailand. People seem to love it! So I thought a sequel should be a nice gift for all of them (and for me).

Also I have a fun time doing it so. Plus everything has a sequel now doesn’t it? I don’t know if I should credit Mr. Lucas for that, but I hope mine it’s one of the good ones like Empire!

What is the back story regarding your film?

To sum things up, it’s the film that plays in the head of a little kid that is shocked discovering the Star Wars movies. You know, your memory isn’t perfect so you skip scenes, swap characters, and distort some other parts, but you really capture the essence of that story. I visualize that naive feeling with the tools you have at the moment in your house or school: paper, cloth, scissors, glue.

Back then you give life to your drawings or cutouts in your head, now thanks to a computer. I love the handmade look, I’m a big fan of the sweded/indie/low budget filmmaking that is flooding Internet.


Star Wars Fan Movie Winner directs Trenches Team | January 27, 2010

The directors, actors, screenwriters and additional crew who take the time, effort and money to make their own Star Wars fan films always hold a special place in our hearts. So when we see past winners of the Star Wars Film Movie Challenge end up making their dreams come true in the entertainment industry, we get excited.

Past fan film winner Shane Felux who made Star Wars Revelations, then won with Pitching Lucas, is now showing his talents on a new original online series called Trenches.

Set on a war-torn alien planet, Trenches is about a young soldier and his squad forced to team up with their enemies to fight vicious beasts. It features more than 400 effects shots, a huge number for an Internet show.

(Star Wars prequels producer) Rick McCallum himself told me to go and do my own thing, to go out and make my own story, and Trenches was that step forward.

Read the full article here:
‘Trenches,’ discarded Disney digital project, lands at Sony
(via Los Angeles Times)

Olivia’s​ Picks:​ The​ Rockabilly​ Rebel Team | September 21, 2009

If you’ve submitted your awesome Star Wars Fan Movie pitches to G4 host Olivia Munn for Operation Olivia, you might be eager to hear that she’s now narrowed down her favorite ideas down to six!

First​ on​ the​ list?​ User​ Tony Castalucci’s​ Operation​ Olivia​ Pitch​: Pulp Yavin.

To​ny​ is​ an​ experienced​ film​maker,​ guitar-gun​ slinger,​ and​ mentalist.​ I​ like​ him,​ he​ has​ experience​ in​ 3D​ and​ so​ do​ I​ (I’ve​ been​ in​ 3D​ my​ whole​ life!). And​ anyone​ with​ the​ balls​ to​ cast​ Olivia​ Munn​ as​ a​ relative​ of Porkins​ is​ a​ guy​ I’d​ like​ to​ meet.

Olivia​ was​ excited​ by​ the​ physical​ nature​ of​ Tony’s​ pitch​ saying,​ ​”I​ like​ that​ this​ is​ all​ action.​ I’ve​ never​ done​ an​ intense​ action-packed​ skit​ before.”

Read more here:
Olivia’s​ Picks:​ The​ Rockabilly​ Rebel (via

Operation Olivia Deadline Approaching! Team | September 1, 2009

dl_olivia_img.jpgTime’s running out, and Olivia Munn is counting on you to pitch a Star Wars fan movie by 12 noon PST on September 3!  Some who have entered already are strong  with  the  Force. Others… well, not so much. Now is the time for the rest of you to enter, or enter again (you can submit up to three pitch videos). So show Olivia your Jedi filmmaking skills! Here’s how:

Step 1: Make a pitch video. Tell Olivia about your idea for a short, funny Star Wars fan movie, and why you’re the right person to make it. Get creative and keep it under 5 minutes.

Step 2: Enter the contest by sharing your video on the Operation Olivia site. If you don’t want to pitch, at least post comments about which pitches suck, and which don’t.

Step 3: Olivia will greenlight one idea she finds hilarious, and appropriately geeky. Winner gets a $5,000 production budget, and Olivia as one of the stars of the film. So start pitching!

Fan Movie Winner Profile: Family Dysfunction Team | August 16, 2009

As the winner for the Best Comedy Award presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge at San Diego Comic-Con International, Family Dysfunction shows the story of Darth Vader’s illegitimate son who idolizes him as a child, hates him as a teen and thinks he’s an old, washed-up Sith Lord as he enters his twenties. chats with Arizona-based filmmaker Rich Scheirmann about his fan movie.

What is your background in film?

I made my first film at the age of eight or nine. It was an 8mm stop-animation short staring Star Wars action figures. Since then, my love of film and video has matured. In college, I received three degrees all in the cinema realm. Performance wise, I’ve done everything from stand-up comedy to stage performances and television hosting. Over the years, I’ve participated or created well over a hundred videos.

What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? Have you made a fan film before?

I remember being a kid and watching a documentary on Star Wars. The one thing that has stuck with me over all the years was Mr. Lucas’ tenacity. Over the last few decades, his aversion to complacency has brought about the largest technical advancements in film. Where would we be without THX, ILM and Lucasfilm’s digital evolution? I know I’d still be making 8mm stop animation flicks.

Where did you get your idea for your film?

The Skywalker family is the poster child for dysfunction. My original idea was a mock reality show that would explore the inadequacies of the Vader clan. I wanted it to be The Osbournes in space — only with lightsabers. This was a test run.


Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Wars: Cinemagic Team | August 10, 2009

As the winner for the Spirit of Fandom Award presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge at San Diego Comic-Con International, Star Wars: Cinemagic takes a look at the Star Wars saga as an exciting ride through cinematic history. chats with Texas-based filmmaker Joseph T. Presswood III.

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

I started back into film about six years ago, I had wanted to study film in college but the cost of getting a degree and the chances of getting a job didn’t balance out in my mind. I ended up getting my degree in Advertising from Texas State. Later, I would take film classes at night at Houston Community College (HCC). As a child I played a lot with the camera. One of the first videos my parents have is of me opening one of my gifts and getting excited when I see it’s a plastic film camera. I looked at Dad and said, “Santa gave me a movie ejector!”

What prompted you to make a Star Wars fan film? Have you made a fan film before?

I made Star Wars: Cinemagic three years ago for the 2007 Fan Movie Challenge but missed the deadline that year. The idea was to have something for the 30th anniversary of A New Hope. I thought it was a cool idea to do a short film that takes the audience on a trip through memory lane of the Star Wars universe.

I made a short called Pinball Wars back in 2004. The main difference is back then I didn’t make the short for the competition. I did Pinball Wars after I tried to make a film based on a George Carlin monologue for our class final at HCC. I spent a lot of time on that script and it didn’t work. The camera operator and lighting technician didn’t show and it was a disaster. So not to be embarrassed, I grabbed my brother and my dad’s camera and started filming Dave playing a pinball machine. I was watching a lot of Twilight Zone at the time and thought the man vs. machine angle on a Star Wars pinball machine was cool. My teacher liked it and told me about the competition. Was an amazing experience and I met a lot of talented directors at Comic-Con that year. Had a wonderful time!


Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Wars in a Notebook Team | August 6, 2009

As the winner for the Best Animated Movie presented by Lucasfilm and Atom at this year’s Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge at San Diego Comic-Con International, Star Wars in a Notebook captured the imagination of what Star Wars would look like recreated with paper cut-outs in a notebook. chats with Columbia-based filmmaker Oscar Fabián Triana Méndez.

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

I studied Graphic Design on the National University of Colombia, and last year I finished the new specialization in animation program at the same college. My first animated short-film, UnoCero (One-Zero) was made on 2003 while I was studying. It’s an animated film about a student who must choose his studies or the last minutes of a historic soccer game — our national team against Germany in the Italia ’90 World Cup.

Later, I was working for several years “pioneering” video game development here, and from the last year, I just came back to the storytelling and narrative side of animation. On the specialization program, I made a couple of short films and experiments, from stop-motion to rotoscopy, and a main project called ImaGeForce. It’s not finished yet but it touches a lot of points that I developed later in Star Wars in a Notebook like kids, memories and spaceships.

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

I have been following the fan films and the Atom site for a really long time — way back to high school. For years I wanted to enter the Fan Movie Challenge but I never had enough time to make a film until this year. I have always loved all things about heroes, robots, outer space, as any kid, and years later in college. Star Wars was, and is, the obligated reference as a key piece on the audiovisual medium.

My first contact with the films was halfway through middle school, a couple of years before Episode I. When I saw the original movies on VHS, and the new one in the cinema, I was blown way! I even made a pod racer model for a physics class. It was the time when I was thinking, “Hmm, what I’m going to do? What career fits best for me?” Watching the “making of” TV specials, and interviews with the artists behind the movies I said, as many people have been doing on the last 30 years, “This is something that I want to do; create amazing worlds, characters and adventures!”


Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Wars: Retold 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. 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.


Fan Movie Winner Profile: Star Sports 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. 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.