Posts Tagged ‘Fan Movie Challenge’

Fan Movie Winner Profile: Saber 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. 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.

(more…) Launches Operation Olivia Team | July 28, 2009

From the 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.


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

2009 Fan Movie Challenge Winners 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! 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)

Fanboys Triumphant: Kevin Spacey Crashes Fan Movie Awards Team | July 25, 2008

Smack dab in the middle of the Fan Movie Challenge Awards, Steve Sansweet invited a special guest to the stage: director Kyle Newman, who has weathered a tumultous journey in the creation of his movie, Fanboys. Newman was remarkably civil in discussing the trials and tribulations of the making of the movie, and before his portion on stage ended, he surprised the assembled audience by inviting Fanboys producer Kevin Spacey to the stage. Later that night, the first 300 attendees of the Fan Movie Challenge Awards attended an exclusive screening of Fanboys.

What follows is a transcript of the Fanboys portion of the Fan Movies presentation, hosted by Steve Sansweet, Head of Fan Relations.


The 2008 Fan Movie Challenge Winners Team | July 25, 2008

Atom  and Lucasfilm once again filled a massive ballroom at Comic-Con International with fans eager to see who the champions are in the 7th Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge. The event began with Steve Sansweet, Head of Fan Relations, taking the stage.

“Things change so rapidly in the media and online world that the fact that Atom has been around for a decade is a tribute to its flexibility,” said Sansweet. “Star Wars and its creator has always had a sense of humor and a willingness to let those inspired by Star Wars to play in the galaxy’s biggest sandbox.”

Just before the ceremony started, though, Sansweet screened a “last minute” entry supposedly hand-delivered to him moments before: A crude — yet hilarious — collection of lightsaber battles by Dino DeMilio and, from “Heroes,” Milo Ventimiglia.

“When Star Wars came out 31 years ago, there was no Internet, or even personal computers, but fans wanted — needed — an outlet for their creative juices. Back then, there were fanzines and an almost instant-cult parody film called Hardware Wars, and years later, a not so small professional parody film, Spaceballs… And then came Troops, Kevin Rubio’s breakthrough fan movie, and a whole new generation was inspired to use the digital tools that had been developed by George Lucas and Steve Jobs. Unlike some companies, who shall remain nameless here, who don’t like fans messing around with their properties, Lucasfilm encouraged it. After all, George Lucas is an independent filmmaker like some of you in the audience.”

The following are the winning entries in the 2008 Fan Movie Challenge:

Best Parody: Michael Ramova, for Star Wars Grindhouse, Don’t Go In The Endor Woods. (Award presented by Tina Santamaros, the Acquisition Manager for Atom.)

Best Comedy: Will Carlough, for Paraphrase Theater (Award presented by Mary Franklin, Events Manager for Lucasfilm)

Best Creature / Character Makeup: Lou Klein, for Contract of Evil (Award presented by Josh Kushins, Lucasfilm Publicity Manager)

Best Short Subject: Oliver Jones, for The Empire Strikes Back in 60 Seconds (Award presented by Director of Lucas Online, Bill Gannon)

Best Animation: Jimmy “Mac” McInerney, Kay Minckiewicz, Mark Minckiwewicz, Jason Swank for George Lucas Hip-Hop Awards (Award presented by Dave Filoni, Director of Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Best Visual Effects: Ryan Wieber and Michael Scott for Ryan vs. Dorkman 2 (Award presented by Trey Stokes and Renee O’ Conner)

Audience Choice Award: Jimmy “Mac” McInerney, Kay Minckiewicz, Mark Minckiwewicz, Jason Swank for George Lucas Hip-Hop Awards (Award presented by Fanboys Director Kyle Newman)

George Lucas Selects Award: Robert Reeves for Padmé. (Award introduced by Lucasfilm Vice President of Marketing, Distribution and Online, Doug Yates, and via video, George Lucas)

Star Wars Fan Guide to WonderCon 2008 Team | February 21, 2008

So many panels and events at Wondercon, so little time. But we’re here to help! The team will be at Wondercon reporting about the latest news, toys, comics, celeb sightings and more. Be sure to check back here on the Official Blog and the Official Flickr Photo Blog for ongoing WonderCon 2008 coverage!

Check out this handy link for the full list of WonderCon programs and panels. But to get you started, here’s a listing of our picks of things not to be missed!



Unemployed Palpatine Team | August 16, 2007


We’ve seen Chad Vader lose his day manager position, but it would seem others in the Imperial executive staff are also between jobs at the moment.

G4 posted “The Emperor Gets a Job” some time ago, but in case you missed it, Palpatine visits a temp agency to find work after the destruction of the second Death Star. Check it out here.

Fan Movie Challenge Continues with The Women of Star Wars Team | June 19, 2007

This just in from AtomFilms:

The Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge is ongoing, so you can submit a fan movie at any time. There’s a special theme for the Challenge’s next phase. We’re looking for films about the Women of Star Wars.

From Princess Leia to Pink Five, the Star Wars Universe is packed with kick-butt women. Make a fan movie featuring your favorite Star Wars heroine — or create your own. If it’s great, we’ll put it up on Spike TV.

Your Women of Star Wars movie is due to us no later than August 31, 2007 if you want it considered for TV airing.

Got a different idea? No worries, we love all fan flicks: big budget, low budget, or no budget flick — just grab your gear and make a movie!

Find out more about the Fan Movie Challenge at AtomFilms’ official site.


Fan Film Winner Profile: Essence of the Force Team | June 8, 2007

As the winner for the Best Action Award with his film Essence of the Force for the Fan Movie Challenge presented by Lucasfilm and AtomFilms, Nevada-based filmmaker Pat Kerby discusses the challenges of making an impressive action film on a tight schedule when your Sith Lord has a day job.

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

George Lucas’s films were a big inspiration to me. Once I decided I was going to be a filmmaker I paid close attention to what he did. I learned that good casting and a good story are very important. I admired his independent spirit of filmmaking, for the most part working outside of the Hollywood system. I hope he continues to work to revolutionize filmmaking. The distribution system needs revamping!

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

One day my wife asked me to do something and I told her that I’d try. She said, “There is no try, there is only do” — butchering the quote from Yoda. As I started to explain what Yoda actually said, it hit me that that phrase would be a great punch line for a Mountain Dew commercial. I pitched the idea to some friends, and we decided to do it. I had met Thomas Dupont, a brilliant swordsman who worked at the King Arthur’s Tournament show at Excalibur in Las Vegas at the time (he has since become the sword master on Pirates of the Caribbean, and your very own Indiana Jones 4), and had been wanting to work with him. He loved the idea, and after that everything just fell together. The Las Vegas filmmaking community came together to support the project, and after a month or two of pre production, three nights of shooting, and about six months of post (between regular jobs), we had a product that was a nice demo for myself, Thomas, and the whole Vegas filmmaking community.