Posts Tagged ‘Interviews’

Inside the Millennium Falcon Bed Team | December 18, 2009

Photos by Heather Leah Kennedy
Bed by Kayla Kromer

When we first found out about the Force-tastic Millennium Falcon bed made by fan and artist Kayla Kromer, we had to know more.

We asked Kayla — who happens to be a 1st grade teacher hailing from Austin, Texas — why she made a bed fit for every Star Wars who has ever dreamt over co-piloting the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.

Why did you decide to make that awesome Millennium Falcon bed?

I mostly like to have fun, and I like making things. The original idea was to make a Death Star bed, but my idea was too big to execute in my room. But the idea of doing something spacey stuck.

What materials did you use?

The bed is a ’70s round mattress. The sides, cockpit and triangular pieces are foam. The comforter is a down comforter my mom donated. The duvet and everything is covered in gray flannel. The sheets are just white sheets modded for a circular mattress. I used a variety of fabric paints for the detail work.


Let the Wookiee Pumpkin Win! Team | November 4, 2009

Photos by Raphael Isaacs

This Halloween fans everywhere carved and transformed ordinary pumpkins into their favorite Star Wars characters. But instead of cutting up the Great Pumpkin, crafty fans Raphael Isaacs and his wife Jennifer made this Wookiee-tastic pumpkin for a contest — which, of course, they won! chats with Raphael about his adorkable pumpkin tribute to Chewbacca with tips for you crafty fans.

Why did you decide to make this pumpkin in a non-traditional way?
We were determined to make the pumpkin look as Chewbacca-like as possible, which as everyone knows requires copious amounts of fur. Also, with the right tools, covering a pumpkin in fur is a lot easier than carving it.

What materials did you use?
Pumpkin, various types of faux fur, glue gun, Sculpey, aluminum foil, cardboard, satin ribbon, and googley eyes.

How did you and your wife make this Wookiee-tastic pumpkin?
We first created sectional templates of the pumpkin (approx. 5) with plastic wrap. We then used those templates to cut out corresponding sections of fur. This was tricky, since the templates had to be reversed in order for the fur sections to be placed back in their correct positions on the pumpkin. Using a hot glue gun, we applied the furry sections one at a time, making sure there were no orange spots poking out.


The Empire Kicks Back: Star Wars Shoe Craft Team | October 20, 2009

Crafty Star Wars fan Damian Dayton literally walks the fanboy talk by customizing his shoes to show off his love for the characters living in a galaxy far, far away. chats with him about why he likes to transform ordinary kicks into shoes worthy of an Empire.

Why do you like giving shoes a Star Wars makeover?

Ever since I was little I knew that Star Was was cooler than me. By putting some Star Wars on shoes, I thought that a little bit of the Force might just rub off on me. Truthfully, I just like to draw, and drawing on shoes allows me to customize my life a little bit.

Doing shoes for friends allows me to have encouragement to create art, or at least craft. I try to capture a little bit of their personalities in the work I do and I have a lot of friends that like Star Wars. My brothers are big fans and my best friend Adam knows every single creature in the Star Wars universe (and I think he speaks a few languages). So it was just a matter of time.

Why do you think Star Wars shoes are cooler than the usual kicks?

Anything is at least 12%-15% cooler with Star Wars stuff on it (with the exception of Jar Jar Binks, maybe). Consider the Slanket, unless you want to look like a wizard who got dressed in the dark, it is a horrible, horrible idea. Now if that Slanket had a picture of Boba Fett playing an electric guitar, or a screen print of Jabba the Hutt (complete with Salacious Crumb), I’d be like “Oh, where can I get one of those!”


365 Days of Stormtrooper Photos Team | September 14, 2009

(Photo by Stéfan Le Dû)

Ever wonder what your toys do when you’re not around watching over them? Star Wars fan and photographer Stéfan Le Dû brings to life his stormtrooper action figures in a series of photos he’s taking every day for a year. His stormtroopers are capture on film undergoing dangerous adventures, playing games, hanging out with monkeys and more. chats with Stéfan about what drives him to take photos of his action figures in… action.

What made you want to take a different photo of a stormtrooper toy every day?

I love Star Wars, I’m a big fan of toy photography, and I wanted to try something a bit challenging on Flickr. I saw a few awesome pictures using these stormtroopers toys before like Doctor Beef’s sets. I also stumbled upon a few excellent “365 days” project, like “Year of the Fett” which is using LEGO Star Wars figures. All of this led me to this project of “One Stormtrooper shot, each day, during one year”.

Which photo is your favorite?

There are a few ones I like more than the other ones. The “Theory of Evolution of the Stormtrooper” is one of them. I like it because besides my usual TK455 and TK479 Stormies (yes, they have ID codes), there’s Chewbacca on it (everyone loves Chewbacca), plus some monkeys (everyone loves monkeys), and the concept stormtrooper from Ralph MacQuarrie! All of this arranged in a way that makes sense (or tries to).

(Photo by Stéfan Le Dû)

How do you come up with specific scenarios for your photo sets?

The ideas come from various sources of inspirations. I like using objects in my house, or every day situations, or other toys, and giving them a “Galactic Civil War” touch using the stormtroopers. Other movies or pop culture references are also something I like to use. Some photos are just a “one-shot” idea, other fit into a series inside the series, like the “Imperial Requisitions,” the unavoidable “Not the droid we’re looking for” or the more recent “Movie Stars.”

What I like about these particular stormtroopers action figures is that despite their integral armor, they can be very expressive – there’s a lot of body language in them.

Do you have tips for fans who want to start creating cool Star Wars toy photo series like yours?

It’s not easy to give tips to people because I’m just an amateur who’s trying to give some fun while having fun myself, but here are a few things :
- Do, or do not. There is no try. Sorry, I needed to say that.
- Choose some characters that you like and inspire you. Ideas will come more easily. If the characters are some popular icons, it will be easier to catch some attention from the Internets.
- If you want to run a 365 project, it’s a good thing to always have a few ideas in advance, because there can be some days when you don’t have time or inspiration. Look around you, think about it a little bit everyday, and ideas will come.
- Ideas are the more important thing, but if you can, read one or two articles about basic photography techniques, like composition. There are some very simple things that anyone can do to improve his shots, without the need of a big professional $1000 camera.
- More importantly, have fun! That’s what toys are for!

Check out the full photo set here:
Stormtroopers 365

Wired Chats With Cad Bane Team | September 2, 2009

Wired magazine has chatted with everyone from Bill Gates to the Maker himself George Lucas, so they never shy away from intimidating interview subjects. So it shouldn’t surprise fans that they would go a step further and interview bounty hunter Cad Bane from The Clone Wars.

Wired reports:

Unless you’ve got a pile of money to throw at him, you’ll have no luck hiring Bane. And he’s no easier to get hold of for a simple interview. But managed to do so without getting gunned down by his dual blasters. In fact, he was in a less-deadly mood than usual due to good business coming his way during the long galactic conflict.

“I don’t suffer fools easily, so I prefer to work alone. People in my line of work don’t care much for socializing. Sometimes the job demands that I work with specialists, and that’s when other folks come in handy. But make no mistake: I call the shots.”

Bane has no personal recollections of the late Jango Fett, but he confesses that the Republic’s clone armies, generated from Fett’s genetic code, have given him “no end of trouble.” He hears rumors of Fett’s son (Boba) perhaps taking up his father’s business, but he’s not concerned.

“I don’t have time to keep track of every little whelp in the galaxy,” Bane said. “I’m the best there is. If he doesn’t get into my business, I won’t get into his. I’d be happy to track him down — but it’ll cost you. I don’t work for free.”

Read the full interview here:
Bounty Hunter Cad Bane Brings Pain in Season 2 of Clone Wars

Darth Biden? Chewie Cookie Wookiee? Team | September 2, 2009

We’ve seen President Obama as Admiral Ackbar, as Chewbacca and as a Jedi Knight, but this is the first we’ve seen Vice President Joe Biden as Darth Maul. chats with artist Toby Lunchbreath about his portrait of Darth Biden, as well as the Cookie Monster as Chewbacca.

What was the back story about your Darth Biden art piece?

Darth Biden is a part of a series of cartoon poster concepts intended to help out the struggling right-wing street art movement. I don’t share their politics but I really hate to see bad art, so I thought they could use some suggestions.

So does that make President Obama — Count Dooku?

Well this was all precipitated by the Obama-as-Joker street “art” that got posted up around LA and then mimicked elsewhere, so it appears that Barack’s evil twin has already been defined. Dooku is tall and well-groomed though, so it’s really not that bad of a comparison.

Why do you think Star Wars and politics mix so well in satire?

Star Wars represents the dominant cultural myth of our generation, with clear themes of good, evil, and furry cuteness. Those images are easy to work with because we’ve already got the emotional triggers hardwired into our heads.


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!”


Kyle Newman Inducted By 501st Legion Team | August 4, 2009

Photos: Lesley Farquhar

In addition to the 501st Legion uniting Star Wars fans worldwide, the group also recognizes those special people who contribute their time and talents to the Star Wars community. These people who support of the 501st and Star Wars fandom are called “Friends of the 501st Legion.”

During San Diego Comic-Con International 2009, the Southern California Garrison recognized Fanboys director Kyle Newman for his continual support of the 501st Legion as well as for his undying love for all things Star Wars.

Southern California Garrison XO Lesley Farquhar had this to say about their newest Friend of the 501st:

“We wanted Kyle Newman to be in the Legion for the simple fact that he’s as much of a fan as we are! His work on Fanboys shows his dedication to the Star Wars genre, and of course — by asking us to help out with various aspects of the film, he definitely made fans of us!”

Sponsored by garrison members Dan Wolsey and Kit Sovine, Kyle was presented a custom plaque, coin and custom name badge commemorating his “Friend of the 501st” relationship with the 501st Legion. The induction was a complete surprise to Kyle who was there just to take a fun photo with his favorite troopers. chats with Kyle about his induction and why he’s honored to be officially part of the 501st Legion.