Sometimes, I feel like I need to stop and take a second to let that sink in. Obviously, we’re not working on Episode VIII. This isn’t an official Star Wars film. It’s a fan film. But, still, we’re making a Star Wars film! How cool is that? As a giant Star Wars fan, I’m ecstatic.
My co-producers and I decided to produce the film last Saturday, March 12. And, since we’re entering it in this year’s Star Wars Fan Film Awards contest, we’ve got to finish it up quickly. As a contributor to SF Signal, I thought it might be fun to blog about our experience making the film, from writing and casting to filming and editing. It’s going to be a six week project just to shoot a 5-minute film. And we’re hoping to bring on a talented cast and crew.
All films start with an idea. As a writer, I wanted to dig a bit deeper into the Star Wars universe. I love the complex, impressive lightsaber duels produced by many fan film makers (like the excellent Darth Maul fan film that was released recently), but I wanted to dive into the storytelling aspect of a fan film, putting complex characters into interesting character arcs to see what might happen.
After writing about twelve or fourteen different scripts, I finally landed on one that started to resonate: a film about verbal abuse, bullying, and how that impacts those around us. And that has become Star Wars: Rivals. A short film about two siblings. Both siblings have been accepted into the Academy, but only one of them will become Abner Cuthar’s apprentice. And that’s where things start to get ugly.
I’m passionate about the story because my wife and I recently became victims of verbal abuse and bullying. And as I processed that, I realized how easy it is to slip into a posture of fear, anger, and even hatred (all hypothetical, but very real “paths to the dark side”). As we all know, while perhaps warranted, those emotions can also be exceedingly damaging to relationships. My wife and I are not alone. Many of you have been verbally abused or bullied. This is a story for us.
And that’s where everything begins. An idea turned into a script.
With script in hand, it was time to find co-producers, a cast, and a crew. I serve as the executive director of a nonprofit organization, the Reclamation Society, which will serve as a producer of the film. But films aren’t made by individuals. It takes a super-talented team to make an outstanding film, and while I have a background in storytelling, that’s where my experience ends. Next post, I’ll talk some more about the team we’re building for Star Wars: Rivals.
Want to learn more about our project? Visit www.reclamationsociety.org or check out our IndieGoGo campaign. Please share our film with friends and family members who love Star Wars! We need your support!