The Star Wars Saga Continues with Fan Film Fans.
"It's the ship that made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs!" Han Solo's boast about the Millennium Falcon's speed is just one of many unseen moments in the Star Wars movies that will now be seen in the upcoming fan film Episode III and a Parsec: Secrets of the Rebellion.
In 1977, visionary filmmaker George Lucas unveiled his Sci-fi space soap opera, Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope, and in May, 2005 he finished his 6-part saga with the release of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Now, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Mark Twitchell, CEO of newly founded Xpress Entertainment, sets out to create what he describes as "the most ambitious Star Wars Indie production in history."
From Fan Film to Feature Length
Episode III and a Parsec: Secrets of the Rebellion has gone from being a modest fan film project to a well-produced feature length independent film. Complete with professional SAG and ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) actors, a professional visual effects supervisor, professional stunt and fight choreographers, and a sound track that will be provided from an award winning film and concert composer and his 40-piece orchestra.
Though the project has grown from its original fan film roots into a feature length independent film, the basic principle of fan films being a non-profit project has not. "We have no intention of capital gain throughout this venture. We do it all for the love of the content and to grow as film makers. The entire crew works for free out of the love for the project." Mark adds, "So many industry professionals have a love of Star Wars , and our story is so inspiring and motivating to them that it interests them to help out."
Another aspect that sets this apart from even the most respected and high-end fan film productions is that Mark actually plans to debut his film at contemporary movie theaters in select cities in Canada and the United States, something no other fan film has ever done before.
"With a carefully devised promotional plan and the lack of ticket prices to stay non-profit, we would like to show it in Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Chicago and Los Angeles with other possible cities down the road as well."
The entire film is being shot on a greenscreen background and edited together with a Mac G5 and a mixture of various editing software including Adobe After Effects, Alias Maya, NewTek Lightwave and Apple's Shake 4. The movie is being shot using a Panasonic AG-HVX200 for its ability to shoot in widescreen and HD as well as at different frame rates and its 4:2:2 sampling rate. Despite the film being shot against a greenscreen background, Mark is building sets of both X-wing and TIE fighter cockpits, half of the bridge of an Imperial Star Destroyer, a Jedi Star Fighter and the Millennium Falcon's entry ramp and cockpit. The movie includes screen-accurate costumes and props, and a fully functional R2-D2 that can roll, rotate its head and emit blinking lights and sound. Clearly, a mission worthy of Jedi knights employing The Force for inspiration.
Talking with Mark, we’ve learned that big dreams don't have to be impossible dreams. Just think about this: Mark has actually gotten Zach Jensen, the actor who played Jedi Master Kit Fisto in Attack of the Clones, as well as Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who played the famed bounty hunter Boba Fett in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, to appear in his film.
Mark says it best, "If anything, Secrets of the Rebellion has shown me that nothing is beyond your reach if you commit to it, focus on it and don't let go until you get it."
Michael Gomez is an avid fan of fan films and all things Star Wars related.
[Sidebar: How to find it]
Production of Episode III and a Parsec: Secrets of the Rebellion began in June 2006. Please visit Xpress Entertainment's website at www.xpressentertainment.ca for more information about
the upcoming film.