Years ago when the words fan film were mentioned you knew that you were in for an second rate film populated by fans of star wars wearing Halloween costumes and fighting with toy lightsabers. We have come a long way since those days. Now fan films are filmed as well as the original material and sometimes much better written. Many great digital film makers have gotten their start shooting short fan films. The truth about film making is that most film makers on one level or another when they are starting out are writing and shooting versions of the material that they grew up watching. Spielberg was making his versions of the movies that he watched as a kid. Tarantino is doing his versions of those gangster and exploitation films from the 1970's that he loves so much. Every film maker begins somewhere and with this post I begin a series of post on the Fan Film.
This is my interview with Terell Culbert, the film maker behind The Catwoman and the upcoming Gotham City Sirens. Before I begin I would like to thank him for agreeing to do this interview and to remind you guys there is time left to check out his campaign and help out. You can do so by clicking here.
Q) Because there has been so many versions of each and every hero and villain that populate the Dark Knight universe it has given both writers and film makers more freedom to create their own versions of these classic characters. What lead you to do select this subject material?
A) The diversity. I love the fact that this motley crew tells their own story almost immediately. Selina is a villain with the possibility of one day becoming a hero. Ivy is a boss in my book! She’s got that perfect blend of insanity and leadership abilities. Harley is a mash-up between the Joker and Billy the kid.
Q) The fan short film The Catwoman is a slightly different take on the character than we have seen before. When writing an origin story did you feel any pressure to cling to what had been done before or did you feel free to tell the story in your own unique way?
A) I didn’t really feel pressured. Catwoman has always been this flirtatious vixen with a vague amount of depth. So I wanted to give people a unique origin story that explains why Selina is a villain with the potential for good.
Q) What was the shooting schedule like on The Catwoman? Also I must ask what type of camera did you use while filming it? Where you pleased with the results and will you be using it again on the new project?
A) Our shooting schedule for the Catwoman was pretty rough. The actors were involved in other projects already. So while we used four days to shoot the actual film. We wrapped in about three weeks. The camera I used was a Canon EOS Rebel T3i it’s a Digital SLR camera. I will absolutely be using it for this project and many others. It’s so easy to transport and use.
Q) How important is it to find the right actresses for Gotham City Sirens?
A) It was very important! While casting I found a lot of Actresses who had one or the other, the look, but not the personality or the personality, but not the look. When you do a fan film it has to come off authentic, in a way. My budget is ridiculously small so I can’t depend on great stunts or CGI. My performers have to make you believe that there is a corrupt city named Gotham that inhabits these awesome characters.
Q) I have told anyone who wants to work on a micro budget digital film that they should first watch that old Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. The one where Charlie Brown and Snoopy make popcorn, buttered toast and jellybeans for Thanksgiving dinner and then they should take away the popcorn, jellybeans and butter from the toast so that they will begin understanding how little they should expect to be compensated while working on a film shoot. On any given day how many people are working behind the scenes on your film shoot?
A) (Laughs) Great example. Normally it’s just me, sometimes I am lucky to get a second or third person to help me.
Q) With the help of your crowdfunding campaign you are going to be producing Gotham City Sirens. What is the length that you are aiming for with this project?
A) 40 minutes.
Q) You are going to be taking on some pretty (in more ways that one) iconic characters from the Dark Knight universe in the forms of Harley Quinn, Catwoman and Poison Ivy. Is this a case of going big or go home, or did the story you have in mind when you began demand that all of them be included?
A) This film really did demand that I include other female characters who could stand with or against Selina. I feel like It’s a great installment to Catwoman’s universe.
Q) Some fan film makers only want to make fan films. I understand that you would like to branch out from this area of film making. In an idea world what kind of films are you making in the future?
A) Drama/ horror. I really like both those genres.
Q) Any final thoughts on making fans films in general.
A) There are a lot of awesome fan films out there with amazing special effects and cool movie props. However, this should never be the catalyst for making a film in my opinion. Each fan film that I have done is due to a long experience of reading watching and caring for these fictional characters.
Thank you again for taking the time to do this interview. We all look forward to seeing the finished film. http://www.bamimagery.com/
Okay guys that is it for today. As always please take a moment to hit the like button on stumbleupon and to share this post on facebook. Social media has to become a habit. This is the most important tool to the indie film maker. It is important for a kickstarter or indiegogo campaign to become a success and it is important for blogs like this to grow. By helping to grow an audience for others we grow an audience for ourselves and our future projects.