October 31, 2011

If they celebrated Halloween in the Star Wars universe...

Aside from Life Day, not a lot of holidays are mentioned in the Star Wars universe. Maybe that's because the inhabitants of every other planet saw the Holiday Special and decided to keep their days of note to themselves. Probably not a bad idea. But - could you imagine Halloween in the Star Wars galaxy? I bet trick or treating on Coruscant would be fabulous, perhaps less so on Tatooine. The residents of the upper levels of the city planet probably give out the Star Wars equivalent of a full size candy bar, but Jawas strike me as the type to hand out droid parts instead of candy. We won't even think about what the Tusken Raiders would pass out.

I have a good feeling about the costumes, too. Girls across Naboo would probably dress up like the Queen and end up tying their hair in knots. If the Rebels were still on Hoth, they'd be dressing up their pet tauntauns in Ewok outfits. The tauntauns would hate it as much as dogs in our universe do. Little Wookiees would make paper mache rancor heads, and Lando would dress up like Han - oh, he already did that, didn't he?

Stormtroopers would celebrate the holiday by doing this:
Stormtroopers 365 project, photo by Stefan
Every Youngling kid without midi-chlorians (I bet Younglings wouldn't be allowed to celebrate Halloween, those Jedi can be so mean!) would have this bag for candy:
Bag from Her Universe, designed by Katie Cook
Overall, it would be a good time. I mean, you've seen the end of Return of the Jedi, the galaxy knows how to throw a shindig. They should do it for occasions other than the end of an evil empire.

For Star Wars Halloween fun, visit the official Star Wars blog. You'll find ILM Halloween party invites, 1977 Star Wars Halloween cards, vintage costumes, and more. And last but far from least, let's not forget Star Wars pumpkins.

Happy Halloween!

October 28, 2011

Death and Hipster Wonder Woman (costumes, that is)

I've been a cosplay slacker this year. If I've worn a costume, it's been the from-the-closet variety. By that I mean I didn't spend hours gluing beads on a scarf or making plastic look like metal. I just pieced outfits together (like a Hogwarts student or an Amy Pond-ish costume). I decided to take the easier, quicker path for Halloween, too. It doesn't mean I'm turning to the Dark side though. Promise.

I had two costumed events for Halloween and both of them were last weekend. I waited until the day before to think about what to wear, and of course, I didn't just pick something out of my costume closet (having a whole coat closet in California is unnecessary). That would have been too easy. Instead, I ran around like a crazy person on Saturday afternoon searching for new costume pieces for Death from The Sandman comics for my Sunday night event. While I was out, I found a perfect solution for the Saturday night party, too.

Death
One of my favorite characters in comics so far is Death. I'm not sure what made me think of her Friday afternoon, but she crossed my mind and I knew I needed to be her for one of my costume parties. Well, dress up like her. Black tank, black pants (ideally leather), gloves, wristband, black hair, ankh necklace, and done.


I'm not saying it was spot on, but I think I did okay. I gave up on the idea of leather pants because I didn't want to go to multiple thrift stores and dig. Anything I didn't own, I found at the mall. Here's where I found everything in just a few hours:
Tank top, skinny jeans, gloves - Sidecca (a sort of Hot Topic type store, great for solid color tanks, gloves, leggings, and so much more)
Boots - Already owned, but I just bought them from Target recently. They're sufficiently strappy for Death.
Belt - Already owned, but I spotted a perfect one at Target the other night.
Wrist gauntlets - I bought one at Hot Topic, and I wore my Jayne Cobb replica wristband on the other arm.
Ankh necklace - Made from silver polymer clay about two hours before the party.
Wig - Borrowed from a friend. It's not quite the right style, but it was better than finding and paying for a new one.
Make-up -  The white paint is alabaster pancake make-up applied with a sponge (don't forget your ears) and sealed with KY Jelly. I used a black eyeliner pencil on my eyes and eyebrows, liquid eyeliner for the Eye of Horus under the right eye, and black lipstick that I carefully applied with a tiny brush.

I didn't want to carry an umbrella, but I've seen lacy ones at Michael's in the wedding aisle. You'd just have to spray paint it.

I'd fix a few things for next time - mostly the wig and better make-up application on my arms, but really, I'd love to be Death again. Repeatedly.

Hipster Wonder Woman
While I was searching for a wristband at Hot Topic, a blue tutu with stars caught my eye. It was part of a display for superhero bustiers and hot pants. Though I was tempted to buy the tutu, I resisted. I couldn't resist the Wonder Woman bustier though. I picked it up knowing I would wear it eventually or just around the house (and be entirely happy about it). Then I walked by Forever 21 and saw a bright blue blazer ( that again, is something I'd wear as part of my regular wardrobe) and it clicked. I could be hipster Wonder Woman. I just added skinny jeans, heels, a messy bun, and glasses. And now I sort of want to put together a hipster superhero cosplay group for San Diego next year.


What are your Halloween costume plans?

October 25, 2011

All Hallow's Read Celebration and Book Giveaway

Last year, Neil Gaiman started this thing. This thing that is about giving away books. It started on Twitter, as the best ideas do. He suggested making Halloween a book giving holiday: All Hallow's Read. On October 31st give a friend, co-worker, lover, teacher, any combo of the above, or a total stranger a scary book.  If you want to go crazy, stock up on some classics and give them away instead of candy (that's the adult in me, the kid says pass a book out with candy please). Share reading, especially with someone who you think may not be receptive. Not sold? Learn more from Neil Gaiman in this video with zombies:



I gave away a book last year, and this year I'm giving away two. I believe books and words are some of the most precious gifts a person can give, and well, why wouldn't I share that if I'm able to do so.

You'll actually get your book a few days after Halloween, but I'm guessing you won't mind. Sometimes it's the thought and not the timeliness (try that line on your next important anniversary!).

How to Enter
1. Leave a comment telling me about a book that scared you BEFORE 9pm PST on Friday, 10/28.
2. Leave a valid email address in the comment (or just choose to receive replies when others comment).
3. Ideally be able to reply by Saturday morning with a shipping address if you're the winner. You'll also need to let me know what level of scary you like. Because if you're like me, you'd want a scary book made for a five year old. I don't judge.

Because I want to play, I think one of the most creepifying books I've ever read was I Am Legend (Richard Matheson). Then there's the diner issue of The Sandman (Neil Gaiman). It left a mark. In the past year, I've been disturbed by in a very raw way by The Road (Cormac McCarthy) and the recent Animal Man comics (written by Jeff Lemire, art by Travel Foreman).

Follow the #allhallowsread hashtag on Twitter for scary book recommendations!

Rambling Round-Up

I am still writing wherever I can around the interwebs even though I have been a slacker about posting links. Here are some posts that have gone up over the past  month or so.

Nerdy Ways to Say I Do - So many geeky wedding options, so few weddings! Here's a round up of tips, photos, and links to inspire your special day. It includes Star Wars, dinosaurs, and oh so much more. (The funny thing? I love all these ideas but would never have the energy to execute them. Is there a Darth Vader chapel in Vegas instead of Elvis? That's what I would go for.)

The Best Web Series for Gamers - If you play tabletop or video games, these web series are made for you. Actually, I bet you'll LOL at them even if you aren't much of a gamer.

Once Upon a Time Pilot review - My thoughts on the first fairy tale show of the fall premiere season. I liked. A lot. Yeah, it surprised me too. I'll be reviewing Grimm's pilot episode later this week!

Ringer Pilot review - I realize this is less than timely news, but on the off chance you have Ringer backed up on your DVR, I reviewed the first three episodes for IGN. It does say a lot that I only reviewed three of them. Still, it's highly laughable for a drama!

Revenge Pilot review - I haven't watched this much current television in years! Oh wait - maybe that's something I shouldn't broadcast in a place where my editor can read it. Anyways. Revenge: very soap opera-y and silly. Neither of those things are necessarily bad.

Clone Wars Season 4 Premiere Coverage - I got to talk to the cast and crew of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on the blue carpet at the season 4 premiere. Supervising Dave Filoni talks about what's to come in the new season (and I got to nerd out with him over Dune - that bit's not in the article!).

I also write several posts per week for Fashionably Geek and Nerd Approved.
And it wouldn't be a bad idea for you to keep an eye on Face In Your Cake. I have a few more things in the works, too (sleep is so overrated), as well as trying to keep this blog active and tidied up.

Whew. As always, thanks for reading my silly words.

October 22, 2011

NYCC: Likes/Dislikes

One week ago I was in the masses at New York Comic Con. I didn't know much about the convention before I went and didn't even expect there to be masses. For some reason, I assumed it was a smaller convention. You'd think I'd learn to stop assuming (I predict saying that phrase about 5,000 more times in my life). Recent attendance reports put the number around 105,000. Not so cozy. NYCC was big, hairy, and crowded, but mostly good. And it was set in one of the most fabulous cities I've ever visited.


Overall, I had a fantastic time. I did the normal convention things: walking, interviewing, taking photos, hanging with friends, more walking. I left with stupidly heavy bags, a bruised shoulder from said bags, and fabulous memories with friends. Some good and bad points stick out though. Because I want to end with the positive, I'll start with the negative.

Dislikes

  • Narrow aisles - the tiny aisles made navigation difficult even at less crowded times. It was the first time I was ever physically shoved in a crowd.
  • Poor carpeting/rugs - Convention center carpeting is always ugly, but that's not what I'm talking about. Rugs weren't laid properly and the carpet was covered in piling. For a klutzy girl like me, it meant tripping. Repeatedly. I can't have been the only one.
  • Small panel rooms - Lines for panels closed early and if you got in, you might have been standing along the walls. I experienced it and heard it from several people. I'm not sure if this a new problem at NYCC, or if it's always been like this.
  • The smell - Parts of the exhibit hall smelled like a litter box.
  • Getting into the convention - I arrived to the convention Saturday morning around 11:30. It opened at 10. The line for ticket holders was still wrapped around the building.

Likes

  • Show staff - The show staff was nothing but helpful. They funneled people on the streets through the right doors and were happy to help with directions. They were also numerous and easy to spot.
  • Artist Alley - It was easy to ignore the exhibit hall because Artist Alley went on and on. I was seriously impressed by the number of awesome creators present at the show.
  • Lack of Hollywood - I have a great time at San Diego, but there are so many studios looming over the exhibit hall. They're fun, but it's not why I go to conventions.
  • Comics! - Related to the above, this convention actually felt like it was about comics. So many are just about sort of pop culture and entertainment in general, but this felt focused. The list of exhibitors and panel topics reflected this.
  • Panels - As per usual, I barely got to any panels. However. The list of panels I wanted to go to was longer than any list I've made for another convention. Topics covered creating graphic novels, Kickstarter programs, food and comics, superhero psychology, and so much more. Whoever is in charge of programming gets a big huzzah from me.
  • Location - I could leave the Javits Center, walk a few blocks, and be entirely free from the convention horde. Don't get me wrong, I love my fellow geeks, but it's nice to escape the sea of people wearing badges and carrying huge bags.

The end result? I'd definitely go back to NYCC. And not just because of the NY part.

crossposted at Geek Girls Network

October 20, 2011

NYCC: Star Wars: The Old Republic Demo (or why I'll be disappearing at the end of December)

When you attend convention after convention, it's easy to fall into the same patterns. To keep it interesting, you should probably try out something you normally don't, right? Go to a panel about a subject you're unfamiliar with, participate in speed dating, or play a video game demo. I tell people to do that but rarely take my own advice. But. After meeting some of the crew from Star Wars: The Old Republic, I played a demo for the first time at NYCC last weekend.

I don't play many games. Pretty much zero. It's embarrassing to admit, but I received an Xbox 360 for my birthday earlier this year, and I've barely played. I know. Please don't hit me. I didn't ask for it. Before the Xbox and Fables III, the last video game I played with any regularity was the Legend of Zelda on a Nintendo 64. I haven't tried playing anything made for the computer  for longer than ten minutes since the days of junior high and Oregon Trail.

It's not that I dislike games. I do. Just too much. When I dive in and pick up the controller, I can't stop. I play for hours on end without shame. I feel like I can't give in. Still. I can't deny that news of the upcoming Star Wars MMO from Bioware, Star Wars: The Old Republic, didn't catch my attention. I've been wanting to try a roleplaying game but never felt World of Warcraft or something similar was for me. There wasn't any draw for me to check it out. Star Wars has built in appeal. I've overheard others saying the same thing I'm thinking, "I don't play games, I don't play MMOs, but I have to try this game." Star Wars is a big part of it, but the trailers showcase impressive visuals. A new trailer was just released in the past few days. Watch it and drool.





The demo I played at New York Comic Con pushed me from thinking I would probably play to knowing I'd definitely be buying the game. I sampled enough to know I will get to experience balanced storytelling and fighting (I don't want to just kill things) and that playing an online roleplaying game is very much like playing D&D. By that, I mean I could readily translate what happens when I roll dice and make alignment based decisions to this online environment. The story plays out like a "choose your own adventure" novel. Voice actors recorded a jaw-dropping number of hours of dialogue and responses for each possible option and story.

Besides the character conversations, hours of original scores were written for the game, too. Multiple composers worked on the themes. The new music is woven with familiar John Williams pieces. Since his scores are the oxygen of Star Wars, it's an effective way to tie the Old Republic time period - a few thousand years BBY - to the events of A New Hope.

The visual aspect of the game environment isn't too shabby either. The computers in the demo pavilion were of course amped up to show the game at its finest, but I feel like it will retain the look on my laptop. The list of available characters seemed long to me, and you can play Light side or Dark side. Each character comes with a specific set of abilities. After I chose to be a Jedi Consular, I obtained a mission-quest-thing almost immediately. The game was easy to navigate (though I admit to having some trouble with the keyboard shortcuts initially), and I was killing Flesh Raiders and completing quest goals in no time. The guy showing me the game was very patient with my uh, inadequacies and inability to read a map. I am such a Padawan.

I played just long enough to know that when I buy the game, I'll have to set an alarm to moderate my playing. If I end up playing with friends (you can play alone or in a group), I'm sure I'll be ignoring the alarm.

Star Wars: The Old Republic will be available on December 20. Pre-order your copy today.

October 18, 2011

NYCC: Womanthology Panel

I went to New York for the first time last weekend, and of course, it was for a comic convention. Seriously. I may need an intervention. I did the normal convention stuff - like wandering the exhibit hall photographing toys and costumes - in addition to eating greasy New York pizza in a fancy dress and going to the top of the Empire State Building (not necessarily in that order). The lines and amount of Things To Do were such that I didn't get to as many panels as I'd like, but I did make it a point to go to the Womanthology panel.

If you're into comics, you may have heard of the Womanthology anthology. It's the little Kickstarter project that could. Artist Renae de Liz put a tweet out in the universe last May. She asked who would be interested in creating an all female comic anthology just to see what the response would be like. And it was overwhelming. One hundred women replied with a resounding yes on Twitter. The industry is obviously ready to see a showcase of women creators. She gathered 155 women and started a Kickstarter page for the project. They asked for $25,000 to print the book (no contributors to the book are getting paid - it's a charity project). They raised over $100,000.
Yeah.

Some of the editors of the book were present at NYCC to talk about the experience: Laura Morley, Bonnie Burton, Mariah Huehner, Nicole Falk, Suzannah Rowntree, and Renae de Liz. The group is diverse. These women are writers, editors, artists, and a few of them have never edited or written comic scripts before. They discussed the history of the project, how it was rewarding, and the future of women and comics - both the creators and the presence of female characters.

Womanthology welcomed experienced professionals and newcomers to its contributor ranks. de Liz allowed creators to choose partners, and then she intentionally paired the more seasoned writers and artists with folks with less experience so everyone could learn. The panelists learned from editing large groups, and they loved seeing the women inspire each other. Burton stated, "This project proved that women can work on project together and not kill each other." They've pulled it together fast. For a project that just started in May and involves over 100 contributors, it's nothing short of astounding that all of the artwork is already in. Huehner said, "The breadth and creativity involved has been wonderful to see as the project's progressed."

One key part of Womanthology is diversity. Most panelists felt that detail is one that is overlooked in the discussion of women in comics. We're diverse, but it's not always represented in the industry. To that point, no two stories in the collection are the same. The pages are filled with different characters, different genres, and different styles of storytelling and art. As Huehner stated, "Women like stuff." It's that simple.

The message Womanthology sends is a positive one, and it's not focused on gender. The take away from this project is: if you don't see the stories you want to read, if you don't see female (or male) characters that you think are just right, get out there and write your own. Tell your story in whatever way you can - a blog, a web comic, pen and paper. Just tell it. I walked away with a renewed desire to create. I have a feeling the book will make many people feel the same.

Keep up with the latest news on the Womanthology project here.

October 5, 2011

On the sexiness of Kit Fisto


You could say I have weird taste in men and aliens. I find Cardassians, Voldemort, and Darth Maul to be exceptionally attractive. But above all of them is Kit Fisto - Nautolan, Jedi Master. Is it the head tresses that can sense the emotional state of others or is it the multiple hearts? It's both of those things and more. I appreciate his positive attitude and the fact that he smiles in the midst of heated battle. The abs don't hurt either. And on their home world of Glee Anselm, one way Nautolans communicate while submerged is by reading the swirls in each others eyes. I want Kit Fisto to read my eyes.

He hasn't got a lot of on screen time in Star Wars: The Clone Wars so far, so I was happy to see him featured in the opening three episode arc of season four. The episodes take place underwater, and since that is Fisto's natural environment, it's a perfect fit. He throws himself into peril, takes on Riff Tamson, fights off aqua droids, and looks good while doing it.

I'm not alone in my feelings. Bonnie Burton, author of Draw The Clone Wars says, "I would gladly drown in his muscley green arms for a hug."
Ditto.



Thanks to Bonnie for the pics!

October 3, 2011

My DC New 52 experience

I don't read many superhero comics. I abstain for the usual reasons. I like smaller, contained stories. Sometimes I'd rather read about everyday characters I can relate to. I like supporting creator owned comics and indie publishers. Finally, seeing an entire shelf filled with only Batman titles at my local comic book store is intimidating. I can't bring myself to jump into the lives of characters with decades of backstory. I feel like I would need to know everything to enjoy it even if that's not actually the case.

Only in the past few months have I felt a desire to pick up comics about superheroes like Thor (I'm reading Matt Fraction's The Mighty Thor) and Captain America (Ed Brubaker's most recent run). I picked those comics up as a direct result of the recent movies, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I find Thor to be entertaining, but Captain America? I have fallen in love with this character. This is the superhero who made me realize why it might be worth investing my time in the capes sides of comics.

Given my revelation and the fact it happened right before DC's New 52 launch, I felt I had to pick up some of the new issues. The New 52 is a ready made jumping on point for a reader like me - someone who doesn't know much about Batman, Wonder Woman, and can't name all the members of the Justice League. The past canon and continuity all still exist and it's not a complete reboot, but here are brand new stories I could walk right into. So I asked for recommendations from friends who know these characters, I picked a couple just because of the writers, and a few just showed up in front me. I read these 16 titles:

Animal Man #1
Action Comics #1
Aquaman #1
Batgirl #1
Batman #1
Batman Detective Comics #1
Batwoman #1
Birds of Prey #1
Demon Knights #1
Green Lantern #1
I, Vampire #1
Justice League #1
Justice League Dark #1
Justice League International #1
The Fury of Firestorm #1
Wonder Woman #1

Of that list, five titles made a strong impression on me. And by strong impression I mean the stories grabbed my attention beyond mild interest, gave me enough information about the characters so I wouldn't feel lost, and made me care enough to think about going back into past stories to learn more. The other 12 titles weren't necessarily bad or boring, they just didn't spark for me. Green Lantern left me utterly confused, and I couldn't make it through Justice League International. Action Comics was fun, but I didn't feel like there was anything for me to grab onto. Though I'll ditch some entirely, I'll stick around through issue two for about nine titles (total).

The five stories I really enjoyed? Animal Man, Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The reasons vary. I know a few people complained because there wasn't much action in Aquaman, but I got to know him as a person first instead of as a superhero and it gave me something to connect with. Animal Man thoroughly disturbed me, but in the best kind of way. Batgirl dealt with trauma recovery and heroics and a striking way. Wonder Woman and Batman both had me drooling over the art, and both those stories were paced in such a way that I couldn't read them fast enough. I actually read both of those twice.

As a result of picking up first issues for the New 52, the big two have actually dominated my last two purchases at the comic book store lately. That's not the norm, and I don't see it being a continuing trend. However, four months ago, I wouldn't have saw that happening at all. Superheroes aren't so bad. Who knew.

I realize I've only talked briefly about a few issues, but there's no shortage of sites that reviewed each issue of the new 52. You can find opinions from seasoned superhero comic readers to people who have never picked up a comic book. Personally, I've been following along with C.S. Daley's reviews and power rankings; he's a good source for short and solid reviews and insight. Plus, he's sticking around and reviewing at least through second issues.

October 1, 2011

Interview with J.C. Reifenberg, Director/Producer/Writer of Hughes the Force, a Star Wars/John Hughes fan tribute

“High school... you'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

Anyone who has been through high school can relate to that statement. It's a timeless constant and one reason why people respond to John Hughes movies en masse. J.C. Reifenberg recognized the universal appeal of John Hughes films such as The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off and added his passion for Star Wars to it. He'd been wanting to create a Star Wars fan film and because of a contest on Atom, he had an idea about a John Hughes and Star Wars mash-up. He grew up in Hughes' backyard and attended the high school where so many of those stories happened. It was a natural fit.

The pitch for the film didn't work out for the Atom competition, but Reifenberg didn't give up. In fact, he never gives up. He and Steven Koistinen wrote a full script, and Hughes the Force was officially born. A year later, after countless hours of rewriting, filming, editing, and polishing, the fan tribute is premiering in Hollywood today. The finished production clocks in at just over 30 minutes and was a hefty undertaking. I spoke with Reifenberg about mashing the worlds of John Hughes and Star Wars together and what it took to make the film.

I know you've always wanted to make a Star Wars fan film. Why a fan film?
Fan films are so much fun. I've loved watching them since Troops came out. However, the quality since Troops on a whole have gotten progressively worse. It's too easy now to make broomsticks look like lightsabers. Being a filmmaker, I wanted to do something that showcased what you can really do and that you can really tell a story with a fan film. I actually don't like to call it a fan film because I think fan films rely on the source subject material for everything, and we really made a film that's character driven not special effects, Star Wars, or John Hughes driven. A lot of the humor will come from that and obviously that's a big part of the characters. But they're more than that. They say Star Wars quotes, but the quotes serve a purpose.

When you put together John Hughes and Star Wars did you have specific, iconic scenes you wanted to be sure to include?
Yes, definitely. In Weird Science they use a Barbie doll to create Kelly LeBrock, the perfect woman made from a machine. And I thought, a Star Wars fan wouldn't have a Barbie doll lying around but they do have multiple incarnations of Hasbro's Slave Leia action figures. So that idea sort of kicked off and anchored the whole thing.
I also wanted to include the cantina bar scene. All John Hughes movies have a dance montage in them. I thought it would be funny to have dancing Stormtroopers in a bar that matched The Breakfast Club. It's a scene that makes no sense, but everybody loves it.

Given that this is the largest scale project you've worked on (so far), what has surprised you the most about the process? What was the biggest challenge?
The hardest and most unexpected part was that I initially wanted to make an eight minute film. The original script was 12 pages long, but eventually, once I started working with Steve, the script became 22 pages. It was like the subject matter demanded more time. That was unexpected. The amount of time it was going to take to get it done the right way was much longer than we thought. We initially thought there would be six days of shooting. We finished shooting at 26 days. Part of the reason behind that was it was challenging to coordinate schedules. No one got paid on the movie, they volunteered their time and talent, so a lot of times it was working around people's schedules.


How did you manage to find so many people willing to give their time to your project? That alone is quite a feat, especially given that you filmed in Los Angeles.
I found people who wanted to work and were excited to work on it. The fact that everybody loves Star Wars and John Hughes and that we had a very strong script helped make all that happen. I tried to find other people who were hungry to make a movie so that when it came to the actual process, I'd have people who wanted to be there. I sold it big from the beginning not quite knowing how I was going to get there, but knowing that if I had enough people believing in the project, it wouldn't be just me trying to make it happen. It was everybody's energy and thoughts. We had a group of people working towards a goal instead of me trying to figure out on my own.

Along the same line, I have to ask: how did you manage to get Kevin Smith to make a cameo in Hughes the Force?
From the beginning, I wanted Kevin Smith to be in my movie. I didn't know him or have any idea how it was going to happen, but I knew I would figure it out.

We had to rent two cameras to shoot the bar scene, and they had to be really good lowlight cameras. While on set, one of the cameras broke. We had to use two cameras, and we couldn't reschedule the bar scene. We had the regular cast, 20 extras, people in Star Wars costumes, James Arnold Taylor (the voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Clone Wars), and Catherine Taber (voice of Padmé in same show) there. I could have given up, but instead I got in the car and I bought one of the cameras. It was an expensive solution to the problem, but I knew that's what I had to do to finish the movie. Then not even two months later, Kevin Smith tweets, “Does anybody have this camera? I'm looking for someone to shoot my podcast tonight.” I told him I had it and could have a full crew there. Now he makes cameo in Hughes the Force. The problem became the solution.

It's a perfect example actually. Just keep in mind that if you know where you want to go and you really want to get there, you don't need to necessarily know which roads to take to get there. Keep your eye on the speck on the horizon. You'll face roadblocks, and it's easy to get discouraged and give up. Think of it this way: maybe that roadblock is there for a reason. Be positive about it. Focus determines your reality. Think positive, and positive things will happen.

What advice can you offer to people thinking about making their own fan films?
What makes story interesting is conflict and character. Conflict isn't a lightsaber fight. The reason that it's cool to watch Obi-Wan fight Darth Vader is because of the characters. You know from earlier in the film that a young Jedi named Darth Vader killed Luke's father. That's what adds the conflict and drama. If it's just two dudes waving glow sticks at each other, it's not very exciting. Start with writing believable characters and conflict.

It's also important to do something that you are passionate about. If you don't love what you're doing, you won't get through. I've been working on this for a year for forty hours a week on top of one or two other jobs. If it's not something that you need to do the way you need to breathe or eat you're not going to finish it. Have a story. Having stormtroopers in your fan film is not enough, good cinematography is not enough. You need story, character, conflict, and passion.


Hughes the Force is playing at select conventions through the fall (such as Fan Days IV and Comikaze Expo). After the screenings wrap up, they plan to find a way that allows the most amount of people to watch and enjoy, free of charge. To learn more about the film and keep up with the latest distribution news, visit the website or follow them on Twitter.

crossposted at Geek Girls Network
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