Anyone can make a science fiction movie – That means you!

You can make a science fiction movie

Today, anyone with a recent smart phone and a computer has everything they need to make a science fiction movie.

What’s stopping you?

Buster Keaton from The Camera Man

Technical barriers for filmmakers

Just a few years ago, you needed a lot of expensive equipment and services if you wanted to produce a “professional” film:

  • A 16mm or 35mm camera
  • Lots and lots of film
  • Film editing equipment
  • Film lab services
  • Lighting equipment
  • Sound recording equipment
  • Sound mixing services

This is just a partial list. Everything on this list costs a lot of money. Continue reading Anyone can make a science fiction movie – That means you!

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Science fiction filmmaker Timothy Plain

Commercial producer and filmmaker

This week on The Sci-Fi Maker Show, I interview Timothy Plain, a producer for an ad agency in San Francisco as well as  a filmmaker.

Timothy Plain
Timothy Plain

Timothy has produced a lot of popular commercials – I’ll bet most of you have seen many of them on TV.

Like many of us, his goal is to become a feature film director.

Being a producer for commercials has really helped Timothy become a better filmmaker. He has improved as a filmmaker over the years and credits being a producer as part of the reason.

“Until you see other people do it, you don’t really understand how it’s done.” Continue reading Science fiction filmmaker Timothy Plain

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Juggernaut Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Film Festival

A film festival for sci-fi and fantasy filmmakers

The Juggernaut Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Film Festival, in Chicago, is not the largest film festival on the planet, but it is a very special film festival. It’s for sci-fi and fantasy filmmakers!

Art work for Juggernaut Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Film Festival - by Tiffany Keane Schaefer
Art work for Juggernaut Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Film Festival – by Tiffany Keane Schaefer

In this episode of The Sci-Fi Maker Show, I talk to Tiffany Keane Schaefer, the curator of the festival.

Interview highlights

  • What is Otherworld? 1:54
  • Why she decided to create a science fiction and fantasy theater company – 2:19
  • The Juggernaut Sci-Fi/Fantasy Short Film Festival began as a way to raise funds for the Otherworld theater company – 7:03
  • What Tiffany’s role as a curator entails -9:52
  • When and where is the festival? 10:22
  • Submission rules for the festival – 11:41
  • Memorable films from previous years’ festivals – 12:54
  • Length limits for the submitted films – 15:27
  • The kinds of films the festival organizers are looking for – 16:07
  • Crowdfunding the short film – 20:26
  • They are getting more dystopian stories and our relationship with technology stories lately – 21:55
  • Production values and special effects they are seeing in submissions – 22:58
  • How’s the acting in these short films? – 24:47
  • The “sci-fi scene” in Chicago – 25:40
  • The future of these indie sci-fi short films – 27:40

Highlighted festival films from previous years

World premiere! A Princess of Mars is coming!

When Confederate deserter John Carter is mysteriously transported on the surface of Mars, he is forced into an epic conflict between the planet’s alien races. As Mars is poised on the brink of collapse, war-weary Carter realizes he must choose sides when the planet’s fate rests on his shoulders.

Otherworld Theatre Company is excited to bring this science fantasy to life in this world premiere adaptation.

For more information, visit them at www.otherworldtheatre.org.

Princess of Mars poster

Links

As always

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Crowdfunding a sci-fi film: Lilith in the Garden

Interview with actress and writer Emily Lawrence

In this episode of The Sci-Fi Maker Show, I speak with Emily Lawrence. Her current project is “Lilith in the Garden”, a science fiction short subject.

“Lilith in the Garden” is about a scientist who clones his wife after she dies. It poses a lot of questions about what makes us who we are.

She is raising money for the project on Kickstarter and plans to shoot the project this fall.

Emily Lawrence, actress
Emily Lawrence

Interview highlights

  • Emily’s bio – 1:20
  • What is “Lilith in the Garden” about? – 2:45
  • Science fiction gives us a glimpse of the future – 4:12
  • The origin of the script – 5:13
  • How is being an actor like being a clone – 7:22
  • Is Emily a science fiction fan? – 7:53
  • The director – 8:21
  • Emily’s co-star – 9:42
  • The script reading with her co-star – 11:00
  • Will the actors be improvising? – 12:37
  • Film festival plans – 13:15
  • Crowdfunding the film – 13:45
  • Advice about studying acting – 15:37
  • Advice for aspiring directors on working with actors – 17:33
  • Other projects Emily is working on – 21:34
  • Does Emily only write scripts to act in? – 22:50
  • Opportunities for actors with today’s filmmaking technology -24:33
  • Crew size for “Lilith in the Garden” – 25:24
  • Emily’s voice-over work – 25:53
  • Emily’s advice for others wanting to do their own project – 27:58
  • The advice Emily would give the clone in real life – 29:10
  • How to find Emily online (in Links below) – 29:49

Emily Lawrence, actress

The Kickstarter campaign

I’m happy to report that the Kickstarter campaign is going well. At the time of this recording, it is about 30% funded with over two weeks to go.

Any amount would be appreciated.

You can also show your support for the project by spreading the word on social media – whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, or whatever.

Let’s all work together to make this the success it deserves to be.

Links

As always

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Star Wars Fan Film Award Winners

TK-436: A Stormtrooper Story movie poster
TK-436: A Stormtrooper Story movie poster

Update: Full director’s cut is now online!

The full 12-minute director’s cut of TK-436: A Stormtrooper movie is now available for your viewing pleasure.

Check it out! It’s amazing what these two young filmmakers accomplished!

Interview with Star Wars fan film winners Samtubia and Samgoma Edwards

This week on the Sci-Fi Maker Show, I speak with Samtubia and Samgoma Edwards: two young filmmakers who directed TK-436: A Stormtrooper Story. This film was the winning entry in the 2016 Filmmaker Select Star Wars Fan Film Awards.

Stormtrooper in front of green screen on location for TK-436
Stormtrooper in front of green screen on location for TK-436

This is an amazing story. The judges for this contest were Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards (no relation), Rogue One co-producer John Swartz, and John Knoll, the Chief  Creative Officer at ILM and the executive producer for Rogue One.

John Knoll also presented the award.

We’re thrilled that Samtubia and Samgoma Edwards were kind enough to share it with us.

Listen closely, there is a lot of great information, and prepare to be inspired!

Samtubia and Samgoma Edwards accepting the 2016 Filmmaker Select Star Wars Fan Film Award at Star Wars Celebration Europe
Samtubia and Samgoma Edwards accepting the 2016 Filmmaker Select Star Wars Fan Film Award at Star Wars Celebration Europe

Interview highlights

  • How and why they started the film – they originally wanted to make a Star Wars Battlefront commercial – 1:15
  • They worked on the film for about five months – 3:52
  • The tools they used to make the film – 4:56
    • Black Magic 4K camera
    • Lighting: they used the sun for exteriors and inexpensive CFLs for interiors
    • They shot green screen in their apartment garage
  • How they recorded location audio – 7:24
  • How and where they found actors – 7:54
  • There are two versions of the film (with different music and sound effects) – the 5-minute contest version and the 12-minute version – 11:00
  • How they edited the film (using Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects) – 13:06
  • The tools they used to create the special effects
    • After Effects
    • Cinema 4D
    • Elements
  • Costumes and props – they watched online tutorials to learn how – 16:06
  • The contest rules – 18:06
  • Winning the award – 18:44
  • More about the longer version of their film – 21:28
  • How they started their filmmaking journey (with an appearance by Jay Z) – 24:37
  • Their future plans – 28:16
Production still of a stormtrooper from TK-436
Production still of a stormtrooper from TK-436

More to come

Samtubia and Samgoma will be releasing the longer version of their film soon. When they do, we will let you know about it and where you can find it.

I have seen the longer version and I was blown away.

The visual effects are fantastic, but they also really know how to get convincing performances out of their actors. This is rare in low budget indie films.

I promise, you will be hearing more from these two talented filmmakers.

Links

As always

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