Star Wars Episode Zero – Fan Film Trailer
With today’s release of Star Wars on Blu-Ray, I thought it would be a proper time to revisit a project of mine that is very close to my heart: Star Wars Episode Zero.
During one winter break while I was still in college, my buddy showed me these lightsaber battles that people were making in their backyard. I was completely in awe of the effect; not so much the production or story. Once I learned how to create the lightsaber effect, the possibilities of what we could accomplish took a life of it’s own. It became a year-long labor of love, in which we explored every which way we could to push our fan film to the next level: custom wardrobe, fight choreography, epic locations, and of course… new lightsabers and lightsaber battles!
The next winter break I spent entirely in the “cave”. After finalizing every frame of the trailer, we locked the edit, and then it was time to get to the effects. There is an estimated 30 seconds of lightsaber footage in the film, and at 30 frames per second, that’s a total of 900 frames of rotoscoping! Not to mention a few scenes with multiple lightsabers and complex masking when lightsabers move behind people/objects.
As many times as I’ve watched this, it still brings back all the great memories we had creating it. I consider this project moviemaking at it’s purest; driven by a passion to create the Star Wars universe in all of it’s detail, researching, writing, building, shooting, editing to exhaustion, and not getting paid for it (in fact, our main expense was the fabric for the customized wardrobe)!
How do we make the lightsaber spin in someone’s hand? How do we push what’s possible with new lightsaber styles? How can I create the hologram effect? How do I composite a moon in the background of our Palace of Fine Arts shot? These are the some of the challenges we gave ourselves and tackled in the making of this fan film.
Next time, I’ll revisit the “Making Of” and “Outtakes” clip and share with you the experience of creating Episode Zero. For now, please enjoy…