|Posted by Darth Vilarr on October 8, 2013 at 11:05 PM|
Rasmus, while looking through your website for your Star Wars fan film Threads of Destiny I noticed you have been working on the film for quiet a while, exactly how long have you been working on this film?
That's a good question to start with. I sometimes forget myself how long it’s been taking to make this movie. We started in April 2005 with our pre-production and filmed a majority of the movie in autumn of 2005. At this point, it's September 2013, we have been working on this film for 102 months, or for short 8 years. However, we have not been able to work full time on the project and that is why it’s taking 8 years to make it. It is a film of 110 minutes where everything has been created from scratch by us. Although the film is set in the familiar universe of Star Wars, we wanted to give the whole film our own look and feel to it all. It's very hard to imagine how my adult life would look like today without Threads of Destiny; the film has been such a big part of my life for such a long time that I grew up along with the project. I have not only worked with ToD for eight years, but I’ve also been involved in several other projects. I was able to bring with me lessons learned from other projects and applied them to ToD. It has been a long learning process. But had I started with the film today much would look different, not only technically but also for more strategic, how we chose to shoot the movie. I would first and foremost use more real locations. Green screen is quick and easy to work with, and many decisions can be made in post-production. But with all its benefits, what you win in the time of the shoot is lost when it comes to all the effects in post. Just because a film is made in the computer does not mean it's easy to make.
In your own words can your describe your film, what is it about, who are the main characters, and when and where in the Star Wars galaxy is the film set?
The film is set 94 years after "Return of the Jedi" or 100 years after "The Battle of Yavin." The New Republic has been resurrected and democracy once again rules the galaxy. But all is not peaceful in this new world. With the fall of the Dark Empire, the ancient Skenvi Empire now comes out of the shadow to make its move. The Skenvi seek to seize control of all the galaxy's most valuable resources to cripple their enemies. Caught in between this struggle over the fate of the galaxy is the planet of Coreign. The planet possesses a very powerful ore that would greatly favor the side that has access to it. The Skenvi Empire sends their most infamous negotiator Lord Siege to Coreign to get the King and Queen to sign a treaty with them. The New Republic sends two of its Jedi ambassadors, Master Soran Darr and his padawan, Raven Darkham. Raven faces his final trials before being upgraded to Jedi Knight. Soran is a very wise Jedi who has seen much cruelty, both by his enemies but also with their allies. On the planet of Coreign our heroes meet the royal family Ad'lah. Raven creates the acquaintance of their daughter, the Princess Arianna. Arianna is tired of people telling her what she should and should not do, she wants more in her life than the one put in front of her. What our heroes do not expect is that Lord Siege will do all it takes to get Coreign to join the Skenvi Empire.
How many people are working on this project with you, from cast, crew to special effect artists? With such a crew, how do you keep them motivated on such a project?
I have compiled a list of names of people who help to concretely as we will show in the credits, but this is a film made of an incredible lot more people than those that appear in the text. All the loved ones that have given us their support over eight years is invaluable. We've done everything ourselves from scratch, as you will see in the movie, we have turned to the people who both want and can help us.
Threads of Destiny is a huge project, can I ask why you are making such a ambitious fan film, I ask because the restrictions that LucasFilm puts on fan films mean you cannot make any money off of this project?
What appeals to me most, besides the fact that it's Star Wars, of working in this project is the process. I had for many years followed other fan filmmakers and how they did their projects with the help of people in other countries. For these kinds of films to be possible to make, you need to take help beyond your national borders and thanks to the internet it’s possible. Today the technology and communication has evolved far more than what it was back in 2005, and I see great opportunities to make several similar projects in the future to be created in a similar way but in a shorter time. Knowledge among people has become much more accessible. Our aim is not to make money of this fanfilm, but to learn from it in order to apply it to our future films. I have known many very talented people that I would love to continue working with in the future. Their creativity inspires me greatly and makes the projects even better and better.
I understand you and your cast and crew are all from Sweden, is that also where you have done all your filming, and is this film going to be in English or is it going to be subtitled?
All recording for the film was made in Sweden, mostly in 2005, but also some pickups in 2006, 2007 and 2008. We filmed a few inserts in 2009, but since then the film has been entirely shot and it was just a matter of filling the last spots. The film will be in English for the reason that I knew that no one would be able to take the project seriously if we were talking Swedish in film. Star Wars has a very theatrical and pompous language that is best in English. "May the force be with you" would become "Må kraften vara med dig" in Swedish, and it does not have the same impact. We will have the film subtitled in several languages, and I have been contacted by several people who would like to subtitle the film into their languages, which is great fun and I'm looking forward to it.
What sort of visual effects are we going to see as part of Threads of Destiny? Are we going to see light saber battles or some space battle scenes? What does it take to complete such visual and special effects?
ToD has all kinds of scenarios you can expect from a Star Wars movie to have: space battles, lightsaber fights, explosions, asteroid chases, sieges and amazing environments. We have created three new planets that did not exist in the Star Wars galaxy before. The Skenvi controlled planet Zarra, the beautiful nature Coreign and smuggler planet of Emperta. But also some familiar systems as Yavin 4 and Coruscant. To accomplish these sequences requires first and foremost the imagination. Today we have the opportunity to make wonders with our home computers, everything that is required is the right software, the knowledge or desire to learn. Throughout the long process, I have chosen to take in those who are involved with the effects and listen to their thoughts. What they think is cool or would be fun to try in a movie like this. To provide a rich and varied visual expression. Just because all the final decisions fall on me, but I do not necessarily always know how to come up with the coolest idea. We have an open dialogue and inspire each other through ideas and references.
Who wrote the story/script for Threads of Destiny, and where did the idea come from?
The first version of the script was written by Michael Banno. He wrote around 2000 a fan fiction called ”The Chosen Force” with many characters and situations we based ToD on. I think Micke wrote the first version of the script in less than three days, he was so excited that I wanted to make a film based on Star Wars. We had previously collaborated on another project that Micke also had written, a horror called ”Wolf Virus”.
In terms of costumes and equipment that you are using for the film, are you making it yourself or using the resources of various costuming groups like the 501st or Rebel Legion?
All costumes, except for the Stormtrooper’s armors, we have designed and manufactured by ourselves. I wanted the costumes to be similar to what we have seen in the other films, but not be exact copies. Therefore the Jedi costumes are a mixture of Luke’s episode 6 costume and the classic Jedi robe. I want to raise a special homage to Roger Ljungholm who designed and sewed more than 20 costumes for the film. Some costumes would not look as good if it wasn’t for him. Unfortunately, Roger is no longer with us. He was a great inspiration and had engine for the project. Roger also plays Lord Siege's right hand man Captain Krathos.
After all of this hard work, when do you think that you will have Threads of Destiny finished? Are you planning any huge release parties for its release, and are you planning on entering it into various film festivals?
We aim to have a gigantic release. I have been approached by several small theaters that would love to have a few screenings of ToD. Even a mall theater in Brazil have shown their interest in screening the film. Here in Sweden we have a gala premier for the cast, crew, friends and families. We’ll do the best we can to get the film completed this year, but much can pop up and occur in our lives, which unfortunately may delay the film. But do not worry, we'll do what we can to make it!
Finally, would you say that Threads of Destiny is more a light side or dark side film?
As I mentioned earlier, I have decided to make the film as a mix of it all, to give a more grayscale side of the conflict. However, if I had gotten the chance to do the film's sequel we previously thought of making, I would have decided to make it even more grayshaded with good and evil. Thinking that ToD took 8 years of my life to make, it’s unlikely I will do another fanfilm ever again. But who knows! Maybe I'll get the chance to work on one of the new Disney Star Wars movies, and then I will take the chance!
You can check out the trailer for Star Wars: Threads of Destiny on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGRg88dkI-U
and check out a behind the scenes featurette at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgp6bv6H6YE