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Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge 2007 70

Posted by samzenpus
from the jar-jar-noir dept.
Sarah Giannantonio writes "AtomFilms and LucasFilms launched today the 2007 Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge. This is a yearly competition where the Star Wars community send in their fan films to be judged by George Lucas. Award recipients will have their film shown during Celebration IV and also on Spike TV. New for 2007 is the fan fiction category."
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Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge 2007

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  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @05:42AM (#18359581) Homepage Journal

    Let me guess, on their potential for product placement and merchandising?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by gbobeck (926553)

      Let me guess, on their potential for product placement and merchandising?

      Nope. They will be judged by George Lucas on their potential for the addition of Jar Jar Binks.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Curtman (556920)

        They will be judged by George Lucas on their potential for the addition of Jar Jar Binks
        Forget it, Star Wars Kid [bbc.co.uk] has this one in the basket. I'm sure more people saw that than saw the Jar Jar movies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by guruevi (827432)
      Merchandising, merchandising, that's where the real money for the movie is made.
    • This is the thing that irks me about this competition every year. Only the 10,000th lame Star War parody or comedy short is allowed in. Serious Star Wars shorts [wikipedia.org] are not welcome.

      Guess George is worried someone might show him up.

      -Eric

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014)
      I don't think so.

      Did you expect Lucas not to allow merchandising on the Star Wars films? Why shouldn't he?

      Episode 1 to 3 look to me like the work of a conflicted man: somebody who wants to make serious art, but at the same time wants to make popular art. And I don't think the popularity is about money. What would Lucas do with more money?

      If it was really was all about money, he wouldn't have given those movies such a somber story line. He'd have given them all triumphal, feel good endings like Episode IV
      • What would Lucas do with more money?

        Dismantle the Hollywood Studio system. THX was supposed to be a start with digital distribution closing the deal. What ever happened to that?
      • by TonyZahn (534930)
        "So he ended up making movies that feel a bit like an undertaker in a clown suit."

        Honestly I thought the movies felt more like a clown in an undertaker suit. They pretended to be serious, but were really full of crap and cream pies.
    • during Celebration IV and also on Spike TV

      And all other entries will be shown on YouTube - over and over again

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Thursday March 15, 2007 @05:45AM (#18359589) Journal
    I think we all know what he'll have to so say.

    "The CGI is weak in this one, move along,... move along"

  • Leia: "I love you!"
    Han: "I love you too."

    Most of us have absolutely no qualifications whatsoever in production of art of any kind. But I reckon we can still produce something to blow this paticular judge over. Then again, that six year old with the Jar-Jar crayon animation (0.2fps) has a pretty solid product.
    • by datafr0g (831498) *
      Yeah yeah, we all agree that he sucks as a script writer, over did the re-release of the original trilogy with unnecessary changes and "what was he thinking with Jar-Jar?", etc.
      He's made some poor decisions and Empire + Jedi probably would have sucked if he had more to do with them than he did...

      But come on, get over it! This is a fan based competition. It's not about the best or most talented judge for the job - the fans relish on the fact that it's GEORGE LUCAS reviewing their movies - the goddamn cr
      • by hey! (33014) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:28AM (#18361597) Homepage Journal
        My brother in law the film professor loathes Star Wars, largely for what it has done to the film industry. I don't agree; EP IV was watershed film, and if it somehow corrupted Hollywood's sensibilities, that's Hollywood's fault. Judged on its own, EP IV was a very good movie. The acting, aside from the old pros who turn in a solid performance in their sleep, may have been uneven. The dialog was unquestionably dreadful. But it had its corresponding virtues. It was fast paced, energetic, and had a kind of visual wit that more than compensated for its lack of verbal wit.

        None of the subsequent Lucas movies are nearly as good as EP IV. I don't count EP V as a Lucas film; it was much more solid but much less innovative than EP IV. In EP VI, the franchise is starting to show signs of middle age spread, but the movie is carried by the greater maturity of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. I think the later Lucas films suffer because Lucas the story teller needs the pressure of limited resources to stay on track. The actors never have a chance. Samuel Jackson has that rare quality that differentiates the movie star from the actor: its fun just seeing him on screen. Utterly wasted.

        Necessity is the mother of invention. When Lucas made EP IV, he had to overcome two limits: screen time and budget. He didn't think he'd get to make another one of these movies, so he put as much as he could into EP IV, which was the fastest paced 121 minutes most people had ever seen on screen.

        The other thing that helped Lucas in EP IV was the limitation of what he could put on screen given the budget and technology available. For Ed Wood, two guys sitting on folding chairs in front of a blank wall was perfectly acceptable as set for an airline cockpit. For Lucas, no set that was not created largely in CGI would ever be good enough, however good it might be. So where he put special effects into the movie, he did not dwell on them; they'd simply fly by. It made the story more credible by putting it in a believably detailed setting.

        A fantasy story needs the details to be credible. That's what made The Day the Earth Stood Still such a great movie, it was so believable in all its other details that accepting a man in a cheesy foam rubber suit as a giant robot was possible.

        CGI is what killed Lucas' filmmaking. Once he could put anything in his head up on screen, he could not resist drawing attention to it, to the detriment of the story. The characters are lost in epic set pieces. What is worse, the more you look at the details, the less credibile they seem, be they ever so well crafted. In contrast, the LotR series was stuffed to the gills with incredible sets, props and effects, but Peter Jackson uses them with restraint. Jackson had a way of alternating between huge and intimate scenes that somehow made the characters expand to epic scale. This may have been what Lucas was aiming at. EP I - III actually try to tell a rather interesting, somber story, but it is a story that requires a focus on the actors. People didn't take to Hayden Christensen's uncharismatic Anakin, but his portrayal of Anakin as a shallow and somewhat spoiled was entirely right. It's just that story wasn't told coherently enough to make its point: evil comes from people trying to do the right thing in a narrow minded way. The story desperately needed to connect the dark glamour of Darth Vader to Anakin's stubborn willfulness.

        I don't want to be too down on the later Lucas movies; I got my ticket's worth of entertainment. But I have zero desire to see them a second time.

        When you look at EP I through III, they are very different movies than EP IV, much more ponderous. In EP IV the story drags you forward when you'd like another second to look at the details. In later Lucas movies you keep wishing the story would get a move on. Things would have been different if Lucas had been constrained to use the same budget and technology he had for EP IV.

        I do take my hat off to Lucas though, for encouraging f
        • Well said. Kudos to you good sir.
        • by DannyO152 (544940)
          Some notes: Ep V's writing is attributed to Lucas, Leigh Brackett, and Lawrence Kasdan. Ep. VI is Lucas and Kasdan -- could this have something to do with it being so jokey and self-aware (as well as some contamination from Kasdan, Lucas and Harrison Ford's success with Raiders)? As for Ep IV ushering in a changed Hollywood, I think Jaws (1975) is understood to be the first summer blockbuster. Perhaps it was Ep IV that showed that lightning could strike twice?
  • by OverlordQ (264228)
    is that his 2003 choice mirrored his writing ability of the last few movies.
  • by QuatermassX (808146) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @06:48AM (#18359865) Homepage

    George should commission someone to totally recut and / or remake The Phantom Menace. Rather than expand the universe, perfect that first film. Amid some rather pretty scenery and effect, there are soooooo many cringe-worthy performances and moments.

    Think The Phantom Edit - only more radical.

    And for the love of The Force, get Portman to re-loop her lines.

    Or perhaps he should turn over ALL the raw footage for Revenge of the Sith so a real editor can cut that film together properly. Let's all fire up FinalCutPro and have at it!

    Sorry Ben - you're a damn good sound designer and a Friend of George, but ... your editing powers are WEAK old man.

  • Found this not so long ago, I think it is top of the line fan made movies http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5196652186 157038936 [google.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Luke, I am your project manager."

    "Noooo, it's not true! I'll never work for you."
  • Store wars [youtube.com] is quite old, but still very good. IMHO. Think it will make grade?
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @08:23AM (#18360339)
    Finally - the Star Wars fad is fading out. There's less than 30 comments here on what would have been a 300+ topic just a few years ago.

    Remember when Star Wars was fun and even a little cool? Me too - it was 1983 and I was 7.
  • I'm not particularly interested in FanFic. I also agree that the prequels could have been better... I'll be interested again when George decides that there are better writers out there and he uses something from the EU to make a movie.
  • I hope they have a 2008 or 2009 challenge, too; a fan film can take some serious lead and production time.

    I have a friend who's working on a SWFF right now (in which i have a small part), and the amount of work -- synchronizing people's schedules, getting people for cast and crew, yadda, rendering (on legit software, no less), scraping up the cashish for ... everything ... it all adds up and it takes time. For my friend's film, we're looking at a release date of January 2009.

    Of course, my friend is pl

  • Star Wars Cops (Score:2, Interesting)

    by chord.wav (599850)
    These guys already deserve some merit. The best SW short I've seen in my life.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWr6ec2zEyE [youtube.com]
    • Have you been living under a rock? Troops [wikipedia.org] started the modern fanfilm movement.

      It came out ten freaking years ago, and it already won in the FanFilms series (the first one, in 2002).

      • by chord.wav (599850)
        In a galaxy far far away apparently, light 'also' takes some time to travel, you know?

        If you define 'under a rock' as Argentina, then yes. It feels pretty much the same also.

  • IMPS (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sylver Dragon (445237) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:36AM (#18361699) Journal
    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned I.M.P.S.: The Relentless [impstherelentless.com] yet. Episode one was one of the best FanFics I have seen, now if episode 2 would just make it out.
    Though, having read a little bit, it sounds like it can't be entered as it is being done as a serious work, rather than a parody. I realize that Lucas technically needs to protect his franchise, but that just seems over the top; let the fans do your marketing for you, and pat them on the head once in a while, it won't hurt you that much.
  • Remind me, guys ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by IrvThal (1076139) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @10:42AM (#18361789)
    How many of us have directed major feature films that have grossed $4 billion, created two legendary movie series, and shepherded cinematic developments like ILM, THX and even Pixar? You may not like some of his movies, but George Lucas has probably done more for the movies you DO like than you can ever realize! Oh, and most of the teenagers I know (who were seven or eight when "Phantom Menace" came out) happen to think Jar-Jar rules. Remember when no one liked Ewoks? Now everyone thinks they're cute and cuddly and forgets how much they were hated. But that's beside the point. To bash George Lucas because you didn't like a few of his movies is just crazy. Thirty years later, you're still arguing about "Star Wars" ... that says a lot to me!
    • "How many of us have directed major feature films that have grossed $4 billion, created two legendary movie series, and shepherded cinematic developments like ILM, THX and even Pixar? You may not like some of his movies, but George Lucas has probably done more for the movies you DO like than you can ever realize!"

      Sure, he was successful, but the last 3 movies sucked. They were devoid 'cinematic genius' and did little more than provide ILM an interesting demo reel. You can't dismiss people's opinions of Ge
    • by Magnusite (526038)

      Remember when no one liked Ewoks? Now everyone thinks they're cute and cuddly and forgets how much they were hated.

      No. The hatred is still strong in this one.

    • by BTWR (540147)
      Oh, and most of the teenagers I know (who were seven or eight when "Phantom Menace" came out) happen to think Jar-Jar rules.

      You are exactly correct on this one. My cousins, who are between ages 6 and 13, LOVE the new trilogy. My uncle (their father) got them all 6 movies, and I asked them which is their favorite, since I was curious what someone would say, unexposed to fanboyism on the net and 30 years of folklore on the subject. They ALL said Episode 1. I like the new trilogy, but I was shocked at

    • by VShael (62735)
      Remember when no one liked Ewoks? Now everyone thinks they're cute and cuddly and forgets how much they were hated

      Yes, but... Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like fucking SHAFT!

  • I think it would be fantastic if nobody entered this contest. Lucas is a hack. Everything since the original films has sucked. Mod me down for saying so, but it's the truth. Couple that with the fact that Lucas has said that the original trilogy wasn't what he really wanted, and the Ep I - III were his true vision. So he admits that his true vision is AWFUL. He's a lucky hack, and people should regard him as such. Too bad that he gets all the credit for the good movies, which has made him millions an
  • Just grab a camera and make a movie that will blow away your peers.
    So anything better than Episode 1 will do. Shouldn't be too difficult.
  • I sense a great disturbance in the force as if quality fiction screamed in agony and then disappeared forever. Is there any combination of words in the English language that inspires more horror than "Star Wars fan fiction"? I'd rather jump off the barge after Boba than read any of that crap.
  • Wow...I honestly can't believe what I'm reading on this forum.

    Seriously, for a forum that is filled with anti-copyright people who scream at the top of their lungs every time somebody even mentions protecting intellectual rights, this just takes the cake. George Lucas has not only moved to encourage and develop the amateur film community, but has pretty much given them carte blanche to use his own Star Wars intellectual property to do it (up to what would be a PG rating), and people are complaining.

    If you

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