Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Movies Entertainment

Discworld Fan Film Possibly the Largest Scale Fan Film Ever 67

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the hunt-for-in-the-pir-discworld dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After clocking in at $82,000 on their Kickstarter campaign, two Troll Bridge trailers have been released online showing helicopter shots in New Zealand (video) and a large scale bridge set that was built and shot on (video). A Behind the Scenes (video) has also been released demonstrating what fans are now actually capable of, given decent crowd-funding. The film has finished shooting and is expected to be released next year. Sir Terry Pratchett has been apparently thrilled with the progress." But can it beat Star Wreck for best production award?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Discworld Fan Film Possibly the Largest Scale Fan Film Ever

Comments Filter:
  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @09:33AM (#41311773)

    Lest you auteurs out there get too exciting, thinking you're going to film your Michael Bay ripoff dream project for a song, keep in mind that the entire cast and crew *volunteered* on the project (some for years). If you were to factor that cost in, it wouldn't surprise me if the actual cost of this project was well north of $1 million.

    I just wanted to mention that, because these kinds of fan films often advertise incredibly low budgets that mislead a lot of people to think that real filmmaking is easy and cheap, and anyone can do it. It reality it takes a team of pros to produce a decent effort (not just some shitty student film or Youtube novelty). It's just that very low-budget efforts often get those pros to *donate* their services. They're not going to do that for your average Michael Bay ripoff.

    My personal favorite professional-grade fan film is Broken Allegiance [wikipedia.org], easily the best Star Wars fan film ever made (IMHO). It was shot in Australia with a volunteer cast and crew made up of film professionals for about $10,000. It's one of the few fan films I've seen with professional lighting, actors who aren't horrific, and a halfway decent script. And it's one of the few Star Wars fan films that plays it straight instead of doing the 10-millionth stupid parody of a franchise that's almost become a parody of *itself*.

    • by TWX (665546)

      My personal favorite professional-grade fan film is Broken Allegiance [wikipedia.org], easily the best Star Wars fan film ever made (IMHO).

      I'm partial to "Troops" myself...

      • by pr0t0 (216378)

        All suspects are guilty, PERIOD. If they weren't, they wouldn't be suspect would they?

        • by TWX (665546)
          "Most people would call this the ass end of space, but I like the small town feeling you get around here. I mean, we know everybody. Everybody. "
      • by crazyjj (2598719) *

        "Troops"

        As I said, there are a million Star Wars parodies out there. I found the first 100,000 or so funny--then it got old.

        Broken Allegiance is one of the VERY, VERY few Star Wars fan films that plays it straight and doesn't come off as just silly or amateurish.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      I just wanted to mention that, because these kinds of fan films often advertise incredibly low budgets that mislead a lot of people to think that real filmmaking is easy and cheap, and anyone can do it. It reality it takes a team of pros to produce a decent effort (not just some shitty student film or Youtube novelty). It's just that very low-budget efforts often get those pros to *donate* their services. They're not going to do that for your average Michael Bay ripoff.

      So basically, spending less money on a movie means they'll be less like Michael Bay movies?
      Even if this were a $2 million movie, the quality seems to be on par with something atleast 10x more expensive.
      And all we need to do is replace special effects with story and hollywood stars with actors.

    • by bernywork (57298)

      > My personal favorite professional-grade fan film is Broken Allegiance,

      Oh, come on!..... How can it not be Computer Boy?!?!?

      http://www.flumps.org/funny/computerboy/images/computerboy.mov [flumps.org]

      Sheesh....

      • by bernywork (57298)

        Oh, and if you think the humour is kind of puerile, I'll give you that, but given how "serious" the Matrix is, I consider that part of it being a spoof.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      ...the entire cast and crew *volunteered* on the project

      Yes, the same as Star Wreck (which I whould have named "Start Wreck"). Still, it would have taken Hollywood fifty million to film. BTW, that's one of my favorite movies and I can't wait to see the Pratchett film, if it's as funny as Pratchett's books it will be even better than Star Wreck.

      incredibly low budgets that mislead a lot of people to think that real filmmaking is easy and cheap, and anyone can do it.

      Well, writing is easy and cheap, but few do

    • ...keep in mind that the entire cast and crew *volunteered* on the project (some for years). If you were to factor that cost in...

      I look at it the other way around: it's amazing what people are willing and able to accomplish for nothing when they're not whoring for Hollywood. Will they find it satisfying enough to keep doing it?

      Conventional wisdom says this should never happen. The free software movement suggests that we might see a parallel free production line set up soon.

      • by Telvin_3d (855514)

        Sure they find it satisfying enough to keep doing it. That's why most of them do it professionally. The point is that these volunteer projects don't scale well. It's easy (at least if you are active in the film community) to scare up a free pro crew for a weekend project. With a little work and an interesting idea you can get a dedicated group for a few weekends, or convince people to take a week off work.

        But that only works because they have real full time jobs doing this. You can't say 'hey that went grea

        • by ewibble (1655195)

          Yes, they need a day job, enough to survive comfortably but you also don't need to pay them millions either. People are basically willing to do it for free as long as they can survive. It just goes into a nice circle movie makes lots of money, people want their cut, movie cost more to make so has to make more, people want bigger cut, continue until movie makes as much as it can (that's a lot), justify amount of money made based on high costs. When reality a large portion costs are a result of the high amou

          • by crazyjj (2598719) *

            People are basically willing to do it for free as long as they can survive.

            Yeah, wait till you get married and start thinking about kids. You'll likely find your wife is a lot less tolerant of "just surviving."

            • by ewibble (1655195)

              I said surviving comfortably (in the first sentence), not having to worry where the next meal is coming from, or you have a place to sleep tomorrow, not being on the brink of survival. Sure everyone wants more but that is not necessary for creativity it may even be counter-productive there have been studies that show this.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc [youtube.com]

    • I see where you're coming from but it doesn't change the fact that the budget is $82,000. Yes, plenty of people are donating time and resources and yes, not everyone can produce a similar film for that money, but regardless of how, they are producing this film on a $82,000 budget. That's very impressive.

      • by Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:36AM (#41312305)
        No, he has a good point. The actual budget is far in excess of $82,000. $82,000 is just how much liquid cash they spent. The opportunity cost of the entire film is, as he stated, somewhere around $1 million or something.

        Consider this. What if the people who volunteered their time instead just donated money?

        If those people gave $1 million, which was then spent to hire other people to do what those people volunteered to do, the end result would be the exact same.
        You'd have $82,000 left over to spend on the set, etc, having spent that $1 million dollars on acting, labor, etc.
        Would the cost of THAT film be $82,000? No, it cost $1,082,000.

        So because this money was donated, you're not counting it?
        Or because the volunteers immideately "spent" the money on themselves, it doesn't count?
        Its economics.
        • No, the budget is $82,000. They have a budget of $82,000 to spend on resources, regardless of the typical value of resources they are actually able to get their hands on.

          If I wanted to produce a widget and set aside a budget of $82,000 to do a manufacturing run, that figure does not change if through various deals and favours I am able to get a factory to give me free, or very preferential rates, for whatever reason. Other widget manufacturers may still be paying the going rate of $1,000,000 to do the same

        • I forgot to add, if people had donated $1,000,000 instead of their free time, then that would indeed give me a budget of $1,082,000. But that's not what people did so I have a $82,000 budget and the bonus that many of the resources I need are available for free, for whatever reason.

        • Not everything can be reduced to a dollar figure. Maybe the actors had a really good time producing the movie, maybe they saw it not so much as donating their time, but using their time for leisure. I know if someone gave me the choice of giving them $some money or going with them and having a good time, I wouldn't consider the two options equivalent at all.

        • by arose (644256)
          Does that mean that every movie that reuses props needs it's budget revised? How about shooting on location in a city, does that need to be counted as how much a similar set would cost? Do 3Dfications have a budged in excess of the originals as their conversion budget clearly doesn't cover making the movie?
      • I'm a tv producer. When producing a short, feature, tv series, etc. and you're looking for money you need to have very clear your budget. Maybe you can count with donations like this project, but any contribution should count as part of the budget.

        It's very common when you're producing that your investors and partners don't want to pay for the whole development or pre-production, they think the same as you do that some work doesn't has a cost. But everything has a cost, from the original story (are they pay

    • by oddjob1244 (1179491) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @10:56AM (#41312519)
      Even with volunteer work, in a Youtube comment in the first link Snowgum films say they have exceeded the $82,000.

      "Originally it was set at $82,000 - but we've since casually chugged on past that point."

      Who knows how much this really cost.

    • I'll add in Born in Hope, a LOTR masterpiece about the birth of Aragorn and the life & death of his father. If PJ claimed he filmed this, no one would blink, it's that good.

      http://www.bornofhope.com/

      No, I wasn't connected in any way other than being a fan....

    • by jfengel (409917)

      As it is, the trailer was remarkably uneven. The single shots of Cohen were well lit, well-composed, color-corrected, well-focused, etc. (Well, most of them were.) Not the greatest stuff in the world, but it looked like an actual cinematographer was at work.

      The battle scenes, by contrast, looked like a student film. Shots were ill-composed, focus was automatic, color balance was set to "whatever". Clearly it was shot on a nice camera, but you have to know how to use a good tool to get good results.

      The title

    • by macraig (621737)

      What, have you never seen Star Wars Revelations [panicstruckpro.com]? The actors in it weren't "horrific" at all, far from it, and neither was the script amateurish. And it's not a parody, which is the ONLY reason it never made it into Lucas' stupid official contest and won.

      • by crazyjj (2598719) *

        What, have you never seen Star Wars Revelations

        I'll check it out.

        And it's not a parody, which is the ONLY reason it never made it into Lucas' stupid official contest and won.

        Lucas only lets parodies in because he's afraid someone will show him up.

        • by macraig (621737)

          I've seen both (and have copies), and I think Revelations is the better production. It may have been less fannish than Broken Allegiance; the way it's still promoted seems like they wanted to use it as a vehicle to take them places, whereas I wonder if I could even find an online copy of Broken Allegiance now. How much of a difference in budgets existed I have no idea.

  • by TWX (665546)
    I still don't think that it'll beat the "Sex Trek" series...

    Interpret "beat" however you will...
  • Outside of possibly being an excellent learning experience for the people involved - will anything non-farcical come out of this?

    I don't mean ridiculous in that the Cohen/Discworld story is a parody, there's nothing wrong with that, but the production values of the trailer seem totally amateurish - as if you'd given panavision or Red cameras to a bunch of teenagers who'd rather be doing something else.

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      Yes. Amateurish.

      Almost like it was being done by fans who are not professional film makers.

      What do they call those? Oh ya...amatuers.

      • by Assmasher (456699)

        Why do you have to be a professional film maker to make something that isn't ridiculous? I know two different film makers who aren't "professionals" who make films with excellent production values for virtually nothing. One makes short comedies and the other makes many variations of film.

        If you watch the trailers you'll see good locations, costuming, and decent editing. You'll also see ridiculous acting and, apparently, ridiculous direction.

        Don't conflate 'amateurish' with 'ridiculous.'

        • by dywolf (2673597)

          Should all fan fiction be NYT Bestseller List worthy?
          All fan art worthy of the Louvre, instead of something that looks like it belongs on my fridge?
          I cringe to think of what you say about your kid's macaroni art family portrait.....

          So why do amatuers making a fan film have to display a professional hollywood level of expertise?

          The whole point is its a labor of love from people who love the topic, regardless of their expertise. It had meaning to them, as well as to (hopefully) other fans who can also appreci

          • by Assmasher (456699)

            Should all fan fiction be NYT Bestseller List worthy?

            Building yourself a strawman here? LOL. I didn't say it need be 'oscar worthy', I simply asked if anyone else thought the trailers were amateurish to the point of being ridiculous. If don't agree, great, but stop trying to make it sound like I'm disappointed it's not 'Avatar' in chainmail.

            All fan art worthy of the Louvre, instead of something that looks like it belongs on my fridge?
            I cringe to think of what you say about your kid's macaroni art family portrait.....

            Sanctimonious much? :)

            So why do amatuers making a fan film have to display a professional hollywood level of expertise?

            Again, the only person making this stipulation is you. I, as is clear to someone less hotheaded and looking to argue as yourself, simply found the trailers to be shockingly amateurish.

            If you had a

          • by lennier (44736)

            Should all fan fiction be NYT Bestseller List worthy?

            It should aspire to be a lot better. Kevin J Adamson's.... material.... regularly features on that list. The bar really isn't that high.

            • by lennier (44736)

              D'oh. Kevin J Anderson. I deeply apologise to all the hardworking Kevin J Adamsons in fanfic whose life I have inadvertently ruined by comparing to the perpetrator of Jedi Academy and Prelude to Dune.

    • I think for a fan film made on a shoestring budget they looked very professional and well-done. Better than movies like The Gamers, which I hold up as pretty well done.

      Do you know what goes into making a movie? I don't think you're being realistic at all. You want TV-show closed-set professionalism for $82,000?
  • by gmuslera (3436) on Wednesday September 12, 2012 @12:38PM (#41313553) Homepage Journal
    Is impossible to translate fully a Discworld book, just too much of them is not visual. Instead, try to do a different film that catches the spirit of it.
  • by Hognoxious (631665)

    Sir Terry Pratchett has been apparently thrilled with the progress.

    Because every time he watches it he doesn't realise he's seen it before.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb

Working...