How to make a Star Wars Fanfilm: Dark Resurrection vol.0

Uploaded by Atilak on 23.11.2011

Dark Resurrection was born from the fantasy of a dentist with the passion for film direction...
...or maybe of a film director with the passion for dentistry...
...whatever. With the enthusiasm and help of a group of friends
This person gave birth to the most successful
Italian independent film production ever
Dark Resurrection was born in 2004
I simply woke up with the crazy idea of making a Sci-Fi movie
The same night I talked about this with my Friend Davide Bigazzi, CGI expert
Instead of telling me to go to hell, he said "OK, let's do it!"
We were just palying around, we didn't have any ambitions at all
We didn't want to become directors or producers
We were just creating something cool for ourselves
The events of the first Italian Star Wars fan made film
are set some centuries after the first trilogy
around the figure of the Dark Side Master, Lord Sorran and his apprentice
and their quest for an extraordinary source of knowledge and power: The Temple of Eron
The Jedi Master Zui-Mar Lee and his apprentice Hope
are trying to prevent Jedi Master Organa's vision from becoming true
and to prevent Sorran from opening the seal of the Temple of Eron
after 3 years of hard work and a really difficult production
On July 7th, 2007 Dark Resurrection saw the light
It was out in the beautiful theater called "Teatro Ariston", in Sanremo
What happened next was that international press made many good the reviews about it.
It became "a case"
I have to admit that once DR vol.1 was completed
the yen for making a new episode was very low
because the production and post production work for Vol.2 was immennse, too much for a bunch of people.
But then came to my aid Daniele Crociani
Who promised to make all the VFX of Volume 2
Unfortunately he was swamped with other work and he couldn't fulfill his promise.
Anyway Daniele and his company created 5 truly amazing VFX shots
And thanks to his help I gained the strength to start new production
The second episode's screenplay was already part of Angelo's main idea
In DR Vol.2 the story comes to its end.
When we wrote the screenplay we wanted to shot all the Vol.2
but then we realized that the first part of Vol.2 could be a stand-alone movie
Chronologically it is set before Vol.1
and it was interesting to explain how Sorran become the Dark Lord
so it could be published as "Volume 0"
also to give a new product to the fans of the project who where asking for a new film
The first step was the pre-visualization of the most complicated sets
So we could shoot having an idea of the environment around the actors
Volume 0 is the story of a lost civilization: Eron
a sort of "space Atlantis", keeper of the secret of immortality
a civilization where life, technology and magic where merged in a single science
That was the main concept after the design of a totally organic spaceship
With the human figure at the centre of every architectural element.
The Resurrection is immense, more than 6km long.
Its shape was the fruit of Tommaso Ragnisco's studies and concept arts.
On Fall 2008, the shootings started.
Because of the limited budget all the movie had to be shot in green screen
Most of the troupe of DR Vol.1 got together, ready for the battle,
in the virtual set of the CWK gym in Sanremo.
Together with them some professionists of cinema, who gave their free contribute
Such as Marcello Montarsi, director of photography
Ran Arthur Braun, fight coreographer
Elena Cucci, actress
and the directors Fausto Brizzi and Marco Martani taking a stab at acting.
We're committing very much in this second episode because I didn't like the fight scenes in Vol.1 very much.
And also i died, so i was quite disappointed
Anyway, nobody will come out of here alive!
We had to make some real "pitched battles" during the year
It was like in the organization of a big event:
nights without sleeping and a work of years in just a few months.
We usually made an accurate pre-production
Because shooting without many resources
and working with people who should go to work at a certain time
or with VIPs who offered us their time on the set for free,
we have to be fast. And when it's late,
I turn my hat back so Angelo knows we're late.
The problem is that after five minutes I'm already turning my hat back
Because of Angelo getting Pindaric and adding new shots,
and he says "I want to add... to do one more shot..."
and he can see i'm in pain because the shooting list becomes long as hell.
Usually when it's getting dark he says me:
"No, no, we can do it! We take away this shot..." He knocks something out for me...
I swallow the bait and we work for 14 hours a day. Every time.
Angelo Licata is a "dentist-director".
He's a guy who started his life with completely different plans
And driven by his passion and emotions
he's trying (and he will succeed) to do something different from his studies,
He's making his dreams true. He's chasing his magic.
Angelo is a commander who chose
a group of warriors who fought with him. And he chose the right ones.
When we were kids and there was just a little age gap between us,
he made a Freddy Kruger glove for me. I still have it.
It was amazing, perfectly handcrafted
Even at that time I could tell there was something wrong with that guy.
I knew him from a technical point of view on the set
and he's definitely very strict
That's why, as he said before, I sometimes picture him like a sort of devil
or just a person that tells you off for any mistake
and who behaves like a professional
I said SHUT UP!!!
CUT! Again.
We are actually doing something here!
But in the end you accept him because he's the first one who gives it all for this movie
so you have to do the same. No doubts about it.
The cast of Dark Resurrection is the evidence of
the passion for Star Wars putting together
amateurs and professionals, men and women, children and adults.
Putting it better, as for Vol. 0,
Stars, professional technicians, actors from a casting, volunteers...
And a bunch of friends and relatives
Thor's charachter was meant to be played by Gianmarco Tognazzi
who couldn't play the role because he was busy with his acting job
And so he was played by Mattia "Pretty-hair" Stancanelli, this longhaired guy
I was so fond of the bald version of Thor, because, you know, Gianmarco is completely...
That I insisted for long to cut Mattia's hair, but he always refused
I don't know why... it would be for his own good!
- Would you cut your hair for the movie? - it can be
The director was saying... he was talking about Thor
He had to be bald, but he also liked the "combed" version
Actually Thor had to be flying like a missile too
But he preferred the Thor-pedo
Mattia went for an audition
contending the role with many people
He came with a friend of him and he made a little act and a simple fight
in wich he jumped and hit the concrete floor roughly with his back
our jaw dropped open. We said this guy is just doing it for passion.
"I die.... and still I WIN!!!"
He has a beautiful face, he screams as loud as he can, he is a great screamer,
that's why he became my assistant director during Eron's Battle
"One!" "Two!" "Two! I said two!" "Two!"
"Go!" "One!" "Go" "One!"
We didn't have a screaming assistant director.
- "Camera!" - But we had experienced in big productions
- that it's a fundamental figure. - "Action!"
Screaming on set can hurt you... I lost my voice today and I'm taking care of it.
"It's a tough job." "It's tough and funny, especially when...
... the people flies in the scene like that, fearlessly.
You're a show-off! Cut!
Flying Without Fear are responsible of every stunt, every dangerous scene, every acrobatic scene...
... every jump and every fall.
They are Daniele Balconi, Yari Zuffi and Fabio Branca...
... and they are three spectacular people.
We had the chance to use cables to let the actors do extraordinary evolution in the air...
... but instead we used a character that we called "The Green Man"...
... who lifted the actors to simulate the absence of gravity.
"Second!" "Slowly... Slowly..."
We chose this method on purpose because...
... we wanted to get more realistic movements.
Maybe the most sophisticated people might argue that we should have flied more...
... but we wanted to keep our feet to the ground.
Circle two, take seven!
"They tell me that my moustache is falling..." "We don't have protections, he falls on marble."
It's true. He falls on this very floor.
He likes getting hurt because he is young.
The most terrifying creature of Eeron's old technology is surely the Biodroid.
Tommaso Ragnisco has conceived a hybrid between a borg, a jedi, an alien...
...passing from a project on paper to a latex suit which was courageously worn... a few volunteers, with good and not-so-good results.
Biodroids mainly eat plum-cakes. They love them.
Eron Plum-Cakes. Biologic.
They can eat from 200 to 300 boxes a day.
Just one? I'm going.
I die because for a moment I thought I could do well against the Biodroid... and Angelo...
...told me I should be a little mad with Stancarelli because he is a pander...
... I ended up hating everybody. I wanted to hit Elena Cucci and to rip out Stancarelli's... with my bare hands. I was pretending the alien was Stancarelli.
In the end I probably stumbled because I hit the alien with my face and I die like that...
... probably he hadn't even taken out his sword.
They had me dying like that. Probably because I speak too much.
"You should get rid of that scrap." "Mind your own business."
Elena Cucci is a girl I have known for years.
I created Nila thinking about her. I wanted to give strength to such an angelic face.
To see such a beautiful girl die increases the pathos. I thought it was the best choice.
"Let's jump and go back!" "I can't make it!" "You can!" "I can't!"
She sponsored our film a lot. She came her from Rome by train lots of times to play...
...this role, she really loved it.
She followed my instructions literally and that can be seen in the film.
Elena never held a sword in her hands but it looks like she learned to use it a long time ago.
There's a scene in which she has to go into the frame, kill four 'non-existent' Biodroids...
... and then turn back. She does that so fast we can hear the sound of the sword...
... the she turns towards the camera with her sweet face and says:
"I don't know what the f**k I should do." "Go on! It's perfect, go on!"
"Come towards me! Action!"
"Number one!"
"Number two!"
"Nilah and Thor's run. Number three!" "Number four!"
"I'm in front of the shot!"
"This one looks good."
"The problem is not to find the bridge, it's figuring out this is a bridge. Imagine moving it!"
Fausto Brizzi is Master Zistor, a cool jedi who does incredible things.
We had to 'force' him to come, he wasn't convinced he could do this.
"Angelo Licata... film him! He is completely crazy."
"He told us we are within a whale, made of organic matter, a sort of Alien."
"But actually we are in a gym in San Remo. He is crazy, don't trust him!"
Once he came on set he took it so seriously that the stunt men were worried...
They walked away from him during the fights. He hit hard, he was doing it seriously.
Some of them came to me and said: 'Can you tell him to hit gentler? We are scared...'
Fausto was so involved that when he had to fall on the floor with his face after dying...
... so he got on his knees and fell on a thin cushion with his face.
The shot was perfect. Once it was finished he said: 'I hurt myself badly!"
Without moving his mouth or his eyes, he thought we might have needed a longer take.
"There are 1800 pars. One of them is the bridge."
"Perfect. We land in the middle and we split."
"In the last episode I'll turn to Zistor and say: 'You have a beard!' I cannot see with this hat!"
"Ranur, are you the one driving?" "Yes it's me. You're a man! I thought you were a woman!"
"That's why you were hitting on me!" "Yes!"
"When Angelo told me that the film cost 7000 Euros I said to him...
... that I could have financed the whole film just to fight in one scene."
After the release of vol. I many people wanted to give their help for the following chapter.
that's when Licata and Angelo Giampietro had an idea that it's being studied...
... in cinema marketing courses.
Angelo came to me after reading about Dark Resurrection on a newspaper.
He was very interested in the project and asked me what he could do. I told him...
... that I didn't want to gain anything from it, it was just a game for me.
I want it to be better, and for that I need money.
We didn't have much. So we had an idea: to seek help from the fans.
They give us one Euro and their name will appear in the end credits as associate producers.
They are almost 400 people who gave us 30000 Euros.
They are donations from people we don't know who help us from the other side of the world...
... by giving their contribution and it's an amazing thing.
I think that our end credits are much longer now.
Who is Lord Sorran? He looks like the Great Master of the Order...
... but he is actually a good man with an icing look who inspires...
... tenderness and awe even when he is offering you cheese.
Sorran's trip is the focus point of the whole saga.
"Could you please extinguish the incense?"
"Let's go in."
Lord Sorran is Giuseppe Licata, my father.
I was so impressed on how good he is, even better than in Vol. I.
In Vol. I he always had just one expression, 'pissed off'...
... which was easy to get because I really pissed him off.
"Chop his head and throw him away! Come on!"
So I got the shots. This time he had to portray pain, compassion, guilt, tragedy, sufference...
"No!" "Go on!"
I'm a little angry because if he had studied acting he would have become a great actor.
Now he does that because he loves me.
I am Sorran's voice, I don't want to distract you with my face...
... because you should focus on Sorran's face.
Sorran is an authoritative person.
"Your ineptitude is unacceptable, General." "I could not foresee that."
He has disciples around him and he is a landmark for everybody.
What does it take for a person to choose the dark side?
How can a soul be so unsettled to choose evil in the end?
The answer is Fabrizio Fenner, the actor who plays Nevar.
"My name is Nevar. I am Eron's second guardian."
Fabrizio Fenner, the bad guy from Highlander. He looks the same.
It's his first film, not the last one because he has a great face for the big screen.
He is a great friend. He looks scary but he is a good person.
"Put the arm down! Put it down!"
Nevar is an ancient guardian of Eron.
He is convinced they are doing the right thing. We can say he is sort of possessed.
We needed someone whose face was carved in stone, so he was perfect for the role.
In my opinion the Eronians had to speak Eronian.
I told Fabrizio: 'They made language studies for Avatar and other films...
... why don't we create a language of our own?'
Heronian is a language rooted into Norwegian with Japanese endings.
When we studied developed a Eronian grammar...
... we spoke to Angelo who said: 'It sucks. Change it.'
Thanks to the associate producers' contribution the last sequence of Vol. 0 was completed.
It was September 2010.
Eron's battle. What can we say about it?
Eron's Battle was the most incredible thing we did for Vol. 0.
We had the chance to invest more as we had the donations from the fans...
... and it allowed us to shoot a scene comparable to the ones in the Lord of the Rings.
"Has someone not understood you should not hurt yourselves?"
"Has everyone signed the release form?"
I owe a big thank to the Daikas warriors.
They are brave extras who built their own costume and came here from all over Italy...
... to fall on the floor.
That was very good. You were great!
Dead people - don't laugh, please.
How did we get Nina Senicar? We both have the same agent, so I got her number from Leonardo..
... I called her and she asked me: 'Am I a warrior?' 'Yes, you are.'...
'Do I fight with the sword, am I cool, do I win?' 'Yes you do!' 'Then I am in!'
So we got her, and she was very enthusiastic.
We are going to get the money to shoot Vol. 2!
She managed to find her inner strength and she became a warrior.
She hit very hard, someone was actually hit by getting their Daikas' mask broken.
I was on the set of 'Maschi contro Femmine' by Fausto Brizzi, I was the VFX supervisor...
... and I came across a beautiful girl, Virigina de Agostini, who was watching the scene...
... I got closer to talk to her and in the meantime Daniel walked into the scene.
He said: 'Hi, I'm Daniel McVicar, her husband.' He wasn't her husband yet...
... but he lied because he thought I was hitting on his girlfriend.
After an hour he came back on set looking for me.
I thought I did something bad. But instead he said: 'You're the Dark Resurrection guy!'
'I saw it in Los Angeles. It's so cool! We should work together!'
We became friends and he plays a role in Vol. 0. Great job Daniel.
That was great!
This is a work of passion.
Eron's battle was the first scene to be completed in post-production.
It was the only one shot in exteriors, with no 3D background, but also because...
... well, it was the coolest.
Unfortunately, with 35 minutes of film to be post-produced, desperation crawled into the director.
But when everything seemed lost...
Luckily I met Mirco Paolini and we worked on the 80 percent of the film post production.
We handled the biggest part but there was another person who acts marvelously...
... who helped us by rotoscoping the whole film in a daily work which lasted 18 months.
There are 40000 frames post-produced one by one.
I love films soundtracks, I'm very attached to them.
Four years ago I received an email by a genius, Bruno di Giorgi, a composer...
... who was just starting. Now he has reached an amazing quality in scoring films.
During post-production Angelo sends me the scenes as soon as they are completed.
I watch them and let myself be moved by the pictures.
Probably I have always needed to communicate emotions.
I think I can do it better with my music rather than with words.
I believe it's because of his music that the film becomes moving in some moments.
4 years of work, many sleepless nights, hundreds of people.
The production of Dark Resurrection Vol. 0 was finally completed.
A crazy project, created by a group of friends who wanted to play like Jedis...
... and now it's a bigger group.
At Teatro Ariston in San Remo, like in 2007, a great adventure came to an end...
... and hopefully a new one will begin soon.
There is just one question left:
Who is telling Licata we have to shoot Vol. 2?
"What do we do?" "I have no f**king idea."
"He is not as bad as he looks." "I'm worse."
"Excuse me! What are you doing?" "Covering the spots on the green screen."
"Shouldn't you be a Jedi master?" "Later. This is my free time. My hobby."
I ended up in the wrong pizzeria and Angelo offered me a role in a film.
I thought they were fooling me. I hoped it was a porn film but it was science fiction.
I accepted before knowing it was not a porn film.
They didn't pick me at the auditions but I came here anyway to denounce violence...
... done to poor extras. I was bullied while I was on the ground by the director.
He asked: 'Where does it hurt? Here?' and pushed his shoe down that spot.
I stay one and a half hour on the ground before someone noticed me.
It was the still photographer. The only person who talked to me on the set. I'm sorry...
Give it up, there is no role for you!
Ah! I remember those days of Eron's battle.
"Is it my turn?" "No, I was kidding. Of course it's your turn!"
I was explaining the reason of those young boys' death.
We pranked Fabrizio Fenner...
He got the Eronian script only the day before shooting.
So we told everybody to look annoyed if he pronounced anything badly.
At some point he stopped and said: 'Are you mocking me?' And we were!
But the joke was not over and he will discover it now and hate us...
His first round of dubbing was perfect.
We kept telling him it was not good...
... and he kept sending us new recordings made at home.
'It lacks grit, it lacks emphasys, it sounds too Italian...'
Fabrizio you are great! It was his idea...
"We found it!" "You are always a pain in the ass..."
"Okay, I'll come back later."
Follow Sorran and you will not regret it.
I am mute. I am not going to talk.
I told him: 'Don't take the spaceship.' He didn't listen to me.
'Put the gas in it.' He didn't want to, so what do we do?
So... swing it! Perfect! That's a wrap! We finished the film!