For those of us who grew up in the era when practical special effects still dominated genre cinema and television there is something rather sad about the replacement of miniature model-making with wholly computer-generated imagery. To be sure, some fabrication still takes place and the old skills are of use in scene dressing and costume design. But the glory days of old, of a movie camera panning around an intricately crafted model spaceship or zooming across a detailed scale city, are long gone. However, one boon that has come from the rise of digital effects has been the ability of amateur or would-be professional filmmakers to vastly improve their productions. That is most apparent in the once fairly ridiculed area of “fan films”, as ASF readers have seen with the likes of the fondly-regarded YouTube series Star Trek Continues.
So here are a couple of short films set within the Star Wars franchise, which of course has no end of commercially available props and replicas for fans. The first is the excellent Stormtroopers, written and directed by Micheal Fitzgerald and shot on location in a very recognisable Ireland, which follows a raid by a contingent of imperial forces on a rebel-controlled mining outpost. The second is Odyssey: A Star Wars Story, which offers a low-budget but effective Saving Private Ryan vision of the Rebel Alliance’s operations. I hope you enjoy both and if you are that way inclined, maybe find a bit of inspiration for your own artistic or creative endeavours.
Meanwhile, I’m busy studying for (expected) college exams and (unexpected) recertification exams in January. Not fun, not fun at all! 😉