Making a Star Wars Fan Film


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In 2003, Gina and Audrey decided they'd like to make a Star Wars fan film. Audrey has long been a Star Wars fan, and being very creative people, she and Gina set about writing a script. In the early stages of script writing, Gina and Audrey confessed to their coworkers that they were making a film and would like us to be involved with it. It sounded pretty farfetched, so we all agreed. Little did we know that one year later, we'd be spending a weekend actually making the film. Some of us were in the cast, some of us were extras, some of us were film crew, and some of us were all of the above. It turned out to be a lot of work and a lot of fun at the same time. Primary filming was done at our home in April 2004, with some additional filming done at a nearby park and at our workplace later in the month. Below, we share with you highlights of the filming in our home.

The film, a Cardboard Giant Productions original, was completed in March 2005.

Movie Poster for Breaking In
Friday, April 16, 2004: Filming begins. The filmmakers checked their prop lists carefully, to make sure everything was ready.
Every scene had its own bag of props, labeled with a checklist. Yes, the inflatable parrot is one of the props.
Each scene had its own storyboard, too, complete with camera angles.
The scenes were not filmed in order, so you'll need to see the film to figure out what's really going on. Several of the scenes needed to be filmed at night, so we started with those scenes on Friday night, including this scene in the entryway.
Jeff and Debbie played a married couple. One of the more bizarre props was a bride-and-groom bobble head doll set with our faces inserted into the heads. Kind of creepy, really. After filming, they were put right back into their box, never to be seen again. Perhaps Audrey and Gina will sell it on eBay once the film becomes famous.
Gina was the director and primary cameraman. Here, she diligently set up her next shot for the first pool room scene while Brent and Audrey were merry.
Next, Audrey arranged the props for the first hook rug scene. The main prop here was a complete Star Wars hook rug featuring Darth Vader's head.
Saturday, April 17, 2004: The next morning, the full cast arrived for a full day of filming. A notice was placed on the door that stated "You are entering an area where non-commercial filming is being done. If you do not wish to appear in background shots, please avoid this area. Your appearance in this area will constitute your consent to being filmed." Typically, people do not wander into our home without notice, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
. Director Gina was joined by assistant cameraman Steve for the remainder of the day. In an amateur production such as this, merely owning a videocamera qualifies you as an experienced cameraman.
Steve and Gina checked the lighting and lined up their shots while the cast waited patiently.
The second pool room scene completed, the cast members posed Junior Birdmen-style for the "Behind the Scenes..." photographer.
The cast went to Wardrobe (translation: changed their clothes in guest rooms and bathrooms) and prepared for the second hook rug scene.
Meanwhile, the oven was preheating in order to bake the pizzas needed as props for the kitchen scene. Bundlings Craft Services helped with this task.
Each actor prepared for the kitchen scene in their own way. Audrey listened intently to Gina's directions, Tom brushed up on his lines, John meditated, and Brent played drums on his hand using a fork.
When everything was ready for filming, assistant cameraman Steve arranged the pizza props.
When Gina yelled "Cut!", the cast got to eat the props.
It turns out that everyone was hungry at that point, so Bundlings Craft Services (Debbie) served a buffet lunch of sandwiches, salads, and snacks, along with leftover pizza.
Before long, Gina was downstairs to film the card table scene. Although she worked the hardest of us all, she always had a smile on her face.
This scene was shot from Audrey's point of view, which made for some awkward positioning.
Next, Brent, Tom, and John prepared for the mini-bar scene.
Our little red friend, Orchy, snuck into this photo somehow. Look for him in front of the custom Rhinewell Root Beer bottle props on the left.
Another scene successfully completed! There was much rejoicing.
Heather took a short break from her duties as the person who claps the clapboard. There's probably a technical term for it. Check the film's credits to see what it is.
The sleeping bag scene involved quite a lot of dialog, so the cast worked on their lines.
Lines memorized, they took last minute direction from Gina. While not visible in this photo, each actor is wearing a shirt with their name on the back. The filmmakers were generous enough to let them keep their shirts as a memento of their roles.
In this candid rehearsal shot, you can see the quality and depth of acting skill each actor brings to their craft.
With the sleeping bag scene completed, the actors were all smiles as they realized they were just a few scenes away from a celebratory beverage.
The third and final hook rug scene featured Tom and Brent only.
We shot a few outdoor scenes, then called it a wrap. We posed for a full cast-and-crew shot with our Cardboard Giant Productions cast/crew ID badges. Well, actually two shots. Hover your mouse over this photo to see the second one.

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