A few weeks back, our Tampa video production company had the chance to write, shoot, and edit a Star Wars fan film for the official competition sponsored by Lucasfilm and Disney! The challenge, put on yearly, encourages filmmakers to write, produce, and edit their very own fan film set in the Star Wars universe. There are various categories in which filmmakers can garner recognition: best visual effects, filmmaker select, audience choice, and more. When our Tampa video production company heard about the competition, we just had to throw our lightsabers into the mix!
We started out with an idea from Litewave Media founder Christian Cashmir and developed it into a short story with the help of writers Mike Garland, Mario Graniello and Steffen Thiel. We wrote in a bit of mystery, intrigue, sprinkled in some tragedy, and of course an epic lightsaber battle (what Star Wars fan film is complete without one?)!
An professional team of stunt choreographers and performers helped to plan out the intricate battle scenes. After a few days of choreographing in detail, our Tampa video production crew were ready to capture our fight scenes on film.
With scripts in hand, prosthetics and makeup on, and fight choreography fresh in our minds, the Litewave Media team drove our Tampa grip truck to our first location in Dead River, part of the Hillsborough Wilderness Reserve. Using our Tampa video equipment rental package, our fearless crew hauled gear through the dense woods to our filming location. Miles out, in the middle of a swamp, not unlike Dagobah, our crew setup camp for the first day of principle photography.
Working alongside park rangers, our Tampa independent film production went off without a hitch. Working around the clock, we were able to successfully film all scenes and finish the production on time despite the many challenges presented by the location.
Director Christian Cashmir and Cinematographer Eric Coughlin worked together using gear from our Tampa video equipment rental package including the Canon C300, and C300 mkII, SteadiCam, MoVi M5 with Sony A7s mkII, and plenty of lighting to give the film a cinematic look. We even brought out our portable generator to the forrest so we didn’t have to stop at Tosche Station to pick up more power converters!
After a successful shoot, it was time to head back to our Tampa post production suites to start the editing process. We had a ton of excellent footage, but we needed to add in lightsaber effects and, of course, the epic sound design and music that makes every Star Wars film so unique. We utilized our Tampa recording studio to record ADR for the main characters, replacing their dialogue with studio quality recordings of their voices – much like the original Star Wars did.
Next, we reached out to our friend Angelo from Panetta Studios to partner with us on the sound design for the film; He and his team created soundscapes, brought the lightsaber battles to life, and transformed the swamp into a character in its own right. They gave our antagonist a unique voice effect as well! Our editors and visual effects team put in a few sleepless nights to make the deadline, and with the hard work of our dedicated team, our film was ready to compete!
Finally, we submitted our completed film to LucasFilm and Disney for the Star Wars Fan Film Awards, and it was time to celebrate! aarrragghuuhw! That was Wookie for “Partaaaaay!”(seriously, we looked it up). We had the whole team over for a cast/crew screening of the finished film, which we projected on the large white cyc in our Tampa video production studio. What a blast!
Check out the finished film below:
Do you have a feature film or Tampa short film you would like to produce? Please contact us for a free consultation. You can like Litewave Media on Facebook to check out our latest independent films. Be sure to keep up with the blog for more Tampa video production news!