It’s about an hour until The Dark Knight Rises hits the screens here in my neck of the woods. To say I’m excited is an understatement. My wife counts that I own approx seven Batman T-shirts and one limited edition Marc Ecko Batman Hoodie http://loyalkng.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/batman-joker-ecko-hoodies.jpg also a number of Batman Tumbler models and of course tons of comics. I grew up on Adam West and when I was younger, took my dates to see the Keaton-Kilmer-Clooney Batman movies; that was a GOOD date to me. When Chris Nolan took on this Batman series, I knew it would be special. My kids instantly saw my fascination with the character. Now, my kids pretty much think I AM Batman.
Besides being the number one Batman Fan, I am a writer (duh!) and film maker. I’ve been doing them both for over 20 years. My film projects have a lot of special FX and are usually focused on a mutant super power of some sort. In one short movie, Super Stachio Boy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhY7kcLWESA my son flys in the air just so he can come down and crack open his pistachios! I think when I was younger, there was a hope that I might someday receive such a super power and be able to fly or turn invisible or something. As you grow older, you begin to realize that you are just going to be a human being until you die – like Batman. He’s just a guy. Albeit a RICH guy but in the end, he possesses no unique power – anyone can be Batman.
While waiting for this next Batman film to be released I grew impatient. I began to look through the web for cartoons, movies, stories or anything Batman – I needed a fix. Imagine my suprise when I landed on YOUTUBE and discovered BATMAN FAN FILMS. I couldn’t believe how many movies were posted and what great movies, plots and editing had been done on these FAN FILMS. One posting under a Fan Film video said the director spent 27 thousand dollars on his video and as I watched the movie, it really showed. His Batman movie looked like it should have been playing in theaters! This is when I hatched my plot to make my own first Batman Fan Film.
It wasn’t easy. I first needed a plot that was different, unique and had not been done before. My wife and I talked about it one night while watching TV and the subject of Batman came up. We threw ideas back and forth until this idea surfaced. Becuase I don’t want to give away anything – let’s just say this idea was VERY unique. Next I had to invest in some Batman costume pieces. It was January 2012 and I had received a dozen or so gift cards from Christmas to redeem online. I quickly did searhes and located a Batman Cowl (his mask). Then I needed body armor. Body armor was not easy to come by and was extremely expensive but I found a motor-cross store that sold look alike Batman armor which I purchased. Last thing on the list was a miniture Tumbler which cost almost $75 off of EBAY.
From Feb until May not much happened to produce the film. Every day life takes priority and cool hobbies/ideas gather dust. In early July, spiked by the thought of the upcoming Dark Knight Rises movie, I dug into my script again. I almost forgot to mention that in March I had a birthday and my wife bought me a Canon Vixia HV40 video camera. The camera is capable of shooting in 24P or movie standard film quality. The camera came with mics, filters and with a price tag of more than a thousand bucks. My grand total was just under 5K at this time. I was ready to make my film and gave myself a deadline of the Dark Knight Rises release week to get it out.
In May 2012 I finally began my principle shooting. I refined my script and began making compositions of special effects scenes. My basement became Batcave studios littered with costumes, green screens, lights and camera equipment. My shooting wasn’t confined to indoors only. I shot the opening scene down my street late at night. At one pointI had my new $1,000. camera strapped to the top of my truck with cables running through the sunroof to a monitor on my dashboard. From my dashboard I could monitor the action that was beign captured as a IDrive around our town at night. My wife looked at the setup unconvinced anything good was going to come of riding through our town at midnight with a camera tied to my sports rack. However, the footage turned out great and I used almost all of it for the Tumbler scenes in my movie. I then tackled a whole lot of green screen work with the Tumbler and myself in costume. It was really neat to see the expression on my daughter’s four year old face when Daddy became Batman! I dressed up my son in the costume and I filmed him as he put on a Star Wars Jedi kata pf spins, punches and kicks. This footage became my stunt or body double in the movie.
I began editing in early July and noticed a number of sequences that needed to be re-shot due to lighting or something. The last rendered draft came off the computer about an hour ago and I have begun to load my first Batman movie into YOUTUBE.
This movie might make Batman fans scratch their heads and piss them off as I endeavored to go far away from the original plot and make a new one. I felt as if I was comitting a sin with every line I wrote violating the original plot/concept of Batman but I liked it because it was creepy, new, wierd and definitely a “could happen” type story in the life of Bruce Wayne. I want you to watch it for yourself without my biasing your opinion. The setting of all my movies is Hawaii – since that is where I live. It wasn’t easy going from Gotham to Waikiki in this movie but I did it. Hawaii is the one place you can shoot movies year round due to the beautiful weather here. A big Mahalo to the town of Wahiawa where I shot The Tumbler backgrounds. It’s now 30 minutes until the Dark Knight Rises and my film, Batman Brainstorm is loading on youtube. It will be able to be viewed at http://youtu.be/RvpK6QjzBgo I felt rushed while doing this movie and wanted to spend more time on it but in the end I accomplished my goal of a unique Batman story and my first Batman Fan Film.
I did some marketing work and designed the movie poster for my film which came out great http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/31500000/Batman-Brainstorm-Fan-Film-batbrain12-batman-31526289-1978-2560.jpg
I will have to do another post about the Dark Knight Rises movie itself since this article is getting long. I hope you enjoy my first crack at a Fan Film and enjoy (#batbrain) Batman Brainstorm.
See you in the middle back