for it. He even worked on Sacrifices and another of my college class projects (Leave It Behind) as a camera operator while he was still in high school. He’s made over 20 movies himself, most of which can be seen on You Tube. Search gooberboyfilmmaker or just gooberboy for the movies of Bryan Starr. Bryan pitched his movie idea to the class and they wanted to shoot it. Production took place in October of 2008. We are currently in post. The film may be no more than ten minutes long when done or it may be as long as 15 minutes. After it’s done we may look for some college contests to send it to. It will certainly be up on my website and on youtube.
3.0: Unlike most fan films, “Sacrifices” has a very strong emotional through-line and there's not a lot in the way of special effects in the film - just the light sabers, and one or two brief establishing shots in space - was this a conscious decision, or a budgetary limitation, or what? Did you feel that more glitz would detract from the story?
CHARLIE: This was a very conscious decision. Besides being a sci-fi geek, I’m a professor of Humanities and literature and a lover of the classics. I had seen Star Wars fan films before and been ever disappointed by their lack of story. Part of the motivation for doing the movie was the question, “Is it possible to write an excellent story for the Star Wars universe which amateurs can produce?” I wanted a story that had some depth to it, some meaning, some thickness of plot. I also asked whether or not it was possible for a Christian to enter into Lucas’s universe and speak his own vision within the context whose mythic underpinnings are more Eastern than Western. Sacrifices is a story about consequences and the nature of true love.
3.0: Well, of course Lucas himself is far more western than eastern these days - he was going through his postgraduate trendy "Buddhist" phase when he made Star Wars. I understand he's merely a liberal Episcopalian nowadays. So has anyone commented on your shoehorning a western outlook into the well-known eastern mysticism of the franchise?
CHARLIE: No. Probably because the message is not preached—it’s implicit in the form but doesn’t hit you over the head like a hammer. Good art shows; it doesn’t propagandize (which is, unfortunately, what’s wrong with so much Christian film making in the last 30 years—though there are signs of improvement, i.e., To End All Wars, The Passion of the Christ, Amazing Grace).
3.0: Amen to that! Coincidentally, Republibot 2.0 and I have been discussing exactly what is and isn't possible in the possibly-nonexistent subgenre of Christian Science Fiction. We've even contacted Wesley Strackbein from Vision Forum Ministries a few times, and asked him for an interview - his people just held a Christian SF seminar in Texas – we haven’t heard back from them yet, though.
Anyway: A nuts-and-bolts question for any potential fanfilm makers out there: how did you budget this project? Did you have backers, or was it out of pocket? How much did it cost to do, if that's not too personal a question?
CHARLIE: In one sense we did not spend very much money, in another we did. The equipment we needed for the movie had already been purchased, either by the college or various participants. Cameras and editing systems still cost a bit, but we already had that taken care of for previous projects.
3.0: You were simply amortizing stuff that was already paid for?
CHARLIE: Sure, once you buy a good quality video camera, editing system, light kit, etc., they’re yours to use for multiple projects so long as you take care of your equipment. You just need to get past the initial outlay.
For the movie itself, then, our job was to beg and borrow whatever we could. We had no budget from the college, but we did have equipment. The camera came with the director, the light kit I borrowed from a cousin (who also produced several of our special effects voluntarily) and that left a few odds and ends. The costumes were purchased by the actors (I spent 200 bucks to become a Jedi) from a local seamstress who tailored them from scratch.
3.0: Costumes are a bear, I would imagine! I think half the reason