Bucket List

I recently returned from a vacation that was cancelled due to the Pando in 2020. Not only was it very enjoyable, but we took some time to just see where the wind took us. No plan, no arrangements, but we only had two must-do items on the agenda: drive Route 66, and tour the Grand Canyon.

I got my kicks!

I cannot describe the Grand Canyon with words, other than to say it’s truly one of the seven wonders of the world.

In doing both of these things, I crossed off items from my Bucket List. And as I flew home (before I fell asleep – Red Eye), I wondered what some of my creative Bucket List items were.

I have one that has been on my mind since I first took pen to paper in a creative sense – and that’s to be involved in the Star Wars universe. While I realize that is an extremely long shot, there is one way I can make it come true, in a sense.

That is to write and direct my own fan film, which is something I’ve been working on for twenty years, off and on.

For those unfamiliar, Wikipedia describes a fan film as a film or video inspired by a film, television program, comic book, book, or video game created by fans rather than by the source’s copyright holders or creators.

They are never made for profit, just for love of the IP and/or a showcase reel for the filmmakers. While some copyright holders have sued fan productions, most look the other way, and in some cases, promote the work with awards.

I started writing my own take on Star Wars back in college. The first book I ever wrote was a very poor mashup of Final Fantasy VII and A New Hope, but after that I took up filmmaking and my third film was to be a Star Wars fan film. I made costumes, including making my own lightsabers and Jedi Robes. This was during the Phantom Menace days and the advent of the internet, when cosplay was born. Shooting on a campus with a hundred-year old buildings gave it an otherwordly feel.

I soon learned that, despite my enthusiasm, shooting on VHS was not the way to make the film I envisioned. That, and Adobe editing and CGI software was well over $1,000 in those days, far outside the budget of a college student.

While I worked on other projects, I always had the fan film in the back of my mind. I even wrote a three-film treatment for a story about a Jedi apprentice to span the time period of the prequels through Order 66.

But in order to bring a vision to life, with what I’ve learned about making art, it needs to be simple and utilize what I am able to find. I decided I had to craft my tale around those elements.

The past couple of years, I realized that the time to make my Star Wars dreams come true is here. I’ve been working on a script with two elements, a child and a droid. Multiple variations of a story have come and gone. Around Christmas 2021, I thought I had the perfect story for me to tell.

But during my trip, while working on my next novel, I had a burst of inspiration. I finally saw the film coming together, utilizing the child, droid AND cameos for all of my Star Wars fan friends. I have access to some unique locations available to me. Taking what I have previously written and expanding or rewriting, I now have what I consider to be the final draft of the script for my entry in Star Wars fan filmdom.

But, with Chasing Betty’s sequel on the way (Details in my newsletter! Sign up if you haven’t already), as well as two more books near completion and ready for my editor, I am not sure when I’ll be able to film it.

But when I do, the script will be ready, and I can cross off another item from my Bucket List.