Alex vs Nate

Alex vs Nate was our entry into the fifth Lightsaber Choreography Competition, hosted on the FanFilm Forum of TheForce.net. In the contest, we took third place but were commended for the overall look and feel of the film. Being March of 2007, this was our first film we shot on the Panasonic HVX200 and our first experience with working completely tapeless. Although the quality isn’t spectacular today, and I was somewhat disappointed in the same camera’s performance on Duel of the Dorks, it certainly impressed us at the time. The look of course is thanks to our director of photography Kyle Stebbins, and there was no color grading. That look was achieved entirely in-camera. So yeah, Kyle rocks.

This was also our first time doing any sort of video animatic of an action scene. We originally started shooting the previous night, but quickly ran out of light as we discovered hardly any of the lights in this garage even worked. So we shot everything up until Alex pulls out the red saber, and then went back to Alex’s dorm and cut that stuff together. As such, the following morning we had all the angles and action worked out, so we didn’t have to think of anything on the spot, resulting in a very quick shoot, and allowing us to get nearly everything in one day (I say nearly because there are some pickups we failed to get before we ran out of power; namely more reaction shots on my part).

Within a couple of weeks we had a locked edit that Alex and I agreed upon, and for the following four weeks I cranked out VFX like crazy. The sound edit was only 50% finished the night of the deadline, so we released it in the contest with just music. This has caused mass confusion in the YouTube world as the original has been posted a number of times with collectively hundreds of thousands of views, with what feels like just as many “needs sound!” comments. Even when we posted the final version, the edited use of the Prisoner of Azkaban and The Phantom Menace soundtracks has resulted in YouTube muting every posting of the video, resulting in even more “needs sound!” comments. Suffice to say, when Duel of the Dorks came along, we not only got an original score, but we made sure the first posting of the video was the 100% finished version, so as to avoid countless “needs finished” comments until the end of time.

The sequel to this film, Alex vs Nate 2 was produced in the summer of 2013.