Kyle Newman on Fanboys
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
When you're making a movie about Star Wars, you'd better make sure you have access to some Star Wars memorabilia. George Lucas has lent his properties out before, even to the raunchy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Fanboys director Kyle Newman had a good experience with the Lucas camp.
Kyle Newman Talks Fanboys
"I just think they wanted to know, and we met some people up there, they wanted to know we were genuine fans that weren't going to take this stuff and go rip apart Star Wars and make fun of Episode I," Newman said. "That's not what our goal was. I think that was what they felt from reading the script, they felt from meeting us, that we were very reverent towards it and respectful. So we shot most of the film, then we got permission to shoot at the ranch which was amazing. We weren't sure if we were going to get that too but they saw everything was going so well, they went, 'All right, great. We'll let you shoot up here.'"
The film is a story of four buddies trying to break into Skywalker Ranch to steal a print of Episode I. Their friend is dying of cancer and won't make it until May 1998.
"So we got to go up there and actually landmark the film because if the film didn't have that ending, they're going to the Skywalker Ranch and then they get to a New Mexico location that looks nothing like Skywalker Ranch, every fan on the planet is going to be like, 'That's not northern California.' It would've fallen on its face so they understood that. We got to shoot up there for a day but it was hard because I'm going up to shoot at Skywalker Ranch and we barely have any resources, so you get to shoot at the most amazing place and you're finally getting permission, but I'm lighting the foreground with car headlights. It's so backwards but at least we're here. It's kind of like the story of the movie. Somehow we got to pull it off but we didn't have the resources or the support behind us to do it as well as we'd like."
Fanboys cost less than $4 million, so cut them some slack when they fall short. "I'm still very proud of all the stuff, especially the stuff we pulled off in duplicating the Skywalker Ranch. When we went up to Skywalker Ranch we had no money and just shot that place with car headlights. I was like, wow, it still looks kind of good. We put up the Christmas lights on their house and it was all good. I like what the production designer was able to pull off for nothing. I mean, he had a budget for something like three sets, and then he's building hotel rooms and Lucas Ranch interior doubles. He built this archive room and somehow pulled it off. It should've cost more than our entire set budget and he'd done 12 other sets. We showed it to Rick McCallum and he was like, 'That's better than our archive. How did you do that?' It was pretty incredible how much people went above and beyond."
The only thing that almost didn't make the cut was actual footage of the boys on the road. "It was a road movie and it had no road shots on the schedule, so I was like, 'Where's the road stuff?' They're like, 'It's in the boneyard.' But the boneyard's for stuff you never get to. 'Worry about it later.' All right. We didn't have any of the van driving. We didn't have enough of the guys in the van talking and moving. You're making a road movie, so I was worried about stuff like this. Ultimately, we got to go put those little accents in and sell the road element."
Fanboys opens to theaters on February 6th.
For the trailer, clips, poster and more movie info, go to the Fanboys Movie Page.
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