Fans Films are tuff. You have a lot to loose, and to be disappointed of.
But sometimes, one emerges that is good enough to feel the fandoom, and to appreciate it for what it is : a piece of a story.
“Assassin’s Creed : Treachery” is one of then, and it won BEST FAN FILM in the last 2016 session of the Paris Play Film Festival. Here is the director Marvin Zegarra’s interview.
Your Assassin’s Creed film won BEST FAN FILM at the December Paris Play Film Festival. How many time did you need to shoot this film ?
The shooting itself took three days; but before that, we spent about two months rehearsing mainly the fight scene, and then after, several more months in post production for the VFX and editing.
How do you come to decide to make a fan film, and give time and energy to it, instaed of an orginal narrative ? What’s driving you ?
I’ve been a fan of the Assassin’s Creed universe for quite some time. First time I played one of the games, I was still in film school and got so hooked up I played the entire story mode in a weekend only to realise I’d completely forgot to study for an exam the next day…
Since then I’ve played all the games, read the books, comic books and any type of material I could get my hands on. One day I was watching a Fallout fan film and though about how I’d never seen anything like that done in my country. Figured “why not try and be the first”…
Your production budget was $2500. What were the most costly items ? Wardrobe ? Cameras ? Special Effects ?
I come from a VFX background so the effect were the least expensive part as I was able to take care of that myself. The most costly bit would have been hiring an experienced cinematographer and renting equipment. It was a first time for me but I wanted to make sure the project would achieve the best look it could.
It was a though that I’d been juggling with since writing the script. I had originally pitched the idea to two other friends who were also going to work both behind and in front of the cameras, but as time went by they had to step out and we ended up hiring two actors instead. As I was now the one with the least in camera experience I was a bit nervous. Since I couldn’t actually see myself while making my shots like I would with the others I ended up taking longer with my parts to make sure I didn’t screw up the shots.
The complicated parts came on the third day of shooting as went I back to the locations by myself to record some extra close ups that I could use in editing. I was operating the camera but I’d forgotten the tripod’s release plate, so I had to tie the camera to the tripod with my belt, then minutes later I was making a shot were a book falls near my feet. As I stood in my place y realised I had to drop the book while standing at marked place from which I couldn’t even reach the recording button of the camera I had already put in place…
I ended up taking of my shoes and placing them just in the border of the frame so you couldn’t see the missing legs, then walking towards to the camera, stretching my arms as far as posible so I could drop the book at the right place and then hitting record. You can actually see on the final edit that a corner of the book hits one of the shoes and it sinks for just a moment because there is nothing on the inside. Every time I see that part I chuckle bit. Most people don´t mind it but it’s always a fun anecdote for me.
The film screened in Phoenix and Indianapolis, is the Paris Play your first award ?
Yes this is actually our first award. I’ve been sending it to several festivals around the world, we’ve been selected in various places, received laurels and finalist status and there are screenings yet to come but this is our first award we are really happy about it.
Cool… Do you plan to shoot a sequel, a part 2 ?
I’ve written a full plot that involves 6 episodes and I’m looking to make a crowdfunding campaign in hopes to make it posible. I’m taking my time though. Crowdfunding is not something you see that often in South America, so I want to make sure we do it right.
Good luck with that, keep us posted… Last question, did you have a chance to see the Justin Kurzel movie, starring Michael Fassbender ? What is your opinion on it ?
It hasn’t come out in Peru yet. From what I understand, most of Latin America has to wait until January to see it but I’m really looking forward to it. The trailer alone promises some pretty cool visuals and a lot of the spirit from the original games. I’m actually filtering out most of the information regarding reviews and reception because I want to be able to enter the theatre clearheaded and judge it on my own as a fan.