Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays to all!


Wishing you all a happy and safe holiday season and the very best for the New Year. Thank you for all your support and we hope you will continue to join us for the adventures that lay ahead.

2007 looks to be a very exciting time.
Dare to dream and reach for the stars. Happy Holidays!
- card art courtesy of Greg Metcalf / Panic FX

Monday, December 18, 2006

Jolly Ol’ England and Back Again

Well the latest is that I am back from a week ½ business trip from jolly ol’ England. It was a good trip if not wet and cold. My highlights of course were seeing the tourist sights such as Big Ben, Parliament, Tower of London, Buckingham, Trafalgar Square, Horse Guard, Changing of the Guard (and no I didn't do the ugly american) and so forth.

The one thing I enjoyed and found fascinating with London is the remarkable architecture. Here you have a mixture of different styles built on top of and around each other as the years change. Beautiful architecture and detailed work in Tutor, Stuart, Victorian, Regent, and more .. Just stunning to see, and all the history behind everything. It seems like everything in London has a story.

One night I went on a pub crawl tour which was most excellent and I highly recommend it to my (of age drinking) audience. The tour started at 4:30pm and we finished at about a half past midnight. By that time even the tour guide was pissed (British talk for drunk) and the group who went on the tour was whittled down to the hardcore drinkers and adventures.

It was a blast, as you start out in a group in which no one is talking to each other, by the end you are hugging each other, doing the whole drunk “ I love you man”, and buying rounds for each other. Our tour guide was a funny charming big Paddy (British for Irish.) and he took us to some of London’s best and most unique pubs in which we were told “ you will have 20-15 mins per pub, and I deem when we leave. My tour my rules. This is a pub crawl and by that name you may have guest it, we are going to pubs. Real men drink a pint, (at that time a feminine voice in the group yelled) “and real women”
At that our Irish guide smiled and said in a draw“ Ahh Lass. That they do! ”

Now, I can remember a few pub names we went to and the rest is kind of a nice blur. We visited: “ The Sherlock Holmes Pub” “Lyceum” “ The Ship and Shovell” “The Black Friar” “The Cockpit” “The Cheshire Cheese” and that is all I remember right now. This was a great tour and we walked along the dark cool streets of London in some of the same haunts that Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd would have been. I recommend the “ghost and gaslight pub crawl” done by the Big Bus Tours. Ask for Allen.

Now the other things I will say about London and the UK is that is it expensive! Especially for me as the US buck is weak right now and it takes two of them to make 1 pound (British money) So I am paying double the price, like a cab in London cost me 20 pounds.. That’s close to $40 for me.. Ouch!

Also food in England is very different then the states for the most part. It’s fairly bland and potato chips are called “Crisps” and fries are called “Chips” don’t confuse them J
Also in a pub a waiters does not seat you. You have to find a table on your own and then you walk up and order your food and drinks at the bar. Simply tell the bar tender your table number. You also pay at the bar as they generally do not bring you a bill to your table. Also Quid is slang for pound. Like our buck is for dollar. If someone says “ that’s 10 Quid” they are saying 10 pounds. But I am sure you all know this.

And people in London are not all nice British and friendly like on “ National Lampoon’s European Vacation” with Chevy Chase. Nope they can be pretty cold to you. They are not all out rude, New York is far worse.. or Jersey for god sakes .. Uhhh. (Love ya Frank and Gina) But for the most part the people are ok and pretty patient being in such a large city with so many people. And my last comment and no offense my UK friends but I do not think the UK has any pretty women.. At least I didn’t see any national pretty British woman. I do not think the country has any. Of course this is all a matter of opinion and I know I am nothing to brag about. But this is not about me and my sexiness, but the sad lack England has of pretty girls. I think they have to import them in from Scotland, Sweden, or the US or something. I am sorry Britain I didn’t see any good looking women while I was there and I wasn’t that drunk the whole time.

But the trip was fine and I learned that Brits party hard during the holiday season. From December to late January they pretty much party the whole time. Ya got to love em for that. So I had tea with the queen mum and she hit me with her hand bag, had drinks with Eddie Izzard and he showed me how to dress, and had a brilliant smashing good time in England (it was OK) . I am very glad to be back home.

And as we make it close to the holiday season let me say Happy Holidays to you and all. The New Year looks to be bringing us some large things to come which I will reveal as I can, and I hope you are still around reading here for the adventures we continue as we press on through. Till that time have a happy and safe holiday season!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Fountain - a review & more

OK, so over the Thanksgiving holiday ( I hope you had a good one btw) my inlaws were in town and they had the kindness to watch the kids for us and allow my wife and I to go out (something we have not done together in a long time as we have no family that lives near us)

Well one night my wife wants to go to the movies and she picks "The Fountain" starring Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. We already saw the new James Bond "Casino Royal" the other night (best Bond film ever and I am not a huge Bond fan.. this is an excellent movie!)
But we are talking about "The Fountain"

This was a painful, trite, poor film, that I even witnessed people walk out of. It's written and directed by Darren Aronofsky and I do not know who at Warner Brothers released this film, but man was it bad! On a $35M budget I could think of a lot better ways to spend the studios money. Like "why not we just go around the back, I kick you in the balls and then you just give me the money and we call it square" This would have been a deal compared to the outcome of "The Fountain".

Some like this film and state "it's to deep for most to understand"
It's not deep at all and I was upset at the director for hitting us over and over with his unimaginative repeated visual metaphors, overdone theories of life and death, and poor morality tale. the dialogue, even delivered by talented talent, came off like I was watching a high school one-act play. This was an artsy fartsy disaster. It was even billed as Scifi. terrible. The director is very over done and I do not care how many times you cry and blow up in anger (as they do this all through out the film over and over ) it does not make your acting great or your film deep, it just makes it tired, predictable, trite and dumb. The director obsessed with this film for 6 years, 6 years! and this is what you get when you have a director write the story, script and cast his fiance (Rachel Weisz) in the film. Jackman must have taken this film as a character study development in his career .. My films might be bad and I am not one to talk but man... I want my money back!

But here are what others had to say:
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_fountain/

IN OTHER NEWS:
And in others news (as it's my blog and I can do anything I want, even terrible spelling and grammer I hear some of you cringe over.. to bad)
I finally got a MySpace thingy setup. I found you can load video to it and I am using it to finally cut down on the broadband we use from X-ILE PICTURES, and Panic Struck. So if you want and you have a MySpace thingy then check it out: SHANE'S MYSPACE THINGY

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Returned Call .. LucasFilm LTD


I thought this was kind of kewl to share with you guys, and to let you know there are good people out there and that calls do get returned sometimes, even from the busiest people. Discovery - There is goodness and real people in the world after all.

I was home outside on the deck a few weeks ago when my wife comes running up, opens the sliding glass door in a hurry with my cell phone ringing in hand (I left it inside the house charging) She hands me the phone with a look of energy and says " I think you will want to take this call" I look at her inquisitively and look at the ringing cell phone. The caller ID reads "Lucas Film"

Low and behold it is Rick McCallum (Producer of Star Wars) giving me a follow up courtesy call.

First off let me say Rick is one hell of a nice guy. To even take the time out of his busy schedule to even call me is very kind and generous. I have spoken briefly with Rick before in the past and he comes off as a very grounded, an all around nice guy that is no different then you and I.

I have found that most of the people at the top of their industry who are successful at what they do are actually some of the nicest common people. You know why? Because those who are talented, professional, kind and nice to work with are the ones who stay at the top. If you are a jerk eventually it's going to catch up to you and I do not care how talented you are, people will simply not want to work with you, and you will destroy yourself. This is what I have found and perhaps not 100% true but I would say 98% of the time. Successful talented people remain successful because not only are they good at what they do, but the love what they do and are enjoyable to work with. treat people well and YOU will go farther in life and your career. Try it!
(again, not always easy to do)

So we chatted for a bit and I even gave Rick a bit of a hard time asking "So, have you finally seen my films"? He said he enjoyed watching them. He saw "Pitching Lucas" before it came out and was even one of the people at Lucas Films to vote on it. He made the commend that my George Lucas office in the film is better then the real one. That made me laugh.

Rick was very kind and generous, easy to talk with, and his support was truly appreciated by me. We talked some of what I am currently working on and so forth and he gave some good advise which I will share with you, " Make your original films and go with it. Stand on your own two feet and go for it."

Well that is just what I have lined up next and we will see how it goes. He said they will be watching and if I ever needed any help I could always call. That is a very kind gesture and one that is kind of producer nicey PC talk, (kind of like .. "Let's do lunch) but someone like Rick does not need to make such a gesture so I can appreciate him even saying something like that.

I warned him "be careful what you say, as I could take you up on that offer"
he chuckled and said " Go ahead, it's no problem"

So there you have it gang, there is some goodness and rightness in the world sometimes and good people just like you and I. Sometimes calls do get returned. Never give up and never let someone say you can not accomplish anything. Just remain professional, courteous, gracious, and as kind as you can in your pursuits.
(not always easy to do)
And NO Rick did not call to offer me a job or anything like that, so come back down to the real world guys, but my name is known to them and I have a good relationship, and that is very good.
Contacts and friends in the industry, you are looking to stir, is a good thing, and it's from a force of talent I respect and a company that inspired me to pursue this crazy thought of a dream... LucasFilm Ltd. I am humbled, honored to even be known for my work thus far and hope I can continue to keep those guys over there, and you as well, impressed and awake. With your support there is no telling what we can do, or fail.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

SciFi Studios Magazine Release

Well since I am back and everything is more or less back to the regular grind after my trip, here is a new update that just came out. SciFi Studios has just released their first online magazine issue and they even interviewed me in this premiere addition. So if you want go check it out.

If you have not heard about SciFi Studios I blogged about it here on my piece titled "Fans Invade Hollywood" and I really think it's a great concept. I talked with the Founder Tim Brazeal the other day and told him,

" Now you guys need to get off your ass and start making some products. Start small and see what comes of it. Take the fans and all the resources you have an produce a short film first, or a pilot. Try it out but you guys need to do something."

I really like this idea of SciFi Studios and support it but I also push for 'put up or shut up' mentality. I think we will see some action soon judging from my conversation with Tim.

This first online magazine issue is pretty good and one thing I have to say they do great work and have some excellent staff and support over there. See what you guys think.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Land of Smiles and Home Again


Well gang I am happy to report I made it back home to the states safe and sound from my travels in Asia. I first went to Okinawa, Japan and found the people to be very courteous and friendly. The food was great and the Saki even better. I did get see a few of the sights while I was there but mostly worked. I enjoyed the visit however.

I next traveled from Japan to the "Land of Smiles" Bangkok, Thailand. If Okinawa is slow and relaxed, which it is, then Bangkok is just the opposite. It is a very fast, crowded, hot, dirty, unique, mysterious, polluted, fascinating city. I thought our traffic was bad here in the DC area, Bangkok is much worst. There is close to over 6 million people in the city alone. Throngs of people, cars and gangs of scooters and motorcycles.

If you have heard the song "One Night in Bangkok" from the musical "Chess" then it's all true. "One night in Bangkok and the worlds your oyster". The economy is very poor and there is a good deal of corruption and crime here. It is a tourist town and pretty safe but anything goes if you have the money, and in Bangkok a little money goes a long way. I saw our cab driver have to bribe a cop, in which the cabby didn't do anything wrong. The cop was just looking to make some cash, and he did. You can get custom tailored clothes in Bangkok very affordable ( I had a few jackets and shirts made) you can get an hour massage for about $30 (and I got one of those too, but be careful, even in a clean reputable looking place you could be propositioned for a "special message".. I was taken by surprise).

One thing I will say is that the service in bangkok is excellent. such as in good bars and resturants. Unlike here in the US we are lucky to find our waiter sometimes in bangkok you are waited on by a large staff and they are very good at what they do. Very good service and customer courtesy.

You can go see the Grand Palace tour, which I did.. Very beautiful, and then there is shopping shopping and shopping in Bangkok. I did a bit but was soon wore out.

I went to the "weekend market" in Chatuchak and that was an experience. It's more or less a fleamarket on steroids, in which there or what seems miles and miles of shops all crammed together to form a myriad maze of stores and throngs of sweaty bodies all packed together in the hot humid Bangkok climate. I must have lost about 5 lbs. In sweat at Chatuchak. I got some great deals and everyone haggles.. It's expected and half the fun. One of the things I enjoyed were the signs posted in the market that said "Beware of Pick Pockets".

And if you go to Bangkok you have to go to the redlight district called Patpong. It's a world I have never seen before and disconcerting. Anything goes and again here there is more shopping, drinking and gogo bars. It's still a tourist area and something to experience. I had one drink there and was done.

Bangkok would be a great place to shoot a film. It would be very affordable, other then flying in your western crew & talent, and the area offers some remarkable locations. It would have a lot to offer for a unique film and like I said it would be cheap on the budget there and you could get some stunning shots and setups. I could so see a great action film while touring the city.

But I am back home and glad to be here. To travel the world some and see some sights is excellent and it really makes you appreciate what you have here at home and makes you think just what you take for granted. Other countries and people are not doing so well and really have it hard. It makes me humble to think of what we have and what so many go without and the life they are forced to live. Be fortunate and thankful with what you have.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Shane abroad .... Shogun!

Hey Gang, just an update to let you know I will be out of touch for a bit as I am overseas in Japan for a week and then Thailand for two weeks on business.

I have made it safe to my first destination in Japan and it was one hell of a long flight.

The great thing is that I am finally here.

I have a fascination for eastern culture and even get a chance to practice my Japanese (I learned all I know from watching Shogun .. it's come in handy)

The people are very friendly and courteous and the weather is nice. So far I have not been able to see the sights yet.

Anyway.. That is the latest on my end guys and wanted to let you know what was up.

All the best - Shane

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

X-ILE PICTURES music video shoot

Well, I promised I would share a few pics with you guys from our last project, which was a music video shoot, shot in Baltimore, MD.

VIDEO SHOOT IMAGE GALLERY

The video was shot for the band Op-critical and features their young member"Siren"singing.
The song is about liberty and how it has been worn and tattered, so I took the idea and created a conspiracy type theme with an action story mixed around the video. We had about 12 sport bikes, SWAT team, guns, swords .... a typical X-ILE PICTURES production. Hopefully it will make sense and you will enjoy it when it comes out. Give it a few months to come out.

It was great to work with the team again and also bring in new talent. The end result was a two day shoot for 24 hours of shooting. Some long hard days as always, but we got some great footage and my cast and crew were once again awesome. I brought in faces you might recognize like Frank and Gina Hernandez who have been doing a good deal of film work in NY, and all my old crew members. Together once again. When you work with people who you know will get the job done, are professionals, and are talented at what they do, it's always a treat and an easy call to bring them back in on a project. Holland Gedney even helped with make-up/hair and did a cameo. I even pulled Spat out of spatcave and he provided , as always, excellent props, wardrobe and was great to have on the crew with us. Special thanks to Tony for his expertise and kindness. Great job as always from the spatcave team.

Here are a few image galleries from some of the various people who snapped some shots on set. Myk Menez who played a rogue in "Revelations" and was kind enough to come out and help me coordinate and bring in all the bikes. The groups was awesome and some nice guys. Thanks Myk!

Here are some pics courtesy
Small Forest Studios/Myk Menez Photography.
(They are mainly of the bikes and so forth.. nice stuff)

Steve Lesnik also came on set to snap a few pictures. CHECK EM' OUT HERE

Thanks again to all who came out and helped and that's all the info I got time for today guys. I will be sure and keep you posted and I hope you continue to follow our adventures. This new video should be completed late November let's say. of course I will post it here when it does.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Star Wars Insider Coverage & Bonus


Here is a really cool treat! In the latest '06 Oct/Nov issue of Star Wars insider (Issue #90) there is an article about the winners of the 2006 Star Wars Fan Film winners and they choose to do a very kind article on "Pitching Lucas" and myself. They used some good quotes from me which was very kind of them. Check out this new addition to the Star Wars Insider Magazine and they even have a photo of me in the issue. Pretty kewl gang!

SPECIAL NOTE: In this Issue #90 of the Star Wars Insider is a VERY SPECIAL full page ad I paid to put in to thank all my cast, crew and the many supporters that have stood behind us. I basically took some of the money I won from the contest and tried to give a little back to the people who volunteered and helped make "Pitching Lucas" possible. A special thank you to Adam Benton, one of my CG artists an Panic FX, who did the 3D throphy, popcorn, and film reel model/render for the art I created for this ad. Thanks for the help Adam! It was my way to give credit and a special spotlight to the wonderful people behind the scenes who made the film possible and for making it the winner that it is. Without these people I would not have been able to do and create what I did for "Pitching Lucas" and I wanted to thank all of you! This one is for you!!! Take the ad and frame it and you will have something to remember of what we did and what you helped to accomplish with our little film "Pitching Lucas". Thank you for everything gang! Here is a look see at what the full page ad looks like.


The issue should hit newsstands around the end of October or you can sign up and join to be a Star Wars hyperspace member and you get a subscription to the Star Wars Insider. As a hyperspace member you also get access to exclusive star Wars member info and videos from starwars.com. My favorite is the "Rancho Obiwan" series Steve Sansweet does each month showing his immense Star Wars collection.. Museum really. Click the "Hyperspace" link to join and get your issue #90 of the Star Wars Insider.


MORE NEWS
If you go to starwars.com you will see that "Pitching Lucas" is on the main home page. Pretty cool. In terms of what have I been up to and so forth, I just finished a music video shoot this past weekend with my excellent crew and I should be posting pictures and a new blog entry on that adventure next.

In the meantime enjoy the article in the Star Wars Insider about "Pitching Lucas" and be sure to check out the full page ad from X-ILE PICTURES to you!

All the best.... Shane

Sunday, September 17, 2006

George and Me


Well in my last post I told you guys about a new star wars documentary called "George and Me", well 5 heads tall Productions just posted their pre-order link for the DVD.
Again it features interviews with myself and others from "Revelations" and they even have "Revelations - Shooting for the Stars" on their bonus section of the DVD.. whatever that is. I am curious myself. One thing I know is that 5 heads tall does some great production value and puts out some great products. I have seen some sneak looks of the film and it looks really good. So if you guys want to check it out you can pre-order now. PURCHASE FROM HERE.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Merrily we roll along .. News and more

Well, some bit of news is that a new DVD documentary about Star Wars fan films is coming out this month and it is done by the wonderful people at 5 Heads Tall Productions. These are the people who brought you Inside-Report, which we have been on a few times. Inside-Report is a great internet show about fan films and independent film, hosted by Sky Wilson who does an awesome job (regardless if I have a hard time understanding sometimes :)

Anyway, they have a new DVD coming out this month called "George and Me" which investigates how much of a positive "force" Star Wars has been on fan's lives since its release nearly 30 years ago. It shows that the traditional stereotype of the "geeky" fan has little value in today's world and that being a fan can really enrich your life and give you the courage to shoot for the stars. It features interviews with fans such as Albin Johnson founder of the 501st,, and Shane Felux director of "Revelations", the most successful fan-film to date. It also features many other fans from across the globe who have all done amazing and wonderful things because of their love for Star Wars.

The film took the two indie producers, Sky Wilson and Vin Kelly, nearly 2 years to complete, financing the whole operation themselves travelled across the United States and all over England in order to see first hand the amazing accomplishments that fans had achieved.

Check this one out guys and see what you this. Sky and her team aways put our great quality and I am excited to see how this piece turned out. Let me know what you guys think of it.

IN OTHER NEWS
se­, hablo espanol?? - Well now for our spanish speaking friends you can watch "Revelations" in espanol subtitles, thanks to our friends in Buenos Aires and microshow.com
This is really cool streaming video and they really did a nice job of putting thSpanishup in spanish, they even created chapters. Isn't technology and the internet great? We are international!! .. well we always have been, but it's still strange for me to see our film in different languges. Very cool. WATCH IT HERE

NEWS FROM THE RANCH
Also I got a bit of cool news from a contact at mine at LucasFilm who advised me on the following email that was sent to their employees.

Steve Sansweet and Mary Franklin, our Fan Relations gurus, will be bringing us another installment of Star Wars Fan Films tomorrow:

Wednesday
Star Wars Fan Films
Steve Sansweet
12:15 - 1:15
Premier Theater


Lots of creative Star Wars fans make their own films about the saga, and for the second year running, we'll be presenting the best of them to the folks back here at Lucasfilm. Come and enjoy this year's best shorts including the double-award winner "Pitching Lucas," a hilarious 8-minute film about "Hollywood types" coming to George's office to pitch him on their ideas for a Star Wars television series. We'll also be showing the best of five years worth of films from the annual Star Wars Fan Film Awards co-hosted by Atomfilms and Lucasfilm.

All are welcome to attend.
Hope to see you there!


I have to say I thought that was cool and I would love to be a fly on the wall to see what the creative and talented team over at LucasFilm and their fellow shops like ILM, SkywalkerSound, LucasArts, and so forth had to say about it. The fact that our film conreceived be shown and receieved such a nice write up from their internal system is very cool.
I have emailed Steve Sansweet to see if he could let me know how the response was, and I will let you guys know if I hear something. Such a great honor to have our film shown at the ranch and thank you to the kind support at LucasFilm and keeping the spirit of Star Wars alive.

STILL WORKING
On top of working 9-5 and taking care of the family, and all that jazz I continue to strive forward and I do not sit still for long. I have a new film project in which I am filming another music video. This is my first paid gig and filelse'sing using someone elses money other then my own, so it's kind of exciting. It's nothing big and I figured... hmm, new baby, make a little extra cash ... OK I'll do it, and this time I can actually pay my cast and crew a bit, that's a new one :)
We shall see how it turns out.
HERE ARE A FEW PICS OF THE LOCATION WE WILL BE SHOOTING AT IN THE SHIZEL OF BALTIMORE. Ahh I love grit .. pretty huh.. yeah but on film. wait and see.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Latest News


"Pitching Lucas" at Dragon Con
Well, the latest is that if you are going to Dragon Con in Atlanta this coming weekend, Sept. 1st through the 4th. Wish I was going, as this is the one year I will miss it after going for the last few years. It's always a GREAT time! But, we will be there in spirit, as our film "Pitching Lucas" is being shown in the DragonCon Film Festival. If you want a chance to see the film on a large screen here is your oppurtunity, and we hope you will enjoy. Go out watch the entries for this years film fest and support independent film. Who knows, maybe we will win this year.

In other News
The webmaster of CineFantastico.com, the oldest spanish website about horror/sci-fi movies and part of hoycinema.com, the 4th most visited movie site in Spain, has informed me our film "Revelations" is ranked 7th as the most watched fan film on their site. Thanks for the kind support from Spain! We are honored.

Indiewire, the leading news, information, and social networking site for the international independent film community, also did an article on our film "Pitching Lucas" and had some very kind things to say. Read the article "Popular Vote Agrees with George Lucas and Jurors in Two Internet Short Film Competitions"
And Screen Weekly, India, followed suit.

And for now we just keep doing what we do, working, paying bills, watching after the kids and trying to get through and do as best we can. Stay tuned for more down the pipe.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New Addition to the Crew!


Well, in case some of you didn't know, on top of working 9-5, doing "Pitching Lucas", BSing with the studio on future deal, raising a family of two boys and all that jazz, I am very pleased to announce a new addition to our crew. Our 3rd son, Hayden Connor Felux was born today 8/16/06 at 1:23pm at 8lbs.- 1oz. I now have 3 sons! Mom and Baby are doing well at this time and I thought I would share the news with anyone interested. All for now as I must sleep .. for I will not get much in the future :)
- Shane

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

PITCHING LUCAS - Making History & Wins Big

Wow.. Where to begin! Sorry for the delay in updating and posting guys, it has been a few hectic and crazy days. This will be a long entry to make up for it, so I hope that is ok, and you enjoy.

WATCH THE AWARD ACCEPTANCE SPEECH HERE
If you don't want to read my super long entry this week

Let me see. As some of you might know our film "Pitching Lucas" was a finalist in the 2006 Atom Film Star Wars film contest, sanctioned by Lucas Film, and so I traveled to Comic Con in San Diego to attend the award ceremony.

First off my adventure begins at the airport. I get there 2 hours early before my flight, like I always like to do, and low and behold my flight is delayed 30mins. No sweat, my original flight was scheduled to arrive at 5pm pacific time and the award ceremony doesn't begin till 8:30pm. pacific so I got plenty of time and it's no worry. I arranged my travel to have some wiggle room to drop my bags off at the hotel, have dinner and then go to the award show.

Then I find my flight is now delayed an hour, now 2 hours, and now 4!! Oh crap, I start to panic. I speak to the United counter rep explaining my situation and to move me to another flight. There ARE no other flights and I explain I am going to a film award ceremony in which I am a finalist and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. They smile and say sorry. nothing we can do, go piss up a rope. Well, nothing I can do but hope for the best.

While sitting and reading a book I over hear one lady talking to another and their conversation is something like this.

“Well everyone is upset the flight is delay and a lot of people are trying to get other flight. Good luck! I even hear one guy give a sob story of how he is a film maker and he is going to an award show and it all dire that he gets there. Give me a break! We all want to get where we want to be on time.. I want to get home. Some people!"

Yeah, I nod to myself and that was the beginning of my trip. It confirms for me that most people do not care, unless it involves them, or affects them in someway, otherwise who cares.
Yep get use to it gang. So finally the plane is at the gate, I go to board, and the guy stops me when he processes my ticket

"Hold on sir" he says, "It seems your seat has been changed"

I had selected a seat close to the front so I could get off fast and get to the award show, now my seat for some reason has been moved all the way to the very BACK BACK SEAT.

"What gives?!" I say "Why would my seat change?"
"Don't know" he says "You would have to go back and ask the people at he counter"

of course people are behind me waiting to board an already late plane so I just shake my head and board to sit in the very back. I speak to the flight attendant about the seat issue and she also says "nothing I can do"

so I go to the back of the plane. During mid flight another flight attendant spoke with me and he managed moved me up to the middle of the plane.. Nice guy, and he gave me a comp drink. I had that and two more just for good measure.. What a flight!

So I arrive in San Diego at 9:00pm, the ceremony has already started and I dash running from the plane to find a cab. I find one and jump in saying

"the convention center, as fast as you can!"

with a Russian accent he says "what's the rush, what's your deal already?"

I explain my situation as he slowly gets in his car and he says "who cares, big deal"
Yep.. That confirmed it for me, no one cares, and he is right.

So we get to the convention center and luckily my co-writer Peter was already at the event and even picked up on badge for me. He met me at the curb when the cab dropped me off and grabbed my suitcase

“The award ceremony is just inside, up the escalator and to the left! Go, Go, I will take your bag.. Here’s your badge! GO!"

What a great guy! So I dash up to the event huffing and puffing and find a seat up front reserved for the finalists, thank you Mary Franklin! I am sweating, winded, a bit jet lagged, but I made it!

The room the award ceremony is being held in seems to have the AC out and it is hot, and I am already sweating. I get to enjoy watching the "Pink Five films" and then they announce the 'Audience Choice Award" We won!

Wow, we won audience choice award! I hand Peter my video camera as he has joined me to sit next to me, and I go on stage to shake Steve Sansweet hand. Cloud nine is all I can say! I made it to the event and we won!

What a feeling, and to a room of 4000 I give my thanks. I am honored, humbled and very appreciative. An audience is the one who buys your tickets, who come back to watch your films. An audience means more then critics and judges and all that noise, it's the audience we hope to please, and "Pitching Lucas" did just that from the reception I got.
A wonderful feeling and I suggest you try it sometime.. You will like it :)

So, I go and sit back down, Peter congratulates me and hands me back my video camera which I begin to put in my bag. Sansweet in up on stage saying we will now watch "Pitching Lucas" but nothing happened. He starts saying that they are having technical difficulties. I nod and say to myself "yeah that's about right".

Things always happen at big events like this, it's not a big issue, but is right in line with my day" So while we wait for them to fix the problem Sansweet says he will go ahead and announce the 'Lucas Select Award' (grand prize) He starts speaking

"This years first place film has stunning special FX, a remarkable production value, excellent editing and on a very small budget ..."

I glance at Peter as I slowly pull my camera back out of my bag. I whisper to Peter "I think they might be talking about us.. Maybe. Here take the camera just in case"

- Sansweet
"And here to announce the winner.. George Lucas" Lucas comes up on screen in a pre-recorded message and does in fact announce "this years winner of the Lucas Select award is "Pitching Lucas" by Shane Felux, congratulation Shane"

I am stunned! I mean really stunned. In in my deepest hopes I thought they were talking about us, but I knew in the end it would be something else.. Nope, not this time. The creator and the man himself, the man that inspired me to pursue a career in film, to get a college degree, to make film, Georeg Lucas said "Pitching Lucas" and time stopped for a moment.

I stood up and made my way to the podium on stage as the audience cheered, or I think they did it was hard to tell for me as everything was in slow mo, some even called my name at I approached the stage once again (thanks John, Trey and crew) This time when I started to speak it took me a moment to collect myself. I am up there in front of 4000 people as it dawns on me, George Lucas watch my film, liked it, and selected my work out personally! He actually saw my work this time and even liked it enough to honor me with this award!

This award is like the Oscar in the fan film community, and is a big deal for us, or at least for me (even yes, I know it doesn't mean a whole lot and it's no big deal, it's a fan film .. but get off my cloud for a moment) The highest and greatest honor I have received to date. Now I can move my second place pee wee baseball trophy off my mantle.. I have something to take its place.. Two actually!!! Audience Choice and Lucas Select Award!

This is making history a bit in our small fan community world. It marks the first time one film has even won two awards at the same time in the 5 year history of this event. No one has even done that, and I am most humbled, gracious, and thankful for this remarkable achievement and honor. Thank you all so much for such an astonishing reward for our film.

Back on the real world ... Even I know that these awards do not mean much of anything to most people as well as the media and high industry, but it gives us validation of what we can do, and recognition from our audience, and even from Lucas. Any accolades are always wonderful for a film maker and no award or honor is to small. What more could you ask for?
It means a great deal to us who worked so hard to produce this small project and nothing feels better to have people appreciate it. It also doesn't hurt if one of those people is George Lucas.

So after the award ceremony I go out for a few drinks and really have a kind of low key celebration as one contact that came out and joined me wanted to talk business and purposed a future project. So in talking business I limit my drink count and before I know it, it's 3 am and all the bars are closed. I slump back to hotel, still feeling high from our awards, and eventually so to sleep.

The rest of my Comic Con experience was pretty much filled with meetings, hand shaking, interviews and networking. It was a very productive few days and I met some very interesting nice people.

At Steve Sansweet's panel "Spectacular" I got to sit in reserved seating to watch, and all around me in reserved were Lucas employees. I met the art director at Lucas Film, as well as others. Some really nice people. They would ask what I did or what division I was with and I would have to explain that I did "Revelations" and "Pitching Lucas" and some had actually heard & seen my work, or they were just being polite. I gave out a few DVD copies and enjoyed the day.

Later more meet and greets and contacts from a major studio took me to a nice dinner to discuss plans for a future project we have been negotiating with since I began film "Pitching Lucas".
In fact it seems we have made some good headway and we could come to an agreement.
Right now it's between their business affairs and legal as well as my agent and attorney. Things are looking possible and it could be my next film project. If it goes through it is going to be a big challenge and one that will really push us, but hey have we ever done anything any other way? Could be fun.. Stay tuned on that one.

I also got to attend the Star Wars Breakfast (thank you again Mary Franklin) and I was honored to sit in reserved seating again. There I met some interesting and great people like reps from Mattel, writer for Star Wars Insider Magazine, and the Content manager for Star Wars.com Once again everyone at the table introduced themselves to me and asked the same question "so what do you do?" or more or less.. "Why are you sitting here?"
Again I explained, and they all pretty much nodded and smile polite and seem to say "ah, good for you" probably thinking, "this guy is just a fan nothing more" and they are right in some regard, I mean I am a fan and I am no big wig or anything like that, just a film maker.. But some day.. ahh watch out ;)

All in all I got to see some great contacts and friends and the Comic Con event was quite remarkable. I have never seen so many people at one event. Wow talk about a lot of people! Something like 130K people crammed into downtown San Diego. You couldn't even find a lpace to eat without a long wait. Remarkable!

That's more or less it gang but I want to thank again my cast and crew, Jack Foley my DP, Mark Edmondson my composer and sound engineer, Zafer Mustafa my technical director, Sean Simmons my Camera Operator, my great CG Team, my cast, George Starkey, Mat Mickelson , Caleb Graham, Jim Lefter, Tye Nelson, and so so many more.
Thanks to Atom Films, Lucas Film for this great honor.. I am so very honored
And to you the fans, the audience and the dreamers out there. Go make your films and let's see em'. Thanks for everything.. The adventure continues!

- Shane

Want to see what I said and so forth at the award ceremony? Well here is the video. Sorry for the bad camera and quality. It was shot from the hip and I was luck to get it at all. Hoep you enjoy it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Feelin' Good - it happens sometimes

As I have been trying to get the new site up for X-ILE PICTURES, which is xilepictures.com btw, I have been going through a lot of the content and material we have had posted on the Panic Struck site and I stopped for nostalgic reasons and a bit of reflection, as I started to look over the various news and media coverage we have had over the past year or so.
I was a bit amazed when I really stopped and looked at it, and I even started watching some of our interviews and reading some past articles. When you look at it really is quite remarkable what happened and how fortunate we were to get such coverage.

I mean here is a first film, made by a bunch of nobodies, and I am watching interviews with us on CNN, CBS, MSNBC, CBC, and news articles like Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, Knight Ridder, The Baltimore Sun, and The Washington Post. I had to stop and think "this is pretty damn neat and remarkable!"

Maybe it is just me reliving a moment in time where we got our 5mins of fame.. Perhaps 20mins. But I think the main thing that strikes me is how much we accomplished and did with so little and just with coordinating so many people. It made me think of all the hard times and good times of making "Revelations" and all the wonderful friends and contacts I made doing the film. It made me miss them, but I had to smile when I started to think about them and how I was hoping they are all doing well and living the dream. Some are.

As I watched and looked at all we did, like the huge premiere of "Revelations", I will never forget that moment, I really stated to get that itch and energy again where I am about ready to take another huge gulp of air and jump again into a new project.
You see once I decided to do something, I simple go into 'Do' mode and everyone better get out of the way or come along for the ride. If my mind is made up and I commit then I lean forward to go to the end. It's only then at that point to I see what I accomplished.
The funny thing is that I just finished a film, "Pitching Lucas" a little over a month ago, and I guess I have had enough down time from that.

I was also burning some DVDs of the BTS of "Revelations" to send to a contact, and so when I burn a new disk I put it in the player to test it and make sure it works. The next thing I know I am sitting at my desk with my feet propped up, sucked in and watching the whole disk. I saw all the old cast and crew again. My CG team, sound team, the costumers, the writers, everyone and it was like opening an old scrap book, but with moving pictures. Again I had to smile and I so want to work with those people again, and more new people. It's fine to revisit what you have done, but I don't want to be some old man who is always showing his grandkids “see back in the day I made this one film and boy look at what I did" and that is all I ever did. I don’t want to be that guy, so it might be time to get going again.. I just hope I have the energy, and let's not even think about the money. Eh, money. That's the one card I do not have yet to completely separate myself from the bullshit distributors, fast talking studio producers, sleek salesmen, and hangers on looking to make money from your hard work while you get nothing.
That's the way it is guys. Whoever has the gold makes the rules. I also like the quote "wherever the gold is, so will the jackals lie"

Anyway.. If you want, you guys can go take a look at some of the past year events and press and see what you think. I found it kind of cool to visit. PAST MEDIA/ PRESS COVERAGE

Monday, July 03, 2006

STAR WARS FILMS "PITCHING LUCAS" VOTE NOW. ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT!

If you haven't yet gone to vote or checked out the 2006 Atom Film Star Wars film conest, be sure to head over and vote! Your chance to vote and support ends this July 5th.


Be sure to check out or new film "Pitching Lucas" which is in the contest and vote if you like it. We appreciate the support. Once voting has ended we will wait to see who wins July 20th at ComicCon in San Diego.

VOTE NOW

Monday, June 26, 2006

"Pitching Lucas" BTS pics


As promised here are some BTS pictures from "Pitching Lucas"
BEHIND THE SCENES IMAGE GALLERY FOR "PITCHING LUCAS"
Special thanks to Steve Lesnik for providing these pictures.
Here you can see what goes into making this short film and the many wonderful people behind and in fornt of the camera.

"Pitching Lucas" was filmed on three locations. Two days in studio for all greenscreen work, One day for interiors of Lucas' Office scenes, and one day special for the mechanical bull shot. Thank you to "Desperatos" in VA Beach for allowing us to shoot on their location. Thanks to all our excellent cast and crew!

If you still havent seen the film or voted yet, be sure to head over to Atom Films and watch the 2006 star wars fan film finalists.

Vote "Pitching Lucas" and please leave a review and rate us on their star system.