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Force in the House - super cool lightsaber duel
April 26, 2006 3:22 PM   Subscribe

OK - Lucas has pretty much ruined Star Wars for me. Still, lightsabers are freaking kewl with a capital K, and true to its title, this one is quite probably The Best Home Made Lightsaber Duel Ever. Man, I wish I was a Jedi!
posted by willnot (97 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was some pretty impressive choreography. It looks like they actually knew what they were doing.
posted by borkingchikapa at 3:29 PM on April 26, 2006


What's the difference between this and Star Wars kid except production values?
posted by photoslob at 3:35 PM on April 26, 2006


Gadzooks! That was awesome.

I just made my first lightsaber attempt last weekend with some footage of my son. The ten second clip took me about 3 hours and didn't look nearly as good, but then again, I'm an idiot. My hat's off to these guys.

I've got some serious lightsaber envy.
posted by bstreep at 3:38 PM on April 26, 2006


Photoslob, production values are everything. The last three Star Wars movies could have been bad high school drama productions except for the billion dollars worth of production poured on them.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:39 PM on April 26, 2006


Hats. Off.
posted by armoured-ant at 3:41 PM on April 26, 2006


Well, Star Wars Kid was just one guy playing with a stick. He didn't have to coordinate his moves with anyone. That makes all the difference in the world.
posted by bingo at 3:42 PM on April 26, 2006



What's the difference between this and Star Wars kid except production values?


Well they're not gonna get as many views as StarWarsKid, but at least they've made an effort. Extra points for NOT including horrible dialogue, home made costumes or badly CGI'd spaceships/cities/whatever. Tho they're still not gonna get girlfriends spending all thier time on this sorta thing...

This is pretty much as good as anyone should bother making a lightsabre fight... I hope that whoever is involved will go put thier talent to an original property and make some money or something...
posted by Meccabilly at 3:43 PM on April 26, 2006


Beware the Cute-saber!
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:45 PM on April 26, 2006


How is this not a double? Im shocked!!!
posted by wheelieman at 3:45 PM on April 26, 2006


I blew an opportunity. That should have been "Beware the power of the cute side!"
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:46 PM on April 26, 2006


Dr. Negative - I agree. To be totally honest, I was one of those kids when I was 8 or 9 years old when the first trilogy came out. I know it's been debated to death but Lucas should have stopped after the first three or handed the reins over to someone capable of writing great dialogue. With that said, did the first 3 movies suck like the last three or am I just remembering those first three movies through the memories of my 8 year-old self?
posted by photoslob at 3:54 PM on April 26, 2006


Hmm, I know I posted this in a comment, but without an adequate search I cant find it. No big deal, geek-on!

The amazing thing is that this was made by high school kids.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:54 PM on April 26, 2006


It's a great effort, only it is a little slow in places. The official site. They're asking for donations to help make a sequel.
posted by 6am at 3:54 PM on April 26, 2006


Also worth noting that the dude got picked up by lucasarts after making the film.
posted by 6am at 3:58 PM on April 26, 2006


Bravo!
posted by furtive at 4:02 PM on April 26, 2006


With that said, did the first 3 movies suck like the..etc

Here we go....

They're asking for donations to help make a sequel.

I think they should make the sequel for nothing liek the first one... they really don't need to spend money on a location - plenty of free areas around...

Also worth noting that the dude got picked up by lucasarts after making the film.

You got a link? I'd love to see the guys other work...
posted by Meccabilly at 4:03 PM on April 26, 2006


Pretty cool, and I really liked the tug-of-war. But once, just once I'd like to see a lightsaber duel where the combatants aren't aiming for each other's lightsaber.

I mean, these guys have their sabers up over their head, and the other guy will go out of his way to hit it. Cut off his friggin' feet!
posted by JWright at 4:03 PM on April 26, 2006


What's the difference between this and Star Wars kid except production values?
posted by photoslob at 3:35 PM PST on April 26


Sixty pounds and a lot of talent.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:04 PM on April 26, 2006


just once I'd like to see a lightsaber duel where the combatants aren't aiming for each other's lightsaber.

Yea, but if they were real you'd cut your own arm off first...
posted by Meccabilly at 4:04 PM on April 26, 2006


very nice effort
posted by edgeways at 4:05 PM on April 26, 2006


While we are on the subject of Fanfilms, I would just like to mention that my own (Emo Rangers) has just been stuck up on the Myspace front page (you may need to refresh a couple of times) and I've had to sit through about 300 friend requests in the last 30 mins.
posted by Meccabilly at 4:07 PM on April 26, 2006


Way.

Too.

Long.

And 30 seconds of logos at the head was a waste.
posted by Relay at 4:07 PM on April 26, 2006


That was almost perfect. There were a number of times the fight was too choreographed, where you could clearly see one guy waiting for the other to hit his beat, but aside from that it looked better than most fight scenes of any prequel.
posted by mathowie at 4:12 PM on April 26, 2006


Excellent. Great camera work. Good choreography. Wonderful pacing.

My only suggestions would be:

Wardrobe. Being a lanky teenager with those licorice whip arms in short sleeves and baggy-crotch pants stifles the movements and appears more awkward than they should have on camera. A darker colored thicker material shirt or jacket would have looked better and pants not so baggy.

Empty hand choreography. The movie-fu sword work was really good (excepting the "reverse ice pick" grip not suspending my disbelief) but the kicks and hand strikes didn't sell very well. They needed just a bit more practice both striking and being on the receiving end of those.

Other wise I give it an 8 out of 10. Superb.
posted by tkchrist at 4:16 PM on April 26, 2006


Meccabilly, look at the official site.
posted by 6am at 4:21 PM on April 26, 2006


Meccabilly, look at the official site.

Mmm, no i saw that, I meant if you had a link to him being 'picked up' by ilm or am i not understanding what you are writing?

Also would like to see his other work, but somehow im not sure he has much time for anything else...
posted by Meccabilly at 4:23 PM on April 26, 2006


Sorry, lucasarts...
posted by Meccabilly at 4:24 PM on April 26, 2006


Pretty cool. My only beef is the ending... I mean the force-impaling of the skinny kid was pretty badass. But then the other guy dies by.... what? ... his clone or something? What happened exactly?
posted by Stauf at 4:25 PM on April 26, 2006


*beef is with the ending* gah
posted by Stauf at 4:26 PM on April 26, 2006


What happened exactly?

It was meant as a joke, or so it seems. Some random guy comes along and just pops a blade through his chest without any of the silly fighting...
posted by Meccabilly at 4:27 PM on April 26, 2006


I liked the regular kid clothes, they added to the fun of it. Especially when the one dropped the saber into his pocket at the very end, and fluffed his t-shirt over his waist all casual-like.
posted by wells at 4:27 PM on April 26, 2006


Yeah I agree with Stauf, everything else was awesome, but ending left me with a WTF feeling. If it was a joke it failed to work on me.
posted by philcliff at 4:31 PM on April 26, 2006


If it was a joke it failed to work on me.

Humour is subjective I would suggest. I for one didn't get V for Vendetta - and that film was clearly a joke...
posted by Meccabilly at 4:32 PM on April 26, 2006


Yeah, I've seen this. This is great.

I mean, if I were to judge it really harshly by movie standards, I'd say it's a bit above average – it's really creative, but as tkchrist says some of the contact doesn't sell that well. By television standards, it's better than just about anything I've seen. To summarize, it rocks.
posted by furiousthought at 4:32 PM on April 26, 2006


stauf - But then the other guy dies by.... what? ... his clone or something? What happened exactly?

I was thinking maybe the first guy was a hologram (or something like it).
posted by pruner at 4:34 PM on April 26, 2006


The music made me want to watch Dark City again.
posted by Staggering Jack at 4:35 PM on April 26, 2006



The music made me want to watch Dark City again.


Oooo... Good film...
posted by Meccabilly at 4:35 PM on April 26, 2006


Oooo... Good film...

That wasn't meant sarcastically and yet is still appeard that way.... oh well.
posted by Meccabilly at 4:36 PM on April 26, 2006


They want $5k to make a sequel. Eesh.

Guys, take the $5k and make a short instead.
posted by dobbs at 4:37 PM on April 26, 2006


Great continuity.
posted by ColdChef at 4:38 PM on April 26, 2006


The last three Star Wars movies could have been bad high school drama productions except for the billion dollars worth of production poured on them.

You make it sound like the original 3 had such spectacular acting. "But I was going to go to Tasche Station to pick up some power converters!" Ugh...
posted by afx114 at 4:40 PM on April 26, 2006


Wonderful, geeky stuff. Makes me want to start swinging around a broom.

But it's not the best light saber duel. That, undoubtedly, has to go to the dildo lightsaber video (which is mostly safe for work).
posted by aladfar at 4:40 PM on April 26, 2006


They want $5k to make a sequel. Eesh.

Guys, take the $5k and make a short instead.
posted by dobbs at 4:37 PM PST on April 26 [!]


Well, $5k is $2k less than this guy spent to get a Hollywood gig. Then again, he made a feature-length.
posted by basicchannel at 4:40 PM on April 26, 2006


What's the difference between this and Star Wars kid except production values?
posted by nola at 4:42 PM on April 26, 2006


↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:44 PM on April 26, 2006


Then again, he made a feature-length.

And had a substantial amount more talent then most.

Im really not feeling the idea of spending 5k on a starwars fan film sequel....
posted by Meccabilly at 4:44 PM on April 26, 2006


Jedi Breakfast
posted by sp dinsmoor at 4:45 PM on April 26, 2006


Jedi Breakfast

That was totally better then any light sabre fight :)
posted by Meccabilly at 4:49 PM on April 26, 2006


pwned
posted by redteam at 4:54 PM on April 26, 2006


really


(takes a deep breath)
posted by Substrata at 5:06 PM on April 26, 2006


One of our users suggested this video, which is supposedly more correct from a fencing stand point. Personally I prefer Ryan vs. Dorkman.
posted by sourbrew at 5:10 PM on April 26, 2006


That was freaking awesome. Yeah, they could use some more practice selling the hits (it's really all up to the guy taking the punch or kick, and they don't look like they've quite figured that out yet) but in a lot of ways, the choreography was more inventive and just plain fun than anything in the prequels. That made me twelve again for five minutes.
posted by EarBucket at 5:11 PM on April 26, 2006


I clicked this link thinking, "It can't possibly be as good as those two kids dueling in a warehouse I saw a couple of years ago." And lo and behold, it was exactly as good.
posted by jjg at 5:12 PM on April 26, 2006


Well I gotta say that when I was a teen, the only tools available to me were a Super 8 camera and an editing rig and a projector. And improvised explosives. And friends willing to risk their skin wearing said devices. One guy's shirt caught on fire while filming a version of Rambo, but he's ok.

Point being, kids these days have access to some really amazing tech. Bravo!
posted by tritisan at 5:15 PM on April 26, 2006


One of our users suggested this video

Decent martial arts ruined by the effects... They would have been better of using sticks...

Lets get this streight - Lightsabre effects are EASY - you can learn to make them in After effects in a day and it just comes down to how much time you are willing to waste....
posted by Meccabilly at 5:16 PM on April 26, 2006


*spelling correctly is also easy. I should try harder...
posted by Meccabilly at 5:20 PM on April 26, 2006


Jedi Breakfast is great and I highly recommend it.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:22 PM on April 26, 2006


Jedi Breakfast.

Definitely.
posted by bru at 5:40 PM on April 26, 2006


I PUT ON MY ROBE AND WIZARD HAT
posted by loquacious at 5:45 PM on April 26, 2006


What's the difference between this and Star Wars kid except production values?

What's the difference between the nerds and the cool kids except attitude and execution?
posted by davejay at 5:56 PM on April 26, 2006


Loquacious, now I can't stop giggling. Good callback.
posted by davejay at 5:56 PM on April 26, 2006


Eh. Duality was much better.
posted by laz-e-boy at 5:59 PM on April 26, 2006


The forest battle is also ruined by the guy saying "ek-scape" instead of "escape."
posted by papakwanz at 6:00 PM on April 26, 2006


But then the other guy dies by.... what? ... his clone or something? What happened exactly?

Well, you'll just have to wait pay for the sequel, won't you!
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 6:06 PM on April 26, 2006


Agreed, papakwanz. That bugged me so much. That and the lightsaber effects. How many shots did we get of the sabers with their tips touching the ground? Wouldn't that burn the grass?

Jedi Breakfast was great though. And the film in the FPP, of course.
posted by kosher_jenny at 6:18 PM on April 26, 2006


Duality and the forest battle suffer from the same problem as the prequels--they look fake. They feel like the air's been sucked out of them. The two kids in the warehouse feel like actual geeks who have managed to get their hands on a couple of real lightsabers. There's a certain joy about the whole thing--it really is kind of reminiscent of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher running through the Death Star.
posted by EarBucket at 6:37 PM on April 26, 2006


One of our users suggested this video, which is supposedly more correct from a fencing stand point.

Hmmm, that one?... not much that I could tell. It's a little less telegraphed in parts, I guess, but they frequently cut to just one of the duellists warding off indeterminate blows, while Ryan vs. Dorkman is very clear all the way through. I don't think lightsaber fights literally translate to any form of martial arts, though, but that's a whole different conversation.

But that Duality swordfight is more like two guys twirling batons really, really close to each other. I didn't buy it at all.

On preview, I totally agree with EarBucket on the atmosphere of the Ryan vs. Dorkman fight, it's awesome.
posted by furiousthought at 6:57 PM on April 26, 2006


I think it's rockin'. Anyone out there pooh-poohing, let's see your amazing film clip, please?

Actually doing something like this is fairly rare, though lots of people talk about it. :)
posted by zoogleplex at 7:13 PM on April 26, 2006


Why do nerds do this kind of thing?
Clearly they have talent, why don't they think of their own idea?
It reminds me of film school and the group of guys who would endlessly make Tarantino-esque films. How many times can you put the camera in the trunk of the car, filming up at a group of guys-in-suits opening it? An endless amount of times, it seems.
That shot should be illegal.
posted by chococat at 7:15 PM on April 26, 2006


Now, putting the camera in the trunk of a landspeeder, filming up at a group of stormtroopers opening it -- that would be genius!
posted by JekPorkins at 7:20 PM on April 26, 2006


holy shit. that was freakin' awesome! how come the prequel fight scenes were never that good!?
posted by Doorstop at 7:24 PM on April 26, 2006


Now, putting the camera in the trunk of a landspeeder, filming up at a group of stormtroopers opening it -- that would be genius!

Possibly not.
posted by EarBucket at 7:28 PM on April 26, 2006


Yeah, I might have been a bit facetious. Maybe.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:29 PM on April 26, 2006


Yeah, picked up on that. But thanks for the closed-captioning for the humor-impaired.
posted by EarBucket at 7:32 PM on April 26, 2006


While i agree with the heavier darker clothes, i really liked the fact that they didn't try to put together some Jedi robes. That they just wore the clothes that they probably wore to school that day was a better choice in my eyes.

Great job.

And i am thrilled that something i predicted ages ago is finally coming to pass. We are starting to see home movies with production values that come close to what we saw in blockbusters just a few short years ago.

Now i just have to work on making my short.
posted by quin at 8:54 PM on April 26, 2006


A bit late to the conversation, but here's a link to the production website, complete with an FAQ and their plans to make a sequel.
posted by armage at 9:19 PM on April 26, 2006


Never thought I'd ever say this, but it might've been better with costumes.
Great job nonetheless, though.

Question: Since there aren't crossguards on light sabres, why not just you know, slice off your opponent's hands when you're in those cliches?
If they're energy-based, how do sabres create friction against each other? The Force? Static cling?

And was it just me, or did anyone else hear Milhouse exclaim "My glasses!" at the 3:15 mark?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:20 PM on April 26, 2006


From the FAQ

Where was this shot, and what is that thing in the background?
RvD was filmed at Carco Electronics, who built flight simulators for the aerospace industry. The machine in the background is a satellite tracking positioner, the specifications of which were top secret. After the machine was finished being built, it was shipped off to an "undisclosed location".


I just got this mental picture of a some spy agency employing image analysts to comb over this video. A whole department of deathly serious men in suits staring intently at... two accomplished geeks fighting with lightsabers.
posted by Richard Daly at 9:22 PM on April 26, 2006


Oh, and here's some info on the camera they used, the Canon GL-1. (An updated version, the GL2, is the current production model.)
posted by armage at 9:23 PM on April 26, 2006


Freakin' awesome.
posted by bshort at 9:54 PM on April 26, 2006



Eh. Duality was much better.

No... This is just a bit geeky... duality is a bit gay...

Never thought I'd ever say this, but it might've been better with costumes.


No, it would have been gay...

I think it's rockin'. Anyone out there pooh-poohing, let's see your amazing film clip, please?


Well I wasn't pooh-poohing it, but here ya go... am i plugging this to much? yes? ok... ill get my coat....
posted by Meccabilly at 1:19 AM on April 27, 2006


Meccabilly: here's the link to Ryan's site. Apparently he was at LucasArts for about a year but is now at Stargate Digital.

Stauf (and others): the guy at the end is, indeed, his clone. It's an inside joke, I believe. Ryan has a number of experimental fx videos up on his site, most of which involve him cloning himself.
posted by zanni at 1:35 AM on April 27, 2006


Dammit. Here is a link to Ryan's site.
posted by zanni at 1:36 AM on April 27, 2006


Meccabilly: here's the link to Ryan's site.

Woo cheers!

The kid is a good compsoitor and vfx artist, I personally think the 3D particle effect inspired by harry potter is his best individual piece of work on his site and good luck to him working in the post production industry, he's got the talent to do well.

Also liked that he included detailed tutorials, this kind of thing is exactly what helps kids get into the industry and hes done it the right way.
posted by Meccabilly at 2:52 AM on April 27, 2006


Man oh man that was boring

Nicely done, but after about a minute my attention span starts acting up and off I go thinking about how I have never understood what people like about Star Wars in the first place. Or Star Trek for than matter. I do like Dark Star though... ... sorry what were we talking about?...
posted by beno at 2:54 AM on April 27, 2006


Cool beans!

At first I was wondering why Dorkman was clutching his arm behind his back, and then I remembered that if I was fighting with an energy sword, I would likely chop off all the fingers of my left hand attempting some twirly stunt move.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:12 AM on April 27, 2006


robocop is bleeding, I actually thought it was an homage to the final lightsaber battle in Empire, where Darth Vader is fighting all badass, calm and one-handed while Luke is wailing on him for all he's worth. But I'm probably over-geeking it.
posted by Cyrano at 7:25 AM on April 27, 2006


I think I liked Duality better...
posted by WinnipegDragon at 9:11 AM on April 27, 2006


I wasn't into it at first, but after about a minute of film time or so, I just went with the flow and ended up liking it more than I thought at first. All I kept thinking was, "Yes, yes, this looks great, but can they write dialogue like Lucas?".
posted by Cyrie at 9:15 AM on April 27, 2006


Dorkman--great name.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:17 AM on April 27, 2006


Tho they're still not gonna get girlfriends spending all thier time on this sorta thing...



*cough*
posted by craniac at 9:57 AM on April 27, 2006


Apologies for the Fark moment.
posted by craniac at 10:12 AM on April 27, 2006


I know it's irrational but I love the internet.
posted by Dick Paris at 10:16 AM on April 27, 2006


The ryanvsdorkman.com website is based on a table layout. They obviously don't know what they're doing.
posted by thisisdrew at 2:46 PM on April 27, 2006


Oh my god funbags in a Star Wars lightsaber thread ?
posted by elpapacito at 3:48 PM on April 27, 2006


I think it was pretty awesome.

jedi breakfast was funny as well.
posted by Julnyes at 7:42 PM on April 27, 2006


I want one of those dildos.
posted by homunculus at 8:22 PM on April 27, 2006


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