Noah J Nelson on Monday, Apr. 11th
There have been a number of popular fan films over the years, Batman: Dead End and Troops come to mind as two of the most popular. What happened last week was almost unprecedented: a fan film was given the full Hollywood treatment.
Stephanie Thorpe and Paula Rhodes’ Elfquest: A Fan Imagining is a trailer length project that gives fans of the comic book series Elfquest their first taste of a cinematic version of the much beloved fantasy series. As Liz Shannon Miller reports, the project was funded through an IndieGoGo project and had the blessing of the comic book’s creators Richard and Wendy Pini.
With the blessing of the creators and a cast packed with some of New Media’s most famous actresses, the trailer reached a fever pitch of buzz at Wondercon. Last week, the Screen Actor’s Guild gave the trailer a red carpet premiere, as the project was produced under the auspices of the Guild’s New Media contract.
We reached out to actress/producers Thorpe and Rhodes to talk about how the project came together.
TURNSTYLE: I’ve never seen this much buzz around a fan film– let alone a fan trailer– before it hits. What alchemy do you possess that others don’t?
Hehehe, I don’t know that we possess any particular alchemy, but we certainly knew what we were doing by casting so many talented women of the web who came complete with fan followings. We also have the strength of the tight knit web community behind us, and we couldn’t have done it without them. A lot of the magic we’ve had surrounding this project probably just has to be chalked up to the fact that we both so passionately love elfquest, and have for so many years, that each hour of work we poured into it was a joy. Do what you love.
You’ve pulled together quite the rouge’s gallery of well-known internet video stars– lonelygirl15’s Jessica Rose, Galacticast’s Casey McKinnon, and Sorority Forever‘s Taryn Southern among others– how’d your cast come together?
As mentioned, the web community all interacts out here in LA, and so we are lucky enough to call all of these amazing actors and multi-hyphenates friends, so when we first realized we were both fans of Elfquest (via a twitter convo), we began jokingly casting the series with all of these gals that we knew (who happen to look a lot
like the elves). There were even more first mentioned than we were able to cast in the final trailer, which speaks to the volumes of talent in this sphere. But when we had that moment of realization of “wait, we are producers, we could actually make this,” we were blessed in that all of the actors we had mentioned wanted to work with us on this project. The stars aligned.
How long have you been fans of Elfquest?
Stephanie fell in love with it when she was 8 and her family came across a copy while on vacation (that they all couldn’t put down), and Paula became a fan at 6 when her dad took her to the comic book store to pick out a series they could read together. She chose wisely.
The series is in development over at Warner Brothers. Is this an attempt to sway development execs… and to what end? Pick up the pace? Give you a shot at the project?
This is a passion project made by us as fans. It was made in the hope that it could serve as a rallying point for fans (who will hopefully show up in droves) so that the studio can see solid numbers and get excited enough to bring us an amazing feature film in the near future.
Beyond that, it was a huge check on our bucket list – I mean we got to be characters we’ve loved for years and won our childhood heroes stamp of approval. Of course, should Warner Brothers ever want to work with us in any capacity, we’d be thrilled. How amazing would it be if anyone from our team got to work on the feature? Oh my gawd, our hearts flutter.
Protip: The ENTIRE run of Elfquest comics are available for free– legally- at the Elfquest website.
Casey McKinnon • comic books • Elfquest • fan films • Galacticast • Jessica Rose • lonelygirl15 • Paula Rhodes • Richard and Wendy Pini • Sorority Forever • Stephanie Thorpe • Taryn Southern • Warner Bros. • Warner Brothers