Earlier today, I posted an utterly charming Super 8 remake of A New Hope, done in the summer of 1977 by some junior high kids in the full fervor of their nascent fanboy enthusiasm. Not only was it delightful, wistful and unironic, but it was technologically ingenious: What is most amazing about it is that a bunch of kids could have shoved together their allowances and come up with something that almost looks as good as the original.
I’d like to juxtapose them with Backyard Productions, a contemporary group of filmmakers roughly doing the same thing. Their average film costs around £3,000 (about 10,000 times the budget of the Super-8ers) and they do most of the work on a PC: knocking up toys and CGI models on the cheap while inserting light sabers and laser bolts post-production.
They seem enthusiastic enough, but once you actually check out their films, what’s most shocking is how, even with the help of modern technology, they still appear less polished than those amped up kids of 1977. I think a large part of what’s missing is earnestness: Though fanboys too, they have 30 years of Star Wars lore pushed between tongue and cheek. Those Super 8-ers, on the other hand, were working upon the pure impulse of their love for the movie. That hardcore affection makes their film feel substantial in a way far greater than CGI light sabers ever could.Read More