Super 8 Animation
(1981, Lafe and Jeff Films)
Running Length - 3 min. 30 sec.
This was the very first film I ever made. I was a member of the media club
in junior high school grade 7. A classmate of mine Jeff Kushner and I had
high aspirations and wanted to make our own STAR WARS movie. We would use
Kenner's action figures as actors. It would be shot on Super 8 film. We
only had three and a half minutes to work with, so we chose our favorite
scenes from STAR WARS and we would recreate them. The camera had a single-frame
feature, so we would animate our toys and ships.
I drew my own 20th Century Fox logo and colored it with
pencil crayons for the fanfare. We shot this.
For the famous phrase "A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far
Far Away..." I applied blue stick-on letters to a piece of black cardboard
and shot it with the camera. It turned out grey
We shot the letters from the STAR WARS soundtrack album
for the main title. We couldn't make it zoom away like on the real movie,
but it did the job.
Starfields were simply a black piece of fabric with white
dots drawn on it.
Laser beams and lightsabers were created in post-production
by scratching a line across the emulsion of each film frame with a sharp
pin at the proper places. The light of the projector shon through the scratches,
giving the effect of white beams of light. We filled in some of the scratch
lines with ink to have different colours of lasers.
Luke's landspeeder was shown speeding across the desert
floor thanks to an off-camera push and the expansive yellow carpet of our
The famous scene of Han Solo shooting Greedo in the Cantina
was recreated with the appropriate action figures, and the Kenner Cantina
Playset backdrop. We used single-frame animation with the figures, which
were not very articulate.
We also did the lightsaber duel with Ben Kenobi and Darth
Vader, making sure to color Vader's lightsaber beam pink in post-production.
The surface of our Death Star was created with white styrofoam
packing materials. We had one diecast X-Wing ship and one TIE Fighter for
the small-scale battle.
We included a preview of The Empire Strikes Back by shooting
a Boba Fette and Lando figure against the cover of an early-release novel-sized
Empire comic adaptation.
The movie was shown with the audio accompaniment of Meco's
Star Wars disco theme played on cassette.
A copy of this movie no longer exists. One of our cats
got ahold of the reel of Super-8 film and tore it apart. I was disappointed
at the time.