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Spotlight: Power Corps

Posted: Wed, 8th Oct 2003, 12:15pm

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Simon K Jones

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Blasting onto the scene unannounced at the same time as the FXhome.com launch a few months back, the slick and action-packed Power Corps trailer left people wondering two things - who made it and when would there be more to see?

The man in charge of Power Corps, Christian Viel (known as JohnCarter round here), was kind enough to sit down and answer a few of our probing questions, despite still being busy finishing the film. "The movie was supposed to come out as a half-hour complete story in September," says Christian, explaining what's happened since the first trailer was released, "then we found some investors in Critical Mass, a Toronto distributor that specialises in horror, sci-fi and action films."

With the new funding, Christian and his team have been given the financial freedom to expand Power Corps into a full-length feature. Christian elaborates - "It's not a lot of money but we'll be able to a good job with it. The full movie should see the light of day in December!"

The first Power Corps trailer took most of us by surprise, being Christian's first submitted film and having no real pre-release hype. Although it was his first work to be seen at FXhome.com, it certainly wasn't his first foray into filmmaking: "I started making movies when I was about twelve years old. We shot at least a movie a year, mainly during the summer." Whilst studying Chemistry at university ("My parents thought that filmmaking wasn't a truly good option to earn a living") he shot an S-VHS movie called Warriors of the Last Day. "It took a week to shoot in a sand pit that looked like a desert and we had such a blast that I decided to go to film school."

Christian didn't stay long at film school, instead taking a teacher's advice and spending his money on making a feature. "I shot a cop movie in 16mm for $50,000. It was insane! Took two years to complete but it opened the door for me to do music and corporate videos, as it became a calling card of sorts. I've been doing short films ever since (now over 50 of them!), mostly financed by myself."

An experienced filmmaker, to be sure. So where did the idea for Power Corps come from? "The original idea came from Anderson Bradshaw, a friend of mine who is an ex-army vet and now works professionally as an actor and stuntman. Being an army vet, he loves Aliens and it's realistic portrayal and has wanted to do something like that for almost ten years."

Of course, Aliens was a major motion picture directed by James "less is not more, more is more" Cameron that had a not-inconsiderable budget to play with - how does Christian intend to capture some of that cinematic brilliance on a fraction of the funds? "Both Andy and I have overblown imaginations, so we tend to think big landscapes, impressive vistas and truckloads of special effects in each movie. When I found AlamDV I saw the potential to do a lot of the effects I didn't know how to do."

Computer effects are one thing - but the trailer also showed excellent production values on the set itself. "On a no-budget or low-budget film, the location is also your set. I write the script around the location." Lacking a large lighting budget, Christian visited the location prior to filming and noted the movement of the sun, logging when each area was lit perfectly using just natural light. "There was no way I could light that location convincingly without hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of lights. On the day, we ended up running from one location to the next following the sun and we designed our shooting schedule accordingly!"

The good news is that there is a new Power Corps trailer out today, revealing all-new footage from the feature version. You should all be able to see the final results of Christian and his team's work in December. And what can we expect to see in the finished movie? I'll let Christian sum it up - "Explosions, gunfights, spaceship battles, steel mites, three-headed reptiles, strange planets, aliens, stunts, goo - and did I mention explosions?"

Click here to check out the new Power Corps trailer!
Click here to watch the first trailer.
Behind-the-scenes

Directing the troops

Vamp feeding

Marines in the sun

Last edited Wed, 10th Dec 2003, 4:56pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 8th Oct 2003, 1:28pm

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Redhawksrymmer

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Holy Macaronie!

I can't wait! biggrin
Posted: Wed, 8th Oct 2003, 3:37pm

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Sollthar

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Excellent Spotlight again!


Looking forward a lot to see this film and I'm very happy to see and hear that you are successful in what you want to do Christian.

Good luck with the film and good luck with all the next ones as well. smile
Posted: Wed, 8th Oct 2003, 3:49pm

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Andreas

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Rating: +1

Well, tarn, can you write anything that isnt excellent? dosent seem so!

Good luck Christian!
Posted: Wed, 8th Oct 2003, 3:54pm

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er-no

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Really looking forward to seeing the full length production Christian. I remember the emails I sent you asking you about the very first on-location photographs. The new trailer makes it look awesome and I can tell its going to brilliant.


Nice spotlight again! Always worth the read. smile
Posted: Wed, 8th Oct 2003, 5:02pm

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Ice_Man

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You won't be able to freely give out the feature version on line, will you?
I mean, it would surprise me a lot if your distibution compnay didn't pitch a fit over that. . . . .

That said, I along with everyone else here eagerly anticipate the December coming of PowerCorps.


I'm sure a million people have volunteered, but if there's anything I can help you with (CG work, effects compositing) please let me know.
Posted: Wed, 8th Oct 2003, 5:59pm

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JohnCarter

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Tarn, that was a really nice piece. Somehow I feel consecrated! To get an article just like other hard working fellas like Sollthar, b4uask and the DXM guys is an honor...

Thanks ot evrybody else for their nice comments! Working hard at trying to make it good! biggrin

Iceman, I do not know yet about the final aspects of the distribution...
But most likely you are right. But between us, I'm already sending free copies to everybody who's helping me out.

If you are serious about the help, I sure wouldn't mind. 3D is where I am in most needs. I have all the models already made, just need the animation. I'll PM you for the details.

C.
Posted: Wed, 8th Oct 2003, 6:02pm

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Ice_Man

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I suspected as much about the distribution. but only time will tell.
What free copies, what are you talking about? wink

Very serious about the help. Let me know.
Posted: Thu, 9th Oct 2003, 7:44am

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b4uask30male

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Well written Tarn.

I'm really glad that John Carter posted his first trailer on here, since then I've made a good friend and someone I aspire to be like.

Keep at it.
B4
Posted: Thu, 9th Oct 2003, 1:05pm

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Coureur de Bois

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As always, great article Tarn. JohnCarter, I had no idea you've made so many short films, that is really awesome. But anyone who's seen the Power Corps trailer knows it's obvious that you're no rookie. Keep up the good work smile
Posted: Fri, 10th Oct 2003, 12:05am

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averagejoe

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Spot on as always Tarn. Really cool article. The production looks fantastic. Good luck to John Carter , his crew and the cast of players. I will assume when the distro comes out that John will share it so we can all buy it biggrin
Posted: Thu, 16th Oct 2003, 2:29pm

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Greybro

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smile

I must admit I'm eagerly awaiting this film. The new preview looks great. The blonde actress is a dead ringer for Pita Wilson with the glasses on.

Enjoyed this article and just can't wait to see this film.