Success of the saber
When Art of the Saber
was released on FXhome.com on January 1st 2003 it was immediately popular. Even an audience fatigued by endless lightsaber tests found the movie to be a thrilling and artfully crafted piece, as evidenced by its position at the top of the charts for months.
"We really didnt know what to expect," says Calvin. "The response to our original proof-of-concept, created one year prior, had favourable reviews and we felt that we put a lot more effort into the finished product. Obviously we were hoping the reponse would be positive and we are thrilled that it's in the top 10 favourites on FXHome."
Of course, the nature of the internet ensures that there is no longer such a thing as a 'limited run' - once something has been released, if popular it will continue to spread out across the globe. Links to Art of the Saber
are still appearing on news, film and Star Wars-related websites, its distribution now no longer under the Ho brothers' control. This isn't something that Calvin worries about, though - in fact, far from it. "It's great! It's always nice to know that people enjoy the work that you do. And it's even more wonderful to know that they enjoy it so much so that they pass it on to their friends, mention it on different web forums, or link it from different websites." The internet also enables an unprecedented level of feedback for filmmakers, as Calvin explains: "We receive nice e-mails from all over the world about how people enjoy the film and how it's inspired them to make their own. It's really nice to see that our project has had such an impact on people."Opening doors
Now to the news you've all been waiting for. Calvin recently paid a visit to the Sony motion-capture studio in San Diego, in order to provide some of the familiar Art of the Saber
moves for a new version of the Star Wars: Galaxies
online multiplayer computer game, developed by LucasArts and Sony Online.
Let's start at the beginning again. This exciting turn of events began when Calvin received an email from the art director of the aforementioned game. Sony Online were looking to add new content to the game and had encountered Art of the Saber
whilst browsing players' feedback. "Some of the users were discussing the saber battle from our film and how it should be incorporated into the game. In reading this, the director downloaded our movie, watched it, apparently enjoyed it, and contacted us to see if we would be interested in helping them."
As Calvin says, it was "a really cool opportunity", and he soon found himself covered in small optical sensors and recreating Art of the Saber
in a hi-tech Sony studio. "The studio is located in the PlayStation development building, so the environment was pretty cool." The motion-capture studio consisted of 20 cameras, all capturing the data from the optical sensors that would later be translated into character animation for the game. Calvin performed over 200 separate moves, that "included everything from simple blocks to 5-hit combos. I spent two days filming and I was exhausted! But I had a great time and it was a wonderful experience. I would definitely do it again."
The new content is scheduled for a January release, so anybody interested should start honing their skills. "I don't think anyone has
become a Jedi yet but, once they do, they will see some pretty cool moves in the game including all of the trademark Art of the Saber
moves from backbends to spin sabers." If you've wanted to make your own lightsaber fight ever since watching Art of the Saber
but lack the necessary skills, it would seem that Star Wars: Galaxies
is your best bet!The next big thing
Unfortunately, we have not had anymore movies from the Ho brothers since Art of the Saber
. While any subsequent movies would have a lot to live up to, they certainly haven't retired from filmmaking just yet.
A sequel to Art of the Saber
is planned, but filming ran over-schedule this summer. The project should be completed next summer - they may not be prolific, but if all their work is up to Art of the Saber
quality, then it should be worth the wait!
The brothers are currently looking for a female actress and martial artist in the Maryland DC area - so if you fit the bill or know of anybody who does, this may be your chance to appear in the next big thing...Click here to watch Art of the Saber
Click here to find out more about Star Wars: Galaxies