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"We never started out with a running time in our heads," he explains. "The first two Stargates were 18 minutes each, the last two were 30 minutes. After we had made the first two sci-fi-online wanted to give away dvd copies, so the third and fourth films I tried to make longer."
Now, however, Ian is leaving his roots behind and heading into a new arena with his upcoming film Starship Troopers: Smoothnecks. "I wanted to move away from Stargate because I felt I had gone as far as I could - I had been reviewed on most of the Stargate sites and felt that our films had reached the most viewers it could," says Ian. "What to make next? The truth is I love the Troopers film and saw a Poser bug on Renderosity..." Never one to take the easy route, Ian had the idea to make the film in good old-fashioned 3D, complete presumably with arachnids jumping out of the screen at every opportunity. "With each film I like to try things that I've not done before and I had always wanted to make a 3D film but never knew how." By splitting the image into layers and applying red and blue tinting, Ian can achieve a 3D effect, adjusting the tint to alter the distance - and marking a first for the FXhome.com Cinema.
Of course, since beginning the project the real movie world has delivered a few surprises, with the release of Spy Kids 3D - the first 3D film to get a wide theatrical release for many years - and the announcement that Starship Troopers 2 is in production. "At the time I had no idea that they was making a sequel. And someone on FXhome was the first to tell me about Spy Kids, after I mentioned I was going to make my film 3D. So lucky timing I guess!"
Adding to Ian's films' popularity is the cooperative nature of their production, with lots of previously unacquainted people coming together to help with the process. "On second Stargate film we used FXhome members," recalls Ian. "I was short of actors and asked on the site if people would like to star in it. I think we had four people turn up for that film." The later films in the series even contained parts filmed remotely and sent to Ian for inclusion, such as Sollthar's hilarious cameo in Openday. "I wrote scenes for them and they filmed themselves. Davlin posted his DV tape to me and Spike sent his footage via ICQ."
Ian has also enlisted the help of many FXhome effects gurus, resulting in a real community atmosphere surrounding each of his projects. It's a novel way of meeting and working with fellow filmmakers, one that would have been very difficult prior to the proliferation of the internet. Indeed, modern home computer technology is taking the medium forward all the time, as Ian is only too aware: "I'm really going over each effect until it's right. There seems to be a lot of pressure on this film - I already have articles about Smoothnecks on other websites and with John Carter and Sollthar producing great work it pushes me to go that extra mile."
With Smoothnecks in the middle of production and a projected release date of early November drawing ever-closer, Ian is already looking to his future projects. "After Smoothnecks we start work on Dungeons and Dragons. There is a script on the internet for the final ever episode of the cartoon series that never got made, written by the real writer from the show. Once again I want to try something different so the whole film will be done in a cartoon style, like Waking Life."
Clearly a man never short of ideas, we can look forward to more b4uask30male epics in the future. Who knows, perhaps you'll end up starring in it!
|Want to know more?|
Check out the official Smoothnecks website!
Watch the Call It A Stargate movies:
Episode One: Call It A Stargate
Episode Two: Earthbound
Episode Three: Breakdown
Episode Four: Openday