It’s hard to ignore the lure of making your own superhero movie if you have the talent, the time, the resources and the team of friends who can help you make it happen. Stefan Dezil, a drama major at Carnegie Mellon University, is in the sweet spot. With some funding provided by friends and family, he’s made a web short based on the Milestone Comics character Static Shock. Dezil jokingly explains “I really wanted to see a superhero who looked like me, and since I didn’t have enough time to buff up to do Black Panther, I thought Static was a good choice.”
Shot for just $5,000 on the RED camera system, Static Shock: Blackout is a truly impressive Static Shock fan film created by Stefan Dezil. The short was created to be released just before the late Static co-creator Dwayne McDuffie’s 50th birthday and follows a version of Daisy Watkins, the comic book love interest of Static Shock, as she seeks to discover the teenage superhero who fights crime in the dangerous Dakota City.
The costume is raw and unfinished. Dezil’s character is more serious and a bit less effusive than Phil LaMarr’s portrayal of him in the Static Shock cartoons done by Warner Brothers. And yet, the acting is solid, the basic production values are very good – and while the effects are understandably limited, they work within the story and move things forward nicely. The end result is very watchable and very pleasing. Diehard fans will quibble with the creative choices, but we think Dezil has made some good choices with the treatment of the material.
A year and a half in the making, the web short has gone viral since hitting the web, racking up nearly 26,000 views and has been featured on the Topless Robot channel on YouTube. Fans of “Static Shock” are now campaigning for a movie adaptation. It was more than just Stefan Dezil working on it, of course – he had a whole team of students from Carnegie Mellon University, The Art Institute, Syracuse University and University of Central Florida. The best news is that episode 2 is already in preproduction.
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