With today’s release of Blade Runnder 2049 by director Denis Villeneuve, this week’s Fan Film Friday will start out by investigating a couple of fan film projects inspired by the cult classic original.
TEARS IN THE RAIN (2017)
From the very opening of this fan film, the soundtrack immediately evokes the tone and the feel of Blade Runner. Starring, written and directed by Christopher Grant Harvey, this fan film does a great job of seamlessly fitting into that universe, while also standing on its own with a compelling story, dialogue and acting. The cinematography and lighting also reflect Blade Runner’s sci-fi noir look, and the close-ups allow us into the performances across the table. These actors pull you in right away, and make you care for the characters. The use of a single location works for telling a concise, yet complete story arc.
SLICE OF LIFE – TRAILER (2017)
Unfortunately, this film is not yet complete. But, while watching it, my jaw dropped at the scale and production quality of the cityscape shots and the visual effects. I absolutely cannot wait to see this completed, especially if it’s at the level this trailer presents. For more updates on their production, and to see how they were able to accomplish such great shots on a smaller budget, take a ride in a spinner over to their official YouTube page.
Now we go from cyberpunk, to the dystopian post-apocalypse of the Fallout video game franchise. A lot of great fan films have been inspired by the games, and it seems that you cannot discuss Fallout fan films, without mentioning the Nuka Break series by Wayside Digital.
FALLOUT: NUKA BREAK (2011)
This is the first fan film produced by Wayside Digital, and acts as more of a standalone story and affectionate parody of the Fallout games. More specifically the critically and fan acclaimed Fallout: New Vegas. Our main characters are Twig, a man from Vault 10, who is on a quest across the wasteland for his favorite drink: Nuka Cola. There is also Scarlett, an escaped slave and Ben, a ghoul with amazing make-up prosthetics.
FALLOUT: NUKA BREAK – COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (2013)
Following the success of the above short, Wayside Digital followed it up with an episodic series that continues the misadventures of Twig, Scarlett and Ben in the wasteland. Later, it was re-edited into a complete film. Scattered throughout are more easter eggs for Fallout players to discover. As well, they actually filmed the opening scene in the real world town of Goodsprings, Nevada where the player in New Vegas starts their adventure. What’s also notable is the introduction of the New California Republic (NCR) Ranger called Red Star, who begins the tonal shift into something slightly more serious.
FALLOUT: NUKA BREAK – COMPLETE SECOND SEASON (2015)
Once more, Wayside Digital filmed a second season of Nuka Break, then put it all together into a single movie, even longer than the first season re-edit. With each installment, the production value is increased. The costumes, armor and make-up prosthetics look even more realistic, the cinematography and action choreography can rival Hollywood’s and the actors give it their all in their performances. By the time this ends, the tone and direction is something a lot more dramatic than the very original and very comedic Nuka Break short.
FALLOUT: RED STAR (2016)
With the massively positive reception to the Nuka Break fan series, Wayside Digital has begun to create spin-off shorts focusing on different characters. This one follows Red Star, the NCR Ranger who first appeared in Nuka Break season one. Though in terms of story, it definitely exists as its own individual narrative. Interestingly enough, this seems far more bleak and heavy compared to the previous productions of Wayside. The color tones and the cinematography out in the middle of a vast nowhere really add to this desolate tone. Once more, with each addition from Wayside, the costumes, visual effects and the action are even better than before.
As one can tell with these fan-made productions to Blade Runner and Fallout, that the passion for fandom drives these filmmakers into delivering high-end and sometimes breathtaking films for their fellow fans. This passion can be seen in the highly detailed costumes, the quality visual effects, the picturesque cinematography as well as the dedicated acting and everything else that goes into delivering quality film-making. Hollywood, take note of these people.
Nick Corbin is a filmmaker and writer who hails from Boise, Idaho. When he isn’t busy acting, or writing a screenplay for his own production company, Nick can be found consuming any geek media he can get his hands on. To start a conversation, ask him about the latest cosplay he is working on.