Kickstart This: 'Batman: Dead End' Fan Film 10 Year Retrospective Doc
by Ben Pearson
March 1, 2013
Welcome back to another edition of Kickstart This, FirstShowing's weekly column dedicated to spreading the word about cool indie projects that need your help to become a reality. If you've been following the film blog community for a long time, you've probably come across a link to Sandy Collora's iconic fan film Batman: Dead End, which debuted at Comic-Con back in 2003. Now Collora and his team are putting together a documentary about the making of that project for its ten year anniversary, so take a look at their pitch video below and don't forget to toss these filmmakers a few extra bucks if you can. Check this one out!
If you were at Comic-Con ten years ago, you probably remember hearing crazy buzz about a fan film that combined Batman, Predator & Aliens all in the same universe. For reference, watch Batman: Dead End:
Pretty impressive stuff. Clerks director and outspoken Batman fan/writer/comics lover Kevin Smith once called it "possibly the truest, best Batman movie ever made." That's high praise, but keep in mind this was a couple of years before Christopher Nolan came around and changed the superhero genre forever. Collora made this short film (and also World's Finest a year later) as a way to show off his directing chops in the hopes of scoring a directing gig, which happened when he made his feature debut with Hunter Prey in 2009.
For my money, the best fan film ever made is Grayson, John Fiorella's 2004 spin on Robin that was released right around the same time as World's Finest. But credit needs to be given to Collora for popularizing fan films in such a huge way with Dead End. This project captured fanboy imaginations in a way that hadn't been seen before, and it was so popular that it actually had a slightly negative impact on his next project. Collora's World's Finest was supposed to premiere at Comic-Con in 2004, but partly due to the massive success of Batman: Dead End, Warner Bros. decreed that in order to protect their copyrights, no fan films could be played anymore at the convention.
This new documentary will show us never before seen behind the scenes footage of Dead End, as well as feature interviews with the cast and crew, and stories about who was originally going to portray Batman and The Joker in the film. It aims to answer a lot of questions about where and how the filmmakers made the movie, and shine a light on how a lot of the special effects-related moments came to be. There are also some really cool rewards for donating, from postcards and stills to a limited edition bust of Batman sculpted by Collora himself (who began his career as a sculptor and has worked with heavy hitters like Rick Baker), culminating with a chance to actually be interviewed and featured in the doc if you toss enough their way.
For more info on Batman Dead End: A Ten Year Retrospective, and to help support the project, visit its Kickstarter page. Director Sandy Collora is hoping to raise $12,500 by Thursday, March 28th, and he's just getting started with this campaign. Let's jump on board early and show him some support, and if you can't spare the cash right now, I'm sure he would appreciate you spreading the word about helping the documentary to friends of yours who enjoyed (or would enjoy) Batman: Dead End, or anyone else.
That's all for this week's Kickstart This project. Feel free to e-mail me at BenPears85@gmail.com if you come across any cool projects that might need some extra attention to meet their goals. My inbox is always open, and if you send in any Kickstarter or IndieGoGo film project, I can't always guarantee we'll feature it here, but I will definitely take a look at it. The suggestions haven't been coming in as regularly, so keep your eyes peeled for cool stuff. As always, thanks for your support of these projects, because they absolutely couldn't be completed without without the help of film lovers just like you. For our full archives, visit here.