Dan Mason, the winner of last years Hasbro Mini Movie Awards, has been in touch.


This year his film, The Phantom Medalists, has been shortlisted in the final 19 of the 2007 Star Wars Fan Movie Challenge.  The awards ceremony is taking place at Celebration IV next Sunday and Dan is going.


Dan encourages people “to spend two minutes registering at Atom Films and voting for my film”


Take the link below and watch the film, it really is great.


Dan is up against some tough competition from the likes of Chad Vader and Pink Five and needs all the help he can get – lets make it a British win!


Read on for the interview I did with Dan last year* after he’d won, and I hope to catch up with him again on his return from Celebration IV… *Kindly reproduced wih permission by Dan Mason


Interview with Dan Mason


What was the inspiration?
I wanted to do something that was funny and stayed true to the characters and spirit of the original trilogy.  Wanted to show a certain amount of respect but show some silliness.  I wanted to make C-3PO the star because he’s a brilliant character to write for. I don’t understand why he was written out of the Prequel Trilogy as he’s such a good character to write for.


How long did it take you to create the film?
Absolutely ages!  Script came really quickly.  Sets took quite a long time as I didn’t have a lot of reference photos.  It was based on Yavin 4 and the 365 Days book helped.  I did lots of tests of how close you could get to the characters.  It took a month and a half or possibly longer.


How many other people were involved?
My Dad helped building with the sets and some puppetry, as did my girlfriend and Barney who was the editor.  Ryan very kindly let me have a piece of music that he wrote and that was the music that I used for the band – it was looped.


Is there anything you wanted to do that you couldn’t?
Yes quite a lot of stuff.  I spent a lot of time making a Yavin 4 sentry post and we couldn’t use it.  The original intention was to see that the man in the turret outside was outside and didn’t get to go to the party at all!  This all ended up on the cutting room floor.


How did you create the film…?
Mix of things.  I used Sony Vegas to get a temporary audio track first and added sound effects and then I gave that to the editor and we used Final Cut Pro.  It was a MAC/PC.  I used Vegas and various bear noises to create the voice of Chewbacca.  Creating the voice of R2 was probably the hardest as I don’t have any 1970’s synthesizers. 


Were you surprised you won?
I was confident because I put a lot of work and effort in.  Thought I had a good chance but you never know.


Was this your first film?
I’ve been making little films for many years when the fancy takes me but this was the first Star Wars thing that I’ve ever done.


Did Atom approach you?
Yes they did.  I think Hasbro must have tipped them off.  It will be up on Atom very soon.


Apparently Lucasfilm have seen it and like it…
I’m thrilled to hear that.  That’s fantastic… it’s the best news I’ve had.


What are you going to do with your prize money?
I have to give some of it to my editor unfortunately and I had to source quite a lot of figures so it costs quite a bit and I had to re buy quite a lot of figures.  That’s why Wedge turns up in his package so that I didn’t have to open in.  I’m going to reinvest the money into more creative products.


What stuff do you collect?
I’m very selective but I like obscure stuff and I stick with Hasbro stuff, I love the new Astromech packs.  I’m more a fan of the Original Trilogy and I have a bit of everything including Lego here and there.  It was typical that the new Saga R5D4 came out just as I wrapped as I had to use the original Palitoy version.


More Star Wars films…
You never know…


SOURCEAtom Films

James is an active member of the Star Wars Collecting Community and as well as being the Brand Manager for Jedi News, James is the host of the Collectors Cast, and co-host of Radio 1138 on the Jedi News Network.