A Word from Ryan Wieber and Michael Scott
Directors of "RYAN VS. DORKMAN"
The collaboration between the two of us actually began in competition, the lightsaber effects competition. The tight race our two competing clips ran helped us recognize that we had skills of an equal level, and shortly after that was the first idea that we should duel.
Since we lived several hundred miles apart (Michael in Los Angeles, Ryan in San Jose), that plan came to nothing for some time. When the idea of the choreography competition was proposed on the fan films message forum, at first we discussed our own disparate ideas for our own fights, but then we realized that we would be more likely to win if we shared the votes instead of risking dividing them again.
So, telling no one, we started developing a collaborative fight. Ideas for weapon types and number (double-bladed, dual-phase) were bandied about, before we finally decided that we wanted to prove that you COULD still make an exciting fight without resorting to gimmicks, and the decision was made to stick to single bladed sabers, one per combatant.
The actual collaboration process consisted of three weekends. On the first, we met in person for the first time, and spent the weekend threading together different sequences we’d each come up with, and creating new ones as well. At the end of the weekend, though not very fluid, the bulk of the final RvD (as it’s come to be called) choreography was set.
In the two weeks between this initial weekend and the weekend we designated as principal photography, we both practiced our parts, and the second weekend we spent shooting. Much of the first day was devoted to the initial 20-second fighting shot that starts the real battle, and the resulting exhaustion made much of the rest of what we shot unusable due to poor performance. Combined with some ill-chosen camera angles, and mediocre choreography, much of that first weekend’s footage was deemed unsatisfactory, and we decided to reshoot.
The third weekend, we managed to reshoot what we needed, and spent the next two or three weeks until the deadline editing and adding effects. Due to a time constraint on the length of the entry for the contest, we ended up having to split the video into two parts, and only enter part 1, which gave us a little bit of extra time to perfect the effects in that part of the sequence.
After the competition (in which our video placed first, with 54% of the total vote), we spent a few months finishing the video and sound effects for part two, while simultaneously sweetening a few shots in part one. Rereleased with music and sound effects re-mixed entirely from scratch, we’re proud that the complete RvD found hosting here at TheForce.Net.
...And keep an eye out for future collaborations. :)
Ryan Wieber and Michael Scott
Directors, Ryan vs. Dorkman