A Word from Dave Bundtzen
Director of "ROGUE"
When I set out to do a Star Wars fan film the one question everyone asked me was "why?" Well I really didn't have a clear answer. My first impulse would be to say that ever since I was a boy I had always wanted to direct a Star Wars film. But that was only part of the reason. The rest was unclear to me - all I knew it was something that I wanted to accomplish.
This is how we were able to bring Rogue to the screen:
I wanted to do something very different for Rogue. Most fan films that I had seen were about Jedi or from the rebellion point of view. I wanted to do something about the empire. I felt that I wanted to do a western style movie set the Star Wars universe. Many of the western themes are present in Rogue, including a military officer who was AWOL - trying to escape from his past.
Many of the films I used for reference were the works of Sergio Leone, like For A Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
I had the beginning of a story, and then I got in contact with James DeRuvo (known as Semaj from TFN's message boards). James agreed to help flesh out the story and write the script. We collaborated very closely. Once we got the story locked down, the script was started in April 2000. While James was writing, I was creating storyboards for many of the scenes. After writing numerous drafts, Rogue finally emerged and it's amazing how a story can evolve from the first draft to the final draft when you work to get the story perfect.
Now it was time to make the film. Many of the key crew positions were filled with friends I had worked with on past projects. These included Director of Photography Danny Dimitroff and Production Designer Robert Bernard. Word of mouth and fate assembled the remaining crew. These professionals which, would include Costume Designer Steve Myers, Art Director Jeff Jackson, and Make Up Artist Tommy Sepagan, made it clear that I had a top-notch crew, which I will definitely work with again.
So now, with script in hand and a crew ready to film, the question remained, who was going to play our characters? We started casting in July 2000. The cast, ironically, came from literally all over the world - from Karl Granehed (Sweden) to Osman Soykut (Turkey) to Bonnie MacBird, Gregory Lee Kenyon, Wendy Gough and Steve Meyers in the good ole USA. The actors assembled give the film such an international flavor that I feel that the cast that was chosen was the most talented and professional I have ever worked with.
We immediately started rehearsals. During this time, I like to direct rehearsals in a manner to allow my actors to feel they can try anything. I am very open to improvisations and ad-libbing. We rehearsed for over one month. Many of the actor's adlibs that were done in rehearsals were
eventually added into the film.
September 13, 2000 principal photography began. The shoot went very smoothly considering the tiny budget that we had (and I do mean tiny). We shot for five days in Tapia Park and Vasquez Rocks in Los Angeles. We shot for two days on a stage in Burbank for all the interior shots.
Once Rogue moved into postproduction, I knew that I had something special. Post took 5 months to complete. Eric "Mistafinaga" Johnson created most of the CGI, with Rob Bernard filling in the gaps. I cut the film and added the many SPFX shots (blaster and lightsaber effects) and sound effects.
Rogue took seven days to shoot and months of hard work by many talented people. Rogue has been a labor of love for all involved. So now when people ask me "why, did you make a Star Wars fan film? I can say without hesitation "for my cast and crew who busted their collective asses for me. Thus, Rogue is dedicated to them.
Thank you for all your hard work.
I hope that you enjoy Rogue. I enjoyed making it. My greatest hope is that it will inspire more fan films to be made.