For those of you who were around ten years ago when the internet was running at a blazing 56kbps you may recall TheForce.net hosting a film titled "TROOPS", by Kevin Rubio. Well its been ten years and we wanted to recognize Kevin and his talented team for creating such an entertaining and well put together production for everyone to enjoy. This film in my personal opinion is what started the fan film craze within the Star Wars fan community. I tracked Kevin down recently and here's a little something he wanted to share with everyone.
TROOPS - TEN YEARS?!
Hey everyone, Dustin and the guys now running TFN asked if I'd write a little something to mark the occasion - the tenth anniversary of TROOPS.
For those who don't know, my name is Kevin Rubio, and I'm the guy who wrote and directed the film. But as I said in my original "Word From The Director" back in 1998; TROOPS is the result of many talented professional who were and are still working in the entertainment industry today.
Ten years ago (eleven actually, as TROOPS first showed at the 1997 Comic Con) all any of us were trying to do was carve a place for ourselves in the industry. The "gray market" tape "Santa vs. Jesus" made by Trey Parker and Matt Stone had just made the rounds in town and my friends and I would sit around and lament, "Why didn't we do that?"
So TROOPS was initially an attempt to ride the current "wave/trend" in Hollywood that was getting people noticed. Little did any of us realize that we would be fore runners of an entirely new trend that has now grown into the likes of youtube, funyordie, and other such flash download sites to create a new form and place for distribution of content.
Back then the standard speed for the "net" was a 28k or 56k line. Apple had just released Quicktime 2.0 And TROOPS took over 24 hours to download. And the majority of people thought "the net" was a bad Sandra Bullock movie. Yet (thankfully) people still wanted to see it. It was a first, and while not wholly original, it was a new and original way of distribution.
I don't think most people ever plan on being the first in anything. I like to think that, as with TROOPS, it happens by accident more often than we realize. I have done other things in the entertainment industry, including the up coming new series: THE CLONE WARS, But TROOPS is still by far my most recognized and well known contribution in the world of entertainment. I think it is so because so many other talented people contributed to it.
I'm told that TROOPS inspired a lot of people to make their own film of "fan film", and for that I'm happy to share in the thanks and blame for that. I've always thought that the medium of film is at its best when there is a collaboration between many talented individuals - each adding to the whole, making it better than it was before.
So if there are any young aspiring film makers out there, my parting words are to you. Be nice to your friends. You never now when you may need one of them to haul a 20 lbs. camera up the side of a cliff in fading light. Feed your crews well. (see reason one). Trust the people you hire, to do the job you hire them to do. Never take anything said in anger on a set personal. We all have our bad days. It's only film (or now a days memory space). No shot is worth getting yourself killed over. And finally, in the immortal words of "somebody": "Pain is temporary. Film lasts forever..." Long live TROOPS and all films made under the same amount of passion, dedication, cooperation, and love.
-Thanks To: Charlotte, Shant, Patrick, Eric, Caleb, Dave, Kohar, Kennar, Marnie, Dave H., Dave M. Bryant, Jess, Kam, Drew, Bill, Steve, Scott, Chris, TFN, Film Freak, Lucasfilm Langley Productions George and all who helped make TROOPS the internet landmark that is is and always will be.
You can download TROOPSright here at TFN. Also, look for Kevin to be on an upcoming episode of the Force-Cast with Jason & Pete. Once again, thank you Kevin for such a wonderful film. Now, where's part 2?!?
UPDATE: Kevin wanted everyone to know that if you want the absolute best copy of TROOPS for your own DVD collection that a transfer from his original copy is available on the recently released COPS 20th anniversary as bonus content. Click here to grab a copy today!