Interview with Filmmaker Lance Hopper (STAR WARS: FALLEN KNIGHTS)

Directed by Lance Hopper
Kidnapped! Jedi Knights Pem’Aiara and Tala Vane have been abducted by the evil Galactic Empire. Taking place 3 years after the Great Jedi Purge, our heroes must face brutal truths about their beliefs while being interrogated by the insidious Commander Strand. After being beaten by a Purge Trooper, all looks hopeless for these brave Jedi as they prepare to meet The Emperor himself…

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

My motivation to make this film was based around my start in filmmaking, as Star Wars was the first film franchise I saw and really latched onto as a young lad. I felt as though certain elements of the Disney Star Wars universe had lost the grimey and dirty feel of the original trilogy, and I wanted to bring that back a little, with the added inclusion of making the Empire scary, as they once were.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

The original idea for the Star Wars: Fallen Knights project was to do a feature-length fan film, written in 2018. The project was about to begin pre-production immediately as the pandemic hit, and then it had to take a back seat. Eventually, once things calmed down and I met more talented crew members who could help bring the vision to light, the stage and timing was set for this project to come to pass!

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Passionate Storytelling

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacle were some of the restraints involved in the location and set design; our set designer caught Covid after the first week of shooting, and it seemed like we were going to be unable to finish the last 2 days! Thanks to our talented administrative staff and other art department, we were still able to continue while he caught EOD updates!

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

My initial reactions: “Oh my gosh I’m SO GLAD the art direction came through the way I wanted it. I’m so glad people are recognizing the characters as I intended them and people enjoy the fresh take on changing the bad guys into ‘not-all-bad-guys’!”

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

2008 lead me to The Dark Knight, which showed me what a talented cast of actors and a clear vision can do to make a story come to life!

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Probably Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest , or Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I’m so sorry, I didn’t attend the festival, I got caught up in life stuff 😦

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Film Freeway has been an amazing website that I’ve enjoyed using every step of the way to submit to festivals!

10. What is your favorite meal?

I kill for a classic pan seared salmon on a bed of white rice and a side of lemon. Simple and enjoyable!

11. What is next for you? A new film?

The next project I’m working on is a TV series called ‘Chad’ that me and my producing partner finished a proof of concept for!


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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