Father Geek here I had the chance to talk a bit with the Director of BATMAN: DEAD END, Sandy Collora, on the phone and on the record the other day. I had to keep it short because my typing skills aren't the best... Oh, by the way the wonderful Joker of this film was played by Andrew Koenig. He played Boner on Growing Pains
and is Walter 'Chekhov' Koenig's son.
Now on to Sandy Collora and my questions...
Father Geek: There¹s been a lot of talk about the presence
Of the ALIEN and the PREDATOR in this film, and
Hardcore Batman purists are saying it kind of ruins the film for them. What your opinion...
Father Geek: There¹s been a lot of talk about the presence Of the ALIEN and the PREDATOR in this film, and Hardcore Batman purists are saying it kind of ruins the film for them. What your opinion...
A: Yeah, I¹ve seen some of the talkbacks and so forth, I can understand that
point. However, I made this film as a showcase or calling card for my
filmmaking abilities. I¹m a big fan of the Batman/ Predator books, as well
as the Batman/Aliens titles, which for some reason, certain fans are writing
off, choosing not to recognize the history between these characters. What I
can say honestly is this, The crowd at the Comic Con, in BOTH showings of
the film, went completely NUTS when the creatures showed up, and there was
nothing but positive response. At the masquerade, people were literally
standing on their chairs, cheering when the Alien rises behind Batman. That
being said, I can respect people¹s opinions on the crossover, when you make
a film, or do anything creative for that matter which is put in the public
eye intentionally or unintentionally, you have to take the negative feedback
as well as the good, and be able to handle all of it with grace and
Father Geek: Your approach to the Batman costume is getting huge response as well.
Industry people like Alex Ross and Kevin Smith are calling it the best
Batman ever put on film...
A: Well, I don¹t know if it¹s the best, and frankly, I doesn¹t really
matter. It¹s the best Batman I could do at this time in the evolution of my
creative development. It¹s not better or worse than any Batman that¹s been
done thus far, it¹s just different, that¹s all. My take on the Dark Knight.
Father Geek: Do you think this can be classified as a ³fan film²...
A: Absolutely, I¹m a fan, and I made a film. The fact that I¹m an artist and
director working in the industry, or that I shot it on 35mm and not a
camcorder, should have no bearing on the classification of this film. There
are no prerequisites for making a fan film You don¹t have to be a certain
age, a certain race, color, or creed. Go make films and express yourselves.
Have fun, learn, grow, and be creative. That¹s what I did.
Father Geek: Have you heard anything from DC or Warners...
A: Having some history with DC, I was approached at the Con by several
people who work there in a creative capacity who shall remain nameless, that
told me it was absolutely amazing, and the best thing to ever happen to
Batman. Alex Ross has said publicly it was the best representation of Batman
on film, and even plugged the film at his big Panel at the Con. He¹s their
biggest, most popular artistS I think that says somethingS Something,
unfortunately DC will most likely ignore. The legal department, I¹m sure
will be sending me something soon though, asking to cease and desist. Cease
and desist WHAT I don¹t know, I¹m not selling the film, or even showing it
for that matter. If people want to see it, it¹s all over the net and I have
nothing to do with that. I can¹t help the fact that everyone on the planet
wants to see itS We live in a world of technical superiority, if something
exists, and people want it, they¹ll get it, especially if it¹s media
related. The bottom line is I¹ve seen fan films that were FAR more degrading
and disrespectful to Trade Marked or proprietary characters, and nothing is
done about thatS Look at Lucasfilm, they¹ve embraced the whole fan film
thing, and have fun with it. Maybe other companies should follow their
Father Geek: I've got alot of E-mails wanting to know what the film cost and how long did it take for you to shoot it...
A: The budget was a little over 30 thousand dollars, and the film was shot
in 4 days by cinematographer Vince Toto. We had a very small lighting
package, minimal equipment, and a very small crew. Quite frankly, all these
reports you got about ³A huge crew² were falseS Yeah, there were a ton of
people there, but 75% of them were lookielus, trying to take pictures and
see what was going on. Our security guard, none other than lovely,
uber-producer Daren Hicks herself, kept them all at bay, while Simon
(uber-producer #2) kept it raining all night, and gave new meaning to the
word hustle. It was a very hard shoot, but the dedication and commitment of
everyone involved made it very special. I couldn¹t be more proud of my cast
Father Geek: The film is also being hailed by many as the best Batman film ever made. Annnnnnd
some of the fans are saying that the film itself doesn¹t live up to the
hype. What's your position on this...
A: To be blatantly honest, I don¹t think any film can live up to THAT MUCH hype. People were clamoring so much to see this film, and they had heard so many great things about it, reading about it here, and everywhere else, the sheer amount of press and attention that this film has been getting is truly unfathomable, and quite unexpected.
I think the fact that most people are seeing it on a little computer screen and not projected, might have something to do with it. Seeing it in a theatre with a big crowd kind of gets you more into the film. Or maybe people were expecting it to be longer, who knows. On a genre picture like this, especially a Batman thing, you¹ll always have the naysayers and people who will nitpick it to deathS Hell, I saw Tarantino this weekend at the Con, and he said he¹d never make a film based on a known comic book character because there¹s no way to ever please the fanbase. It¹s true, but it reminds me of an interview I once saw with the great Bill Cosby, who when asked what the key to success in Hollywood was, replied: ² I don¹t know, but the key to failure is trying to please everybodyS² I¹m proud of the film, but I¹m over it, it¹s time to move on to the next project, which will hopefully have a real budget, a longer shooting schedule, and more than 4 lightsS