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FANBOYS - an independent film needs you folks in the Central Texas area!!! Pssst... it's Star Wars related.. kinda...

Hey folks, Harry here. Ya know, every now and again, I love being a geek, and doing what I do. Scratch that, I love it 100% of the time. I get a lot of email. So much I don't want to even go into it. But I do read each and every one, but unfortunately I only have time to respond to the emails that provoke a reaction or that involve getting a story for you folks. It's strange when the two meet.

2 years ago I got an email from an Ernie Cline. Just your mild mannered geek. He had written and sent me his sequel script to BUCKEROO BANZAI a loooooong time before that. I had gotten a giggle out of it, but I've always been more of a BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA geek. Well this letter didn't have to do with his script, but rather... he'd fallen in love with AUSTIN, TX via the site and had a job offer and was moving to town. He wanted to know where to live, what to see, what to experience. What was happening. It was the first letter like that I had received.

He showed up at a CITY WIDE GARAGE SALE, yup, he's a geek. So we talked for HOURS... He came back a few times, even bought a BARBARELLA poster for his girlfriend from me at the regular 'geek' discount. Then when I stopped doing City Wides... I lost contact. Until recently...

Earlier this year I started getting emails from an ERNEST CLINE about something or another called FANBOYS. Yeah yeah.. whatever. Then after three or so emails I got a phone message from a voice I recognized as being Ernie, so we talked. Turns out this FANBOYS thing is pretty cool sounding, he asks me to act in it. He had written a part for me, and so on. Now this ain't no big high budget dealy, but just a small film shot on Digital with a lot of geek love... I agreed. I'm not going to spoil my sequence, but I'll tell you this, it is very very Harry.

Then tonight I got the call for scheduling. I shoot my sequence sometime in the next couple of weeks. But he needed help to get some more geeks like me to take a part in this opus entitled FANBOYS. Now, let me tell you this. It's a very cool sounding project. The script reads damn well, and I suggest if you are in the area... take part, I am.

This is a geek that started out like many of you, and like some of you he's following up on his dream to do more than just stand in lines and buy merchandise. He's going to attempt to make something worth standing in lines for. Hell, at the script stage it's pretty damn cool, help make the end product cool as well. Now, here's Ernie (aka Ernest)

AICN Readers,

I'm the writer/director of a low budget independent feature film entitled 'Fanboys.' FANBOYS tells the story of four friends on a desperate quest to see the rough cut of Episode One several months before its actual release. It's a film for people who grew up with and love Star Wars made by a bunch of people who grew up with and love Star Wars. We've been in production for several months and we plan to premiere the film here in Austin, Texas this coming March.

We're holding a benefit for Fanboys here in Austin this coming Thursday (Dec. 10th) at the Electric Lounge (302 Bowie) at 9pm. We'll be signing up the first 300 folks who arrive to play extras as Star Wars fans in the film in a scene that will be shot here at a local Austin movie theater later this month. Attendees will also have a chance to win a part as a featured extra in the film. Tickets for the benefit are a measly $5. The show will include performances and appearances by several local Austin bands (The Mittens, Fivehead, Viper Horse, Defender, and others), artists, celebrities, fire eaters, and more. Visit our web site for more details:

I hope all you Austin-area readers will swing by to sign up as an extra and then stay for the show! Help us make this movie! Take care and Happy Holidays!


Ernest Cline

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 6, 1998, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Good luck

    by cmore

    I talked to someone involved with this indy in a chatroom not long ago. Good Luck on the project, I hope it works out? As someone who has worked on four feature films shot on 16 and a film print for under 30 grand, I understand the commitment and pain it takes to push one of these babies out. Hope the best for you!

  • Dec. 7, 1998, 6:15 a.m. CST

    "I'll buy that for a dollar"

    by Darth Nopey-Dog

    Okay. Sounds kewl - If only Ole' George himself would donate his name to the project it might actually make it somewhere.Could be just as big as "Troops" from TheForce.Net

  • Dec. 7, 1998, 10:09 a.m. CST

    i'd love to help

    by reni

    This sounds like a great idea and I'd love to help out in any way I can. Even though I'm stuck in England if you need any script editors or absolutely anything then drop me an email. All the best Nick.

  • Dec. 7, 1998, 2:26 p.m. CST


    by BothanSpy

    This project sounds a lot like "1977" which is being written and directed by Patrick Read Johnson (Spaced Invaders, Baby's Day Out, Angus, Dragonheart-- Though he apparently disavows Dragonheart as a total piece of shit) I know several people who are working on it, and through a series of Mission Impossible-like maneuvers, I got to read the script for this thing and it is SO AMAZING-- It's like American Grafitti on the night of May 25th, 1977. The TRUE story of Johnson and friends on the night that Star Wars was released in their hometown of Waukegan, Illinois. (Home of Ray Bradbury!) Apparently Johnson started making Super-8 movies when he was like 9. He was 15 or 16 when Star Wars came out. And just a few months before the release, his mom, trying to help him with his budding career, cold-called the editor of American Cinematographer and asked if he could introduce him to some of his sci-fi movie idols if she shipped him out to California for a few weeks. Amazingly, he agreed and Johnson got on a plane and had the kind of adventure the rest of us can only DREAM of. It just so happened that the American Cinematographer editor was going to visit the effects facilities for two films that no one knew much about at the time. The first one was something called Close Encounters of the Third Kind. And it also just so happened that on the day Johnson was taken to visit, Steven Spielberg himself was there, and Johnson met him and was given a tour of the place by the young director. (This is confirmed in one of the Steven Spielberg biography books I'm told.) Apparently, Johnson spent a great deal of time in the model shop with the likes of Greg Jein (famous modelmaker) and was even allowed to help put fiber optics into the mothership model! The next day, the American Cinematographer guy took him to a little warehouse near the Van Nuys Airport in the San Fernando Valley to see what was described by the magazine guy as "some college kids shooting models on sticks... We're not sure what the hell it is but they call it STAR WARS..." When they got there, not only did FX supervisor John Dykstra give Johnson a full on tour of the facility, he also SHOWED HIM the ROUGH CUT of STAR WARS complete with WW2 footage still cut into the aerial battles and many scenes still in their un-composited blue-screen form! HOW COOL IS THAT?? Anyway, after this staggering experience, Johnson had to return to his hometown in rural Illinois and attempt to settle back into a normal high school life. But there was no way. The film actually picks up on the morning of May 25th, 1977 with Johnson, having gotten the chance to peek behind the curtain, now limbing the walls waiting to see the first showing of STAR WARS-- He's been trying to convince just about every living thing in town to go with him, but NOBODY CARES... because NOBODY in his little town knows (YET!) what this movie is gonna be... except HIM. As the day goes on into night, we see him struggle to choose between the life he's got and the life he dreams of in Hollywood (seen through flashbacks of his amazing trip) As the film progresses, a series of personal, financial, sexual, and automotive mis-haps keeps the young director-to-be from getting to the theater... until he finally manages to arrive at 2 A.M., just as the last show is letting out! I won't give away the end, but it's a fan boy's DREAM. The script is really funny... but even better-- it's really REAL. And pretty damn moving. Johnson certainly knows what its like to be a fanboy. The highs AND lows are all here. And think about it... When JOHNSON was a fanboy... Star Wars was still just another poster in your theater lobby. He was there at the beginning... He TOUCHED the actual models-- hung out with Spielberg-- (who, by the way, was responsible, years later, for getting Spaced Invaders bought by Touchstone after he saw it and liked it.) And what's really cool is that since it's a true story, apparently they can show just about anything they want. Including the REAL PEOPLE who were part of it all. Anyway, I for one, can't wait to see this... Imagine American Grafitti with Pacers and Gremlins instead of Deuce Coups and 57 Chevys! Imagine the soundtrack! Hey! Imagine a DOUBLE-FEATURE someday of BOTH of these films!

  • Dec. 8, 1998, 11:13 a.m. CST

    About that there 1977 project

    by DefBringer

    I don't know about you folks but I find the project pretty fascinating...among the first of a new generation of movies which deal with the undeniable impact of 70's-early 80's classic science fiction such as Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Surely my generation has no greater legend than Star Wars (which is both sad and uplifting at the same time)...I was too young to remember Star Wars' opening night so I am very interested in seeing how the youth in 1977 embraced this phenomenon. Let's hope that Patrick Read Johnson can pull it off.

  • Dec. 10, 1998, 12:08 p.m. CST

    Help in Houston for 'Fanboys'!

    by IrishMax

    I love the idea...have thought about that same kind of theme for some time...but mine was based around three guys trying to find Tiffany (of "I think we're alone now" fame). I'm based in Houston doing interactive stuff, but have experience with Avid and nonlinear post in general. If you ever need help, get in touch...I'm only about 2 hours away!

  • April 20, 2007, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Gonna be GREAT!

    by ccchhhrrriiisssm

    Can't wait to see this film! It will finally arrive this summer! WTG, guys!