Superhero Shorts: Gremlins 3 Warm Up
Superhero Shorts: Gremlins 3 Warm Up
Welcome to this week’s edition of Superhero Shorts where I take a look at a different superhero themed short film and get the creator of the film to answer a few interview questions. This week I’m talking with Sacha Feiner who created an absolutely astounding fan version of a scene in Gremlins 2. In the movie, there’s a scene where the film breaks and it turns out that the Gremlins are messing with the projector in the theater. For the original VHS release, that scene was updated so that it looked like the VHS messed up and the Gremlins invaded a John Wayne movie. But for the DVD release, they just went back to the original version. Sacha decided that it needed a version that was made for the DVD release, so he made one. But it wasn’t just a simple thing, he actually created brand new Gremlins based on the original designs and had them cause a ruckus in other movies. But don’t take it from me, check it out right below.
Every time I watch this, I am amazed at how professional it looks, from the puppetry to the digital effect, if they ever did an updated version on Blu-Ray I could easily see this as a special feature or even a version where you can watch the movie with either the theatrical, VHS, or this scene inserted into the movie. The Gremlins blend almost seamlessly into the movies that were chosen, and the digitally enhanced puppetry really makes them come alive. This is honestly one of the best fan-made creations I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying something. But enough from me, let’s hear from the man himself, Sacha Feiner.
Bubbawheat: It’s been a few years now since you released your fan-film for Gremlins, has the attention continued through the years, or has it died off since then?
Sacha Feiner: I remember it started very slowly, 50 views a day… then, suddenly, after a month, there were up to 20 000 views a day. Most of the views were recorded during the first year, but it continues at a steady pace (since no promotion is done at all)… It should reach a million views within a year from now, which is not bad since it’s not a “funny animal” video!
I still often receive congratulation emails from fans, but the most important reward was that it brought me the opportunity to get in contact with Joe Dante, Chris Walas, Rick Baker, and other members of the original crew, with some of whom I now have professional projects.
BW: Wow, that’s pretty impressive for something made over a couple months. I think I was about the same age as you, maybe a year younger when I first saw Gremlins. I think I liked it, but I do remember that it gave me nightmares for weeks. Do you think of Gremlins as a kid’s film?
SF: Actually, when I saw it for the first time, I thought “that’s well done”! Maybe I was protecting myself, thinking of the way the effects were made instead of really being involved in the story… but I definitely think it’s a kid’s (and an adult’s) film. Multiple interpretations are possible, which prevents the interest from fading away when you grow up (that’s my point of view anyway). But it should remain a kid’s film, especially today, where most kids movies suffer from fast editing, stupid scripts and crappy CGI… I think it should be part of today’s kids education to watch kids movies from the 80’s; Back to the Future, Dark Crystal, Roger Rabbit and so on… when production design was still a priority.
BW: I totally agree with the other movies, though I still think that it depends on the kid whether they should watch Gremlins or not. There has yet to be another new edition of the Gremlins 2 DVD, and the blu-ray is basically the same as the old DVD. Do you still have hope for having your version in a new special edition blu-ray? Do you still think there’s a chance for a Gremlins 3 or a Gremlins reboot in the near future?
SF: Actually, I never really hoped it would be released on the official disc – I mentioned that before in an interview because the head of the DVD Extras at Warner Bros clearly said it would be possible, especially if we worked together on new exclusive sequences. I was definitely enthusiastic, especially because Joe Dante really appreciated it and wanted it included on the blu-ray.
However, in the end, because of absolutely zero budget allowed to G2’s blu-ray extras, they decided to just transfer the DVD content to the blu-ray… I can’t say it was my goal to see it included in the blu-ray, but I’d be very honored; who knows, it still may happen in the future.
About a sequel or remake, I’ll answer the same as Joe: of course, the studio won’t let that franchise in the closet forever. But personally, I just hope they won’t fuck it up. If we want a good movie, Dante should do it and be free to do what he wants… but given Warner’s lack of satisfaction with Gremlins 2, it’s unfortunately not that likely.
Also, I’d be very happy to be a part of it, but I doubt Warner would take me seriously unless I have already finished a successful long feature here in Belgium (I’m currently developing a belgian giant monster movie, but it’s another story…) – so let’s hope it takes a long time before they seriously plan it anyway!
BW: I’d love to see what Dante could do with a Gremlins 3 now. The snake pit scene is definitely the most impressive scene, do you know how many unique gremlins you used for it? And how much longer did that scene take compared to the others?
SF: I’m not sure… all I know is that I had five different puppets… and I think we filmed about 30 different versions. It took two days of shooting and about two weeks of post-production effects (in a two months total schedule).
BW: You haven’t posted any new videos on your YouTube for a couple years, what have you been doing lately?
SF: I made a short series of science-fiction featurettes, simulating the preliminary programs of the near future theaters – a warning against all the “security” and “antiterrorist” measures that take away, step by step, our liberties since 9/11. It was played at Brussels Fantastic Film Festival, and during six months on a French TV channel in early 2011; they had exclusivity rights and I wasn’t authorized to post them online. However, I may consider doing it now.
But my most important project was just finished a week ago: a new science-fiction short film, and my first officially produced project (a $100 000 budget). We’ll begin to show it in festivals in september.
BW: Congratulations, I wish you much luck with it. Do you have any other dream fan-projects that you would like to do in the future?
SF: No more fan projects for me! That Gremlins sequence was really an exorcism to my Gremlins obsession… the only obsession large enough to do something like this. It was a special effects showreel rather than a personal project, and I prefer to focus on personal, officially produced things by now.
BW: That’s a good idea, fan films are great, but it’s even better when you get the chance to work on something completely original. My site usually focuses on superhero and comic book movies, but Gremlins and Gremlins 2 are such great movies I had to include them too, and they have a comic book feel to them. So I always ask, what is your favorite superhero movie?
SF: I’d say Batman Returns… even if The Dark Knight was unexpectedly “dark” – the poetic dimension of Burton’s sequel really surpasses the other ones.
Thanks so much for talking with me, it was great talking with you. Good luck in your future projects and I’d love to see you involved in Gremlins in an official capacity sometime in the future. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.