Superhero Shorts: The Legacy
Welcome to another edition of Superhero Shorts where I share a superhero short film and talk a bit with it’s creators. This time I’m talking with Mike Doto and his film the Legacy, I was pleasantly surprised when it was he that actually reached out to me with his Superman inspired short film. You can watch it below or visit the Seaside Pictures official site.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Superman is nowhere near my favorite superhero. It’s just too hit and miss when it comes to what kind of stories you can tell involving him, but when someone gets it right, it can work beautifully. The Legacy is the right way to tell a Superman story. Technically, and for legal purposes, it’s Kryptoman but for all intents and purposes I’m going to refer to this as a Superman story. This is the right way to fit a child into the Superman mythos, take notes Bryan Singer. But seriously, the child is really the main focus of this short and thankfully they got a great kid with Paul Butcher, his look of wide eyed admiration really reminded me of the breakfast scene in Unbreakable. The look of the picture is quite beautiful, and the special effects are very well done for this kind of production. I’ve watched this a couple times now and I can’t help but have a big grin on my face for the entire second half of the short, and I really enjoyed it. But enough from me, let’s hear from the director himself, Mike Doto.
Bubbawheat: Often times, the distinction between a “fan film” and a “short film” is merely the use of copywritten names, how did you come to the decision to use “Kryptoman” instead of “Superman”?
Mike Doto: When I first wrote the script, the superhero in the movie was nondescript. It’s an original story that could involve any superhero. Upon rewriting the script, I discovered that modeling the superhero after Superman made sense on several levels. First of all, Superman at it’s core is a father/son story. Also, because the film was a short and we didn’t have much time to establish the character’s superpowers it made sense to use Superman as the inspiration. For me, the copyright was important because I wanted the film to have a festival run. Upon meeting with entertainment attorneys I found that my story was different enough and I could obtain copyright if I changed the name, hence “Kryptoman.” We also made sure all of the elements in the film were original including the score. I’m thrilled that the film has been celebrated by both fans and critics.
BW: I always admire shorts that use original music, and the music for the Legacy was quite good. About the ending, was there any discussion on going a different direction, or was the short always planned to end the way it did?
MD: Since the first draft of the script, I planned to end the short the way it ended. There’s a special time in childhood when a child is old enough to imagine and create, yet young enough to innocently believe in what he’s created. The creations may not be real, but the emotions and feelings that a child gets from those creations are very much real. I wanted adults to feel that childhood emotion again at the end of the film.
BW: Aside from the obvious inspiration from Superman, I also felt like the short drew some influence from the movie Unbreakable, was there anything else that you felt strongly influenced the short?
MD: I began re-watching a lot of movies that I grew up with. The same movies that made me want to become a filmmaker. When I watched these films it brought back the same excitement from my youth. I remembered the emotions I had when I saw them for the first time and the magic that they brought to my life. It was this magic that was truly the inspiration for “The Legacy.” Among these films were, E.T., The Last Starfighter, and Explorers.
BW: What do you think is the most important aspect of Superman, or Kryptoman, that you wanted to show through in your work?
MD: The most important aspect I wanted to convey was the power that heroes have in the lives of children. It was more about the impact that the real world’s fictional Superman has rather than the “real one” in the movie.
BW: What was the comic con film festival like? I noticed one of the other films presented the same year as yours was Sandy Collora’s feature film Hunter Prey, and he’s also well known for his short Batman: Dead End.
MD: Comic-Con was a thrill for me and the members of my cast and crew in attendance. The film had garnered acclaim by critics, but seeing the fans embrace the film was an unforgettable experience. What I love about Comic-Con is that everyone is there to celebrate art. They’re passionate about it and they’re not afraid to show it. There’s a million people packed into one convention center and pretty much everyone has a smile on their face, is courteous, and patient. Everyone fits in. To have the film accepted and ultimately awarded by this group of fans and professionals was quite an honor.
BW: What projects have you been working on since Legacy, is there anything you’re working on now?
MD: I’m currently directing a TV show out here in L.A. Film wise, I have one finished screenplay, one that I’m currently writing, and I’m toying with the idea of making another short. The finished screenplay is a father/son story similar in tone to ‘The Legacy’ with baseball as the underlying theme rather than superheroes. The one I’m currently writing is a fresh take on the alien genre which, thanks to ‘The Legacy,’ I’ve been able to discuss with one of the key members of ‘The X-Files’ team.
BW: That sounds like a great opportunity, I wish you luck with it, and finally, what is your favorite superhero movie?
MD: Superman The Movie. I know, big shocker.
Heh, well you never know. Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions and I’m sure my readers here will enjoy this short. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.