Broken Allegiance Danish Interview Transcript

(dk.starwars.nu)


We all have our own "This is how I got into SW" tale. What's yours? Were you a fan prior to BA or was this movie your first, last and only encounter with Star Wars?

My earliest star wars memory is as a child going into the cinema in Malta and entering this amazing dream world that was Star Wars. My brother and I who are close in age just could not believe our luck. We knew nothing of this film prior to entering that dark cinema and we were totally blown away. However I would hesitate to call myself a huge fan because as I said in one of the dvd commentaries, when I joined the BA team I got to meet some real Star Wars fans and realised that I could no longer consider myself a member of this category. They knew every character, ship, planet, story line, everything. They had books, expensive books which covered the entire star wars universe. It was insane. They all spoke the same language as though they had watched these films a hundred times. In fact to be honest it was more the role of Korbain that attracted me to the project rather than the thrill of being in a Star Wars film. At that time I had no idea that the star wars fan film arena was so big. No idea.


How would you rate the professionalism and attention to detail associated with BA compared to many of the other short films you’ve done?

From an actors perspective the passionate attention to detail that you see in BA started way back when I went along to the original audition for Korbain. I certainly wasn’t expecting anything overly professional from a film-making perspective but all that changed from the moment I walked in to that audition. After a brief introduction we did the lines from a scene they had sent me and then moved onto some sword play with Peter who would be training with us. I knew they were filming the audition so when it came time for me to perform some simple back and forward sword strikes and blocks with Peter I decided to do them in character. I figured they would later review the tapes and it might help increase my chances of getting the role. So it was either that or perhaps the fact that I snapped Peter’s stick with one lucky strike! But that’s a whole other story. Either way I got the role. Getting back to your question, the attention to detail was evident in every facet of this film. From pre production to the filming to post with some great work in the editing department. They did such an amazing job. I remember Nick telling me right in the beginning that unless they were going to make the best Star Wars short out there, he simply wasn’t interested.


Do you know if there is any special significance to the name “Korbain Thor” or was it chosen for its coolness alone?

This question seems to come up quite often, and understandably so, I wondered the same thing myself. I am told however that there is no real significance to the god of thunder or anyone else. It just sounded like the kind of name he would have. If my memory serves me well I think originally they were going to call him Bein Thor or something like that. So no, no real special significance.


Pre-production (as well as post-production) was pretty extensive on BA. What was the actual time scale of your involvement?

Paul, Niobe and myself got together weekly for three months prior to production to choreograph the fight sequences. So to put it on a timeline, casting itself took place in March of 2001 and we went into training around the beginning of April that year and continued through to July when we began shooting the film. My involvement however started even earlier in the piece with putting together Korbain’s makeup. There were many options flying around including full face pieces etc. but due to the action sequences we had to tailor it back and even then it was still sometimes difficult to perform with makeup pieces stuck to your face that would come loose whenever you moved your facial muscles. Also there was the Korbain suit that had to be designed and built from scratch. Matt did a great job but the suit was heavy. In fact in the big fight sequence when I’m either battling Ruan or Callis or both of them at once, shooting would go from sunrise to sunset and except for a lunch break I would be fighting someone continually. That suit just seemed to get heavier and heavier as the day progressed. So on one hand I had this heavy suit, not to mention the heavy light saber laser gun, but at the same time a wonderfully professional cast and crew that helped get us through the day and the scenes quickly and painlessly. Of course once production moved into post, as an actor it’s out of your hands and you only come back on the scene once the film is finished and there are interviews and film festivals etc to go to.


Did you gain anything from your experience with BA? Did your role in BA have anything to do with your career “taking off” recently with your role in the feature film Dancing With My Brother?

With regard to Dancing with My Brother I made another short that did well on the festival circuit called Una Passione Addatta. It was through this that they cast me in a lead role for their feature so strictly speaking it had nothing to do with BA.

Still, I did gain a lot from BA. I got to work with a professional cast and crew. I made some really good friends - Niobe is still one of my closest friends. Which in itself is quite rare in an industry where you tend to move from project to project without forming many close or at least long lasting friendships. It’s not like theatre. And of course a lot of industry people locally heard about this film so that helped raise my profile.

Actually speaking of raised profiles I spoke with Nick not long ago and he was telling me that BA has been downloaded over a million times and continues to grow every month. That’s phenomenal. Nothing I could have expected or anticipated. I still receive emails from fans from time to time with questions about Korbain or the film or just to say hi, which I love. There’s a link from the BA website to my personal site and I still get many visitors from all over the world directly from that link. It’s very exciting for me.


What about the rumours that there will be a sequel?

Funny you ask that! Only two weeks ago Nick, Niobe, Paul and myself got together at a local café for a good two or three hours, nutting out the story of the sequel. Nick already had a lot of the story in place but there were still many parts that needed more work. Last time I came on board after the story and script were finalised so I’m enjoying being a part of that process too this time around with story and character development. Actually prior to that meeting I was a little unsure whether I would reprise my role of Korbain in a sequel but after that meeting I walked out excited and definitely on board. In fact all three leads are back. Oh and before I get a deluge of emails from fans insisting that Korbain died in BA, you have to watch past the credits. Even though I’m sure our Danish fans already knew that!


So what can you tell us about the sequel?

Well Thomas, it’s going to be a bigger and better production and story. It’s going to require more work believe it or not than the first and the fight sequences are going to be even better. This was actually one of my prerequisites for doing the sequel. I want the audience to feel like they’re right in the mix not merely watching as spectators, but Nick assured me that the creative team where on the same page. Other than that I can’t say much more. Besides, I’m sure the fans want to be surprised just as much as we want to surprise them!


Last question: Did Paul Hooper sustain any permanent injuries from you slamming his face into the camera during fight rehearsals as can be seen on the gag reel? ;)

Ha ha ha ha ha ha…. There were a number of accidents during training. We hit each other many many times and sometimes it really hurt. Unfortunately for Paul one such accident was caught on camera or perhaps more so caught with the camera!! I think Nick was getting a bit excited that day and got in a bit close not realising what was happening in the sequence and how much space Paul would need. But let’s just say that that wasn’t the worst accident or the most painful for Paul! You might remember towards the end of the big fight sequence where I have Ruan in my grasp and I’m just punching him alternating with forehand and backhand hits one after each other. Well in training one of those backhands actually made contact. Nick who happened to be there that day was very impressed with the realism of my punch and his fall… until they realised it looked that real because it was! Luckily he was okay and apart from some psychological bruising at worst, I can report that he’s well and happy and most importantly healthy.


Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you Thomas and a big hello to all the Broken Allegiance fans out there in Denmark.