I saw the first Star Wars movie in the theater when it was released in 1977 and even though I was only 5 at the time I credit much of my career choices to the influence that movie had on me.
Empire Strikes Back is definitely my favorite of the series, so when I found out that the Star Wars Uncut project was going to tackle it after completing an incredible fan made version of A New Hope (which won an Emmy in 2010) I knew I had to participate.
I created a series of digital illustrations based on the 4 shots that were contained in the fifteen second chunk that I chose to work on. I also created a series of alternate pieces which would be used to create the motion aspects. For consistency (and for the sake of time, since we had to be finished in 30 days) I chose to have all of the pieces laser-cut by my friends at BIG SECRET.
I then figured out the timing and shot individual photos of each frame using my DSLR camera, which I then combined with home recorded dialogue (my wife plays R2-D2!) in iMovie.
The last time I did any animation was in a class I took in high school, luckily the rudiments had stuck with me. Overall a great experience and one I hope to revisit in a longer more refined form eventually.
And hey, there’s still time to claim & make your own piece of Empire and of course you can watch all the finished pieces as they arrive and the entire first film at StarWarsUncut.com