There's something special about a fan film. The passion, the grind, the overtime and the sacrifices that every single person makes to bring a vision to life. Nightwing: The Darkest Knight is no different, it was just a passion project that brought many of Vancouver's finest filmmakers and stunt people together into one glorious supervillain-filled extravaganza!
The Hardest Role in the World
We were brought on board when Stacey was asked to read for the role of Harley Quinn. As any good comic book fan knows: that is the impossible role. Nobody can bring that much cartoon cuteness mixed with a deadly dash of crazy... enter: Stacey Roy.
One thing you may not know about Stacey is the how hard this girl works. How much time and energy she pours into everything single thing she does. She never likes to be unprepared for any situation (also the reason she never packs light. Like, ever). This reading was no different. She researched, she practiced, she even developed a walk. She put so much into this that by the time she was done, she and I had written a Harley Quinn-centric short film (that we still want to shoot!).
She met with Matt Campbell, the director, and gave him 3-4 different ways she could play the character. Each one vastly different from the last, but still 100% on point. Matt was so blown away that he basically cast her on the spot. Once again, I shot the behind the scenes for the project.
This was the beginning of our friendship with him. He also directed our Durarara short film which is having VFX work done as we speak.
One of the first things that happened after being cast was the wardrobe. It arrived and, well, there's no easy way to put it... it was awful. Mind you, it wasn't designed for Stacey, it was designed for a previous cast of Harley, but Stacey and I immediately said "No, we'll make our own" and by "we" I mean her.
As Stacey does, she delves into all her notes and writings she did while building the Harley character and came up with a design that was both true to the comics, but also unique and appropriate for the film. Oh, and there was no budget for wardrobe, so Stacey did it all out of pocket- but it was worth it. The production team was blown away by what Stacey created, and it definitely raised the caliber of the scene.
Behind the Scenes
The thing I love about shooting behind the scenes is how much access you get to the whole production without anyone raising an eyebrow. On the set? Sure. Beside the director? Why not. With the crew? Of course. Want to learn how to make movies? Shoot behind the scenes. You get to listen in on everything, see what and why they're doing things, and then you get to practice while you're there! And the final result is a video piece that everyone is excited to see. Wins all around.
Because Stacey isn't already the star, she's also got a better eye for shots than I do. I've learned to watch what she does and I try to mimic it. Don't believe me? Here's Stacey shooting on a 3 story rooftop in 4" heels.
If there's one thing that made this fan film stand out from the rest, besides Stacey's Harley, was the fight sequences. Holy. Crap.
They were absolutely amazing. From insane oners to high falls from a crane, the stunt team brought their 'A' game, and it really took this whole thing to another level. I've seen summer blockbusters that would have trouble going punch for punch with what these guys did!
It's inspiring just thinking about it.
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