Today, my nephew showed off some more of the footage for the Star Wars fan film he's working on called The Jedi Outcast. Now that I've seen some of the raw footage he's working with, I'm even more impressed. There are scenes where he obviously has to rotoscope things in on a frame-by-frame basis, and where he has to splice together the, shall we say, rather uneven acting job done by his little brother and friends (they tend to crack up a lot while doing the shoots - heh). He's doing this movie on a shoestring. And not a "indie film shoestring" like $15,000. We're talking, like $200-$300 I think. He's having to be very creative with his shots and sequences to get this to work.
I'd love to get my nephew into a place where he has access to good tools, good resources, and good actors. I think he'd own the Creative Media Institute path at NMSU, but I don't get the impression he's interested in that, but maybe. Mostly, I wish After Effects wasn't so expensive, because with a license for that, he could do some even more amazing work.
His affinity for making movies seems to be rubbing off, too, as his sisters are already talking about making another movie with him, a dark superhero fable which sounds pretty fun. One sister is busy knocking out the first draft of the script, and the other is in the process of writing a novel.
I hope they keep up with this creative work - one thing that the Carnival of Souls experience has taught me is how fulfilling a creative outlet that entertains people can be. Even if you don't make a dime on it, it's a valuable thing to have in your life, and I'd love for them to have that. It's too easy to just shuffle through life as a consumer of corporate entertainment offerings - even if you can't match their production values, being a producer of content yourself is so much better, because you bring personal passion to it, and other people pick up on and respond to that. In the end, personal work can be better as a result. I have no doubt I will enjoy Jedi Outcast more than the last Star Wars movie, and it will be because my nephew is pouring himself into it. It shows in every frame of animation and every rotoscoped shot.