The Solo Adventures

If you like Star Wars, you’ll get a kick out of this. The Solo Adventures was shown a few weeks ago at the Star Wars Celebration V in Orlando, Florida (I was there!), where it was an audience favorite and won a Best Animation prize. This 3D student film, written and directed by Daniel L. Smith and Jeffery Sheetz, was a class project by students at the DAVE School of Digital Arts and Visual Effects in Orlando.

(Thanks, Mike Stanfill)


  • Gobo

    This is a reminder of what the prequel-era Star Wars franchise has been missing — a little Han & Chewie.

  • MIke

    That’s the BEST Harrison Ford sound-alike I’ve ever heard! Even better than the one Lucasarts uses for the Indiana Jones pc games.

    The cartoon is fun too (the ending made me laugh out loud)- I’d like to see this as a series on tv!

  • Scarabim

    Okay, that was pretty awesome. Character design needed a little tweaking, but everything else was superb. And yeah, I agree, this is exactly what the beknighted Star Wars franchise needs – the return of its GOOD characters. Clone Wars, feh.

    Can’t help wondering though…could students learning 2D create an animated piece in the same amount of time this one took and have it look as near-professional?

  • http://spungella.blogspot.com Jean-Denis Haas

    First I though it was the Han Solo Adventures:

    http://www.hansoloadventures.com/

  • AltredEgo

    All that time, talent, effort and energy to create yet another take on the creatively strip-mined Star Wars franchise instead of doing something original…

    I can’t help but feel that this is a missed opportunity.

    AE.

    • chris s

      When I was in school doing collaborative films it was often hard for people to settle on one project idea. How they got that many students on board for a Star Wars fan film I will never know, but the result was surprisingly very good.

      I find it hard to believe that these young creative minds achieved nothing by making a fan film, after all it was good so they did something very right. ((I think the most well done aspect was their ability to capture the character essence of Han and Chewie.)) Perhaps you are right that they did not create a finished product that reaches the ideal perception of what constitutes originality. Not everyone has to do that.

  • http://www.comicrazys.com Chris

    WOW! Not since TROOPS have I been WOW’d by a Star Wars fan film! Great work!!! And I agree, great Han Solo voice!

  • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

    Aren’t student films supposed to be original work?

    If you took out all the elements not originated by the students what would be left?

    Does the DAVE school have some sort of arrangement with Lucas to use Star Wars as a basis for student projects?

    • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

      I’m sure they could just change a few things here and there and turn it into a scathing political cartoon instead.

      Really, the punchline is the only thing that requires that it be referential fan work. The rest of it was well-done and wouldn’t have suffered for not being Star Wars.

  • Jonathan Lyons

    Good work boys, you all have jobs waiting for you…

    In Singapore.

    Although you won’t get paid much, It will be a step up, considering you just paid money to add to George Lucas’s empire anyway. Which is a shame because you could have spent your time and money creating something of your own.

  • http://www.onanimation.com Daniel Caylor

    I agree. Good Harrison Ford voice. Good ending too :P

  • http://www.danimation.com/ Daniel Smith

    Thanks for the nice comments. I was the Director and co-writer for this project. We had a crew of 27 students who took an script from concept to completion in 12 weeks. You have to mind that these are not trained seasoned pros. These were students how have never before worked in animation of VFX. Now over 20 of that class are working in film as a result.

    The primary decision to do a Star Wars project is many of us are in VFX because of films like Star Wars. It was a lot of fun to flesh out the story of why Han had a price on his head, and to produce a piece that could promote the school at the Star Wars Celebration that was held here in Orlando last month. Well over 30,000 fans saw this film in stereoscopic 3D at the show. We even won an award for Best Animated Film.

    Thanks for the comments on Han’s Voice. The actor was John Armstong who has done Harrison Ford’s voice for Lucas Arts games. Its not just his voice that mad it work. The dialogue had to feel like something Han would say, directed in the right way, and the caricature had to be nailed to make it all work. Any part of the equation not work and we would had been up the creek.

    Its far from perfect and I wish we would had a lot more time, but it was a great time capsule for what that class could pull off in 12 weeks, and I’m very proud of them.

    It is an original “Fan Film” and was produced under the guidelines that Lucasfilm allows fan films to be legally made. No monetary gain or fees were paid in any such way. We are very proud of our film and if you want to see it in 3D I have posted a version of it on my vimeo page…

    http://vimeo.com/14167844

  • http://utopiamoment.ca Jack Ruttan

    It would be nice to have original characters. But way more people are going to see these students’ work via the big name franchise.

  • http://ryuuseipro.blogspot.com/ John Paul Cassidy

    Although it would be nice to have original characters in the Star Wars universe (something that hearkens back to the fun adventure of the first STAR WARS film), I love this short better than the CLONE WARS series! Something that’s actually fun for a change! Enough is enough with “Someday, Anakin will become Darth Vader…” That time came already, and no one cares.

  • Tim Schuit

    Animation was really poor but the writing was fantastic. I had more fun watching that than I had watching all 3 of the prequels put together…great voice acting combined with wit and charm. And the ending made me laugh out loud!

    Usually I have a hard time getting into films that have a lot of technical issues (especially animation issues since I’m an animator)….but this one was a lot of fun to watch.

  • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

    12 weeks is an impressively short amount of time to get something done, especially since 27 people had to be corralled into doing their jobs.

    I still have mixed feelings about the IP borrowing but maybe it doesn’t matter since VFX jobs aren’t about developing one’s original material anyway.

    I’d be curious to hear what actual recruiters think.

  • Frank Ziegler

    More entertaining that all 3 Lucas directed prequels combined.
    Loved the exaggerated features of Han and as everyone noted,
    the voice and attitude were spot on. Lots of fun.

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tony Mines

    That was fun, and cool like the old skool.
    *cough*
    The Han Solo Affair
    *ahem*

    For the record, Mark Hamill does the definitive Harrison Ford impersonation.