This Epic Star Wars Fan Film Is What Being a Filmmaker Is All About

Filmmaker Stephen Vitale and Writer Eric Carrasco​ created a truly epic Star Wars fan fiction. When I came across this short, I found myself wishing they made a behind-the-scenes video so I could post them both for you all to enjoy. Turns out they did. So I did. And you will.

This behind-the-scenes video gives you a pretty good peek into the making of "Hoshino." It touches on the film's storyboard, visual effects, compositing, and the score session. But Fstoppers members demand just a little more. So, I hit Stephen up to get some extra insight into what it took to create this gem.

I wanted it to be stylized, but not distracting. I wanted all the camera moves to be motivated by the action and emotion that Ko was feeling in the scenes. 

When I asked Stephen what the biggest challenge was, he told me keeping on budget and keeping that budget as low as possible without compromising quality too much. This meant not only taking on the roles of director, producer, and editor, but also production designer, location scout, wardrobe, prompter, AD, script supervisor, etc. Luckily, many of these duties were shared with Eric.

So, we were lean and we were trying to do pretty ambitious shots and a lot of setups in limited time. I think the challenge too was shooting all this out of order and maintaining the tone and making sure it felt fluid moving in and out of the present day timeline. We also planned to finish shooting one weekend and a thunderstorm rolled through and shut us down; so, the shoot got put on hold for a couple of months while we waited for location/cast and crew availability to open back up. 

Stephen and Eric weren't the only ones who knew how to juggle roles. Actor, Comedian, and Filmmaker Anna Akana was on set as Jedi Ko Hoshino.

Framing up a shot with @rbroomberg for our kendo training scene with @annaakana #starwarsfanfilm #starwarshoshino

A post shared by Stephen Vitale (@stephen_vitale) on

Casting Anna was a bit lucky. I had found her work on YouTube and enjoyed the videos, most of which were comedic, but then I saw some where she really talked very openly about very personal and emotional topics, and there was such a depth to her and a strength and vulnerability that I was like "I need to get her in this." She was a pro! We had such limited time on set, and she would show up and nail it. She was great.

When you make a little Star Wars film you have to use practical creatures. Even if it's a huge pain in the ass.

A post shared by Stephen Vitale (@stephen_vitale) on

Filmmaking isn't easy. The challenges filmmakers face require a lot of adaptability, creativity, ingenuity, and patience to get the job done. On top of budget consideration, time restraints, and coordinating cast and crew, Stephen also had to shoot the visual effects elements, like the training remote and some of the mynock stuff, in his apartment. He set up a green screen and used his place as a sound stage while his bedroom became storage for all the props and gear needed. He did all this while holding down a second job at Amblin Entertainment.  But when your vision comes together and you end up with a piece like "Hoshino," well, that's what it's all about.
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8 Comments

Joshua Baker's picture

Can't imagine all the hours that it took to create this film. Well done! Now let's see the rest of the story!

Pedro Pulido's picture

it's a pitty that the behind the scenes video is so small and actually doesn't show much! but awesome project and very creatively made!

Kenn Tam's picture

It is a pitty Pedro. I asked Stephen about this and his response was they quite simply didn't have the money, manpower and time to do more. The entire cast and crew worked extremely hard to put this short together with bare bones resources (relitively speaking).

Lee Morris's picture

very impressive

Tihomir Lazarov's picture

Looks so pro.

David Lara's picture

Wow pretty dope! -- Well thought out and executed

David Lara's picture

Wow pretty dope! -- Well thought out and executed

Nice! Looks like it was a lot of fun to make.