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Film Maker, Gwenael Caravaca

Gwenael Caravaca
ex5 Team


04-26-2011: interviews filmmaker Gwenael Caravaca, creator of the fan film Stargate Pegasus.

MilSciFi: "Welcome. Please tell us a little about yourself."

Caravaca: "First of all, let me thank you for your interview.

So, My name is Gwénaël CARAVACA, I'm currently student in France where I study geology. I've been a SciFi and especially a Stargate fan for a decade now.

I've started costuming, well, say 4 years ago, but I'm interested in a wide array of topics, particularly in Sciences.

And I'm, with Loan, the creator of Stargate Pegasus."

MilSciFi: "What inspired you to make this film?"

Caravaca: "In a way, costuming is a great part of our inspiration: wearing the same costume, at least replicas, let feel ourselves as "part of the action", so we though "hey, why not to make our own adventures and shoot them?!".

In that way, we imagined a brand new story, staying close to SG Atlantis, as a fan-made spin-of, but we wanted to have some elements taken from SG-1 or SGU, as every SG Fan could be immerged in our series as soon as he watch it.

But Stargate is not our only "source", and we take some references or ideas in other shows, such as Defying Gravity, or shows as different as NCIS (for the realistic side it shows on the military, better represented than in SG).

So, we have a wide array in which we are picking up elements, but no worry, we also have original ideas from our own brains!

Then, we wanted to make something different, a series, which differs from other fanfilms."

MilSciFi: "Do you have plans to make other film?"

Caravaca: "Well, that's an excellent question. Stargate Pegasus is planned to last at least 6 episodes, or 7. But, if we have opportunities to make other fan-films, like a cameo in another fan-production from other teams in France, or to film completely different stories, bases upon a completely different mythology, I think it won't be a problem.

To be simple and quick, if we find that a project could bring us some fun, and if we are able to make it, there is no way not to do it, except the lack of time.

So, yes we have planned to make other film, first, other episodes of Stargate Pegasus, and then, maybe some different things."

MilSciFi: "Since the film is in French, do you plan to either dub, or subtitle it into other languages, namely English?"

Caravaca: "Some times ago, we were talking about dubbing the series in English… But, I think it won't be possible: it's a big thing, not only from a technical point of view, but also in finding people talking English well enough to make something easy to hear.

So, we will make for sure subtitles, and they will be available as soon as our first episode will air."

MilSciFi: "What long term plans do you have in regards to making films, in other words, is this film in a sense part of your resume for eventually braking into the film industry?"

Caravaca: "As I said sooner, we make films for fun. And also for the fans, so we could, in a way, bring some of our fun to them as they watch our productions. But, we are not willing to break into the cinema industry. First, because it's only an "amateur" job, and we want to keep it like this, but also because we have other professional wants. For example, I'm studying Geology to become Paleontologist… See the link? No, normal, there is none! That's what I said: we do that for fun, because we are some fans who want to be "part of the action", and who want to share their fun with other fans."

MilSciFi: "How was this film produced, such as what type of equipment did you use for the feature photography, and then for post production special effects?"

Caravaca: "We use only our own equipment: cameras, camcorder, computers are ours, and often, not professional, but with a certain level of quality. So we use HD camcorder, what permits us to air SGP episodes in high definition 720p format, a premiere in the fanfilm community! For that reason, we won't share it through Dailymotion or Youtube, but only on our website, in direct streaming, but we will air a light version too for those who can't afford a high debit connection, or for mobile device streaming.

For the post-production, we use our computers with public software like 3DS Max for the modeling processes, or Sony Vegas for editing the videos.

And for the rest of the production, we do our best to find thing that fits both our needs and our budget, that's why we make up a lot of elements like the costumes.

So we put a certain budget in the production, but we are reasonable, and something is sure, it's we can't put millions in it!"

MilSciFi: "Please tell us about your production crew, and what jobs they preformed."

Caravaca: "The production crew is formed by a solid core of three persons : Loan, Jean-Christophe and I.

Loan works on the VFX: he makes matte painting, flames on the guns, explosions, beaming, bigger explosions, etc., and he does a very very very excellent job, he's just amazing!

Jean-Christophe is a fantastic modeler, and a hard-worker. When we met him couple of years ago, we (Loan and I at the head of the project) wear stunned by the quality of his work, and we thought he was a professional! So all the 3D visuals and animations are done by him, including all the models, except for Atlantis, which is a downloaded, but reworked model.

And I personally work on editing the film, and I design the costumes, so I make them, or personalize the military uniform, from the nametapes on the ABU, to the complete creation of a brand-new series of costumes that you'll see only in Stargate Pegasus, and which represent or possible crossed-evolution between uniforms seen in late SGA and SGU. (you can see it in the photo provided :-) ).

And all together, we write the storyline of Pegasus, and individually, we write some specific parts of the episodes, especially the ones in which our own character appears, because as our characters are close to our own personality, it's easier to write then to play onscreen."

MilSciFi: "Recreational costuming must have been a big part of your project, did you make the costumes?"

Caravaca: "Of course! And we started by the costuming, that is basis of all we do today! We have a great collection, including many replicas of numerous costumes seen in the three Stargate Series.

Some of them are bought, of course, but more recently, I've personally made some, like the SGA blue-striped, and black-paneled uniforms, but also SGU Icarus Base uniforms replicas.

And that's not all, because we imagined new suits for our series!

As the storyline is situated after the end of SGA, and near of the beginning of SGU, I imagined a crossover jacket, a mix of late SGA's and SGU's, which will be the base uniform in Pegasus. Also, the Marines will wear a new design of the Digi-Urban uniform, in a way, like the Marines used to in SGA, but in a modernized version.

We wanted to have a particular look in Pegasus, first to give a proper identity to our series, but also to fit with the chronology. A lot of fanfilms set currently still use woodland, which is outdated. Also, we thought that the Atlantis' uniforms would have evolved too, especially seeing the ones worn in Icarus Base, and that's why our are a "cross-over version" between both."

MilSciFi: "Is it hard to find "toy" or "mockup weapons" in the European Union?"

Caravaca: "Not very hard. We use airsoft replicas for the series, because it is realistic and harmless. You can note that Stargate crew use airsoft guns too!

Toy weapons, for child are very easy to find, and they're recognizable, not because of a orange of red muzzle (sometimes yes), but because they're very bad replicas (they're toys, so, not needed to be perfect!).

Mockup weapons are another category, that we call "alert pistol" here. They're available for all adult person. I know a fanfilm crew who used them, but, there's a very bad render.

So, we prefer use airsoft, cause replicas are very nice, and then, we add flames on the post-production.

You can also note that in France, as the law concerning weapon is a lot more restrictive, and because there is no chance to see real weapons on the street (except law enforcement or police), we don't need to have the muzzle painted orange or red, which is much appreciated when we film the series!"

MilSciFi: "How did you find or recruit actors for your film?"

Caravaca: "Most of our actors are friends of us, so it makes casting very easy: we asked them if they would want to play a role, following our needs in character, and often they say "yes". But more recently, as we need some extra people to play new characters, recurring or not, we had to look for people willing to play. Fortunately, some of our friends who already play ask their own friends, and only few days ago, someone contacted us to propose herself as a little role, so we accepted, because we had a perfect role for her."

MilSciFi: "What advice would you give someone who is thinking about doing a fan film."

Caravaca: "I would just say "Let's go!". Take a couple of friends, write a little story, set a camcorder, and go outdoors, shoot it, edit it, and enjoy it!

It's really a great experience, very funny, very nice to live, because this time YOU are the hero!"

MilSciFi: "Have you spent much time in the United States?"

Caravaca: "Yes I did, two journeys of 15 days each, in 2008 and 2010, touristic tours visiting each time a different coast, and, 15 days is far not enough!"

MilSciFi: "Do you have a website?"

Caravaca: "Only since a few days, but yes we finally put a website online to share our productions, but also photos, news, etc. . It is still under construction, so we only have a temporary webpage by now, but very soon the full website will air, I'm personally in charge of coding it, and I assure you that you will find a lot of interesting things: characters and crew bios, exclusives wallpapers to download, videos, photos, and a lot more things !"

Oh, I nearly forgot: .

MilSciFi: "Do you have any upcoming events?"

Caravaca: "Hum, we have a very tight agenda, due to our respective studies and works, but we plan to make an appearance to a couple of local convention in France, but we don't know when yet.

Anyway, we can give you an exclusivity telling you our pilot will air in the last days of May!"

MilSciFi: "Thank you, for your time."

Caravaca: "And an even bigger thanks to you for this interview!!!

Gwenael Caravaca's website is:


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