Shane Felux Discusses his Sci-Fi thriller Trenches with Michelle!

I love stories like Shane Felux’s. He’s a regular guy who got together with some friends to shoot a little fan film called “Star Wars: Revelations.” The film became a cult hit on the web and attracted more than 3 million downloads in less than 2 months. It was featured in major media outlets like CNN, Entertainment Weekly, MSNBC and others. His follow-up “Pitching Lucas” won the George Lucas Selects and Audience Choice award in 2006. The first film to win both top awards. Now he has teamed up with the new ABC-Disney Stage 9 Project to bring his latest film, a sci-fi thriller – Trenches to a YouTube video near you.

Trenches is a 10 episode original series produced for Stage 9. Each 2-4 minute episode will be available in both SD and HD formats.

An interplanetary war between the Rossdale Alliance and the Kuzaa Federation has been raging for generations. Lieutenant Nathan Andrews is a soldier with a relatively simple mission: retrieve his fellow soldiers from a losing battle before being overrun by enemy forces. After a ravenous crash landing, he is stranded with a misfit squad of surviving soldiers while something evil and alien lurks in the shadow of the planet’s trenches. The squad of soldiers find themselves in a race against time where they will put aside an age-old conflict and band together in a last attempt at survival.

Trenches stars Mercy Malick as Captain Racine; Aaron Mathias as Lt. Andrews; Micci Sampery as Lt. Greig; Lev Gorn as Captain Traina; Hong Chau as Specialty Wing; Daz Crawford as Sergeant Verro; Kelley Slagle as Specialty Boyens; Scott Nankivel as Pfc. Janeski; Tom Reuel as Specialty Resnikoff; Orlando Williams as Msg. Drayce; Chaney Tullos as Private Del Amico; Paul Stober as Captain Samson. I caught up with Shane at the recent New York Comic-Con and had a quick Q and A with him. He’s a really cool and interesting guy.  Read the interview after the break.

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SF: My name is Shane Felux, I’m the Executive Producer of Trenches, I’m here today because you like Sexy White Men. [laughs]

EM: Yes I do and I don’t know why. It’s my curse. You are my Kryptonite. Can you tell us a little about Trenches?

SF: I don’t think it’s something you’ve ever seen on the Internet, in terms of scope and budget. It’s a sci-fi action thriller. The story takes place between two armies that have been entrenched on this backwater planet that no one wants. There’s a crash and they are forced to team up to fight this new enemy.

EM: How did you come up with this idea?

SF: My wife wrote this story. I’ve always wanted to make a sci-fi trench war. A war that’s dirty and gritty. I wanted to take that sci-fi element and give it a modern twist.

EM: Would you say its contemplative like Battlestar Galactica before it got the SFX budget?

SF: Yes, it’s been compared to that. I would say it’s like Pitch Black meets Saving Private Ryan meets Aliens.

EM: How did you shoot it?

SF: We did some green screen and composites. I want to make big movies. With today’s technology you can do very large films affordably, as long as you work hard.

EM: What was it like working with your wife?

SF: My first film, Star Wars: Revelations and she wrote this film as well. We had our conflicts. For me, collaboration is “You do what I tell you.” I listen to different sides. I like working with my wife in creating ideas. Trenches was a great way to get her creative input. She’s a bigger sci-fi fan than I am.

EM: Is this going to be an ongoing series?

SF: It’s like a pilot. It’s going to be 10 episodes, 2 episodes a week over 5 weeks. I shot it as a pilot and then chopped it up. Each episode is written and edited towards cliffhangers. It’s like those old serials. It’s interesting on television you have 30 minutes to build character. On the internet I have 5 minutes to hook you.

EM: Why is there a belief in the studios that people want short form and not long form entertainment?

SF: The internet will never replace television it’s just another platform. It’s a powerful thing that you can watch mobile broadband while you are standing in line at a Starbucks. It opens up a whole new world for filmmakers.

EM: How did this project come about?

SF: When I did Star Wars: Revelations there was a huge media attention. I spent $20,000 of my own money to make this movie.

EM: Why would you spend $20,000 on a fan movie as opposed to doing something original?

SF: Because we figured we wanted to do something fun. It wasn’t about making money.

EM: Everyone keeps talking about Pitching George Lucas what is that?

SF: It was another Star Wars fan film, this one was a comedy. It won the George Lucas Award at Comic-Con. He watched my movie and said my name. The man who inspired me to get off my ass and make a movie said my name. That was a big deal. ABC called me and wanted to make a movie with me.

EM: Your story is inspiring because you could have taken your money to create something original but you went and made a fan film instead. And it was a success.

SF: You can’t go into making a movie or fan film with the idea that it’ll launch your career or it’ll become successful. You do it because you love to and think people will enjoy it.

Check out the amazing trailer of Trenches at http://www.stage9digital.com/.