Pringles’ “The Force For Fun” Contest: Darth Visits

If you ever walk into my studio you will notice three things: triple monitors, movie posters, and lots of film gear. Working mostly as a cinematographer, my expertise also includes writing, producing, directing, editing, and special effects. It keeps my current days here in the Hoosier State of Indiana pretty busy. In my free time I also created the Indiana FILM IT Project on Facebook. I have a passion for creating. To be able to make an impact with something I created and to entertain people by making them laugh, smile, or think is extremely rewarding. That’s just a great feeling, and that’s why I love my work.

I first began filming in 2007 when I created the SteveTV show, a half hour comedy I produced, hosted, and edited. The SteveTV show made light of local officials and aired on ION TV Midwest. I soon realized that New Castle, Indiana didn’t have much to offer when it came to needing help with my projects. No one really understood that you can create something with a little teamwork. And no one had the passion to work for free or for food. I soon became multi-talented so I could push forward on a new dream: a feature film! I have since worked on many sets producing features, commercials, and documentaries, with great success.

It’s quite a thrill to be one of the winning filmmakers for “The Force For Fun” Pringles and Star Wars program. I’ve always been a big sci-fi fan, and with Star Wars and Pringles being some of my favorite things, it was a no-brainer to enter the contest.

I had ideas immediately. I did hear about a possible 3D version of Star Wars coming out, so one idea was to have Darth Vader come through a TV. Well, his hand, at least. I decided I would have an everyday guy at home enjoying Star Wars and Pringles, when the Darth Vader on TV would try and grab the can of crisps from him, using the Force as the primary tool to begin his crossover to our reality. I knew if I used my camera to create a more intense moment of battle for the Pringles can it would pull the audience in, as a true Star Wars movie would. As I began to plan I thought chances would be slim to none that I could find a realistic Darth, but lo and behold, we were contacted by Chris Graburn, who had an amazing replica suit. We were so excited to have him help. We planned our shoot and were able to submit three entries. Once on our shoot, it was a blast to have Darth Vader stand next to me — a huge bonus in and of itself. (Even though I am a confident director, I still felt the need to ask Vader’s permission to start shooting. As you can imagine he was a bit on the intimidating side.) Everything came together great, and it was an absolute blast filled with Star Wars references; cracks and jokes every three to five minutes kept us in the Star Wars mode. Many grateful thanks to our Darth (Chris Graburn), Ryan Stoble, Kevin Butterfield, Don Becker, Nathan Champley, and Scott Blake.