GeekOut

Fan raises funds to make 'Static Shock' film

Static has enjoyed a good amount of success for a superhero since the DC Comics character was introduced in 1993.

The comic book series "Static Shock," became a Saturday morning cartoon series, which lasted for four seasons starting in 2000. It was also part of DC's "New 52" titles, introduced last August, although the series is ending after eight issues this month. (DC Comics is owned by Time Warner, the owner of CNN.)

One medium the character has yet to crack, however, is the big screen, and Stefan Dezil hopes to change all that.

Dezil raised the money to shoot a 13-minute short film about the character, and - like "Archetype," a science fiction success story - he hopes the film will show a feature-length film could work. The result is "Static Shock Blackout."

Dezil spoke to CNN Geek Out about the project.

CNN Geek Out: What inspired you to do this and how did the project come about?

Dezil: I was a junior in college and had just seen Kevin Tancharoen's viral short, "Mortal Kombat: Rebirth." The film is a slick, vibrant and fresh interpretation of the Mortal Kombat Universe. I wanted to make a movie along those lines which could garner attention from Hollywood studios and audiences around the globe. Kevin's film inspired me to get the resources myself to make "Static" happen. I love superhero films. And I also want opportunities to act as well as direct. Through my research of heroes who had not been seen in live action, I chose Static. He looked like me and he had a pretty substantial fan base. It took us a little while to get started because of school, but when (Static creator) Dwayne McDuffie passed away in February of 2011, we made it a priority to make a movie in honor of his beloved hero.

CNN Geek Out: How much work went into the project?

Dezil: It took one-and-a-half years for us to put the film together. Most of my crew consisted of friends of mine from different colleges. David O'Connor, my friend from Florida, produced the film with me and did all the research to figure out how to go about the phases of production. We fund-raised the picture through Kickstarter. Filming took only five days and we found our camera, sound and grip crew through Craigslist and Mandy.com. My actors were mostly friends and family who had never acted on camera, with the exception of (Nadine Malouf, Christina Wren, Garencha Altidor and Henry Paul.) Post-production took us a long time because everyone has day jobs and a lot of us were still in school. Unfortunately, my visual effects artist Justin Johnson lives in Virginia and my editor David Kinskey-Lebeda lives in New York City with my sound designer, Julian Evans, and music composer David Grabowski. I was still in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon. We used a lot of Skype and iChat.

CNN Geek Out: What is your ultimate goal?

Dezil: Firstly, we want to make either a feature film or a series adaptation. I have scripts for those projects as well as original ideas for new superhero/action adventure stories. Secondly, I want to inspire more diversity in live-action portrayals of superheroes. And finally, me and my friends wanted to make something exciting that would get our future projects attention from audiences around the world.

CNN Geek Out: Were you a Static fan?

Dezil: I became a huge fan of Static in the process of making this film. Honestly, I loved the idea behind having a teenage black superhero with electromagnetic superpowers. I watched all 52 episodes of the TV show and read a bunch of the old comics and graphic novels. However, his story in the comics and TV show seemed a bit generic so I sought ways to make our adaptation fresh for our generation.

CNN Geek Out: Have you heard from DC?

Dezil: As of now, no one from DC Comics has contacted us. We would love professional backing to continue our adaptation of Static. In the meantime, we are developing many other projects which include an hour-length pilot, two shorts, a coming of age feature and a possible sequel to "Static Shock Blackout."