Creating independent films is becoming increasingly easy in an era of digital entertainment. Fan-made projects with phenomenal handcrafted props and supersuits, many being visually more appealing than their million dollar studio counterparts, are taking over the planet.
Most projects garner an extraordinary backing by supportive fans during their production stages. With an incredible community grown under the umbrella of such projects, creators provide their talent to boost fellow creative minds while building a career in entertainment for themselves.
A fan-film about my favorite superhero, the one that started it all, is aspiring to do just that while attempting to capture the essence of the Man of Steel in live action.
“Superman: Solar” is an upcoming fan-made project from viral internet sensation AList Productions.
According to the Writer and Director behind the fan project, Andrew List, the film is rooted in some major Superman stories he holds in high regard. It will also display some of List’s own artistic individuality.
“[I] Took inspiration from ‘All Star Superman’ and ‘Superman Grounded,’ but mostly things I’ve had inside my head for roughly 10 years [that] I always wanted to see done on screen,” List said. “To see ‘my’ Superman brought to the screen, even if it’s the little YouTube screen.”
List stated that he really enjoys the character and is excited to bring his own vision for the Kryptonian to fruition.
“We’re already growing and expanding a team,” List said. “Some of the most talented people I’ve worked with in past projects were added to our ‘super’ team.”
List stated that “Superman Solar” doesn’t have a full cast yet, but most of that hinders on funding and the fact that the movie is still in the very early stages of production.
The fan-film has raked in a little over $12,000, according to the INDIEGOGO funding page for “Superman: Solar.”
“Our goal is $25,000, which is a-lot of money, which is why we need the help of everyone to reach as many people as possible,” List stated. “It’s also why we have perks starting as low as $1. We have so much planned for this and we want to make it happen. We have a full breakdown on the campaign page of milestone goals [for] raising money and what each landmark means.”
List, a US Army Veteran who has worked in professional video production for over 15 years, wants to focus on Superman’s greatest strength — his humanity.
“[Superman] cares for others, large scale and small scale,” List said. “It’s to inspire someone who thinks they are another forgotten face in a crowd that they matter just as much as someone in the spotlight.”
According to a statement by List on his funding page, Superman has always been important to him.
“He’s always been my favorite character in any media,” List wrote. “What has always drawn me to the character goes beyond the powers and abilities. It’s his humanity, he chooses to live as one of us to understand our problems, struggles and cares all the same. While he does large scale things like saving earth from alien invasions, he’s also that same guy who stops to help you change your bike tire on the side of the road. That’s what I’ve always loved about Superman.”
“Superman: Solar” is focused around Clark Kent’s humanity, and that can’t be expressed more than in the relationship shared by Superman and Lois Lane.
“They don’t have to be die hard comic fans to fit the character,” List said. “Passion is what I look for. I don’t need a ‘yeah, sounds cool,’ I need to feel that passion.”
The film stars Glenn Kiil in the titular role of Superman.
“What does it mean to me to be playing Superman? It’s difficult to answer this question because I feel like the idea of Superman is vast. He’s a person to look up to, a person who takes lead, and a symbol of hope. I think it’s an incredible opportunity for me to be a part of the project and get a chance to portray Superman on screen. With that being said, it also means there are some big shoes to fill when playing such an iconic role. Lately, I’ve asked myself a handful of times, “what would superman do?” In situations such as: should I spend the afternoon relaxing on the couch or go outside and be adventurous? Well, the answer was to go outside and be adventurous. Being cast for the role has motivated me to push myself a little bit more in my every day life as a husband, father, and human being. I’m grateful for the opportunity and very excited to see Andrew’s final product at the end of the journey.”Glenn Kiil
According to List, he and Kiil have been acquainted for years.
“We first met serving together in the Army overseas,” List stated. “One of the largest selling points in wanting to work with him on this, beyond him looking the part and being a geek like myself, is that he is a family man and has high morals and integrity.”
Other motives for List ultimately choosing Kiil for the role is the man’s flexibility to work in an ever-changing environment, his commitment and his love for the characters.
Machelle Noel will be starring opposite Kiil as the intrepid reporter for the Daily Planet, Lois Lane. List stated that Noel’s chemistry and passion were some of the main driving forces for his casting decision.
“She completely nailed the audition tape,” List explained. “From working on projects like this for many years, I know personality is everything. You’re going to be working with these people for a year plus in the end. From production to post to release. They [have] to mesh with you and the team.”
List stated that he could hear Noel’s drive while talking on the phone with the performer.
“I knew she was the right one for the role,” List said. “She’s really going to blow some people away!”
List stated that finding the right person for a role can be “incredibly hard.”
Glenn Kill as Clark Kent/Superman
Glenn Kiil will be portraying Clark Kent/Superman. Writer and Director Andrew List states that he has known Kiil for over seven years and the two served together in the US Army.
“He has been nothing but dedicated, excited and all in on this project from day one,” said List.
Machelle Noel as Lois Lane’
Machelle Noel will be portraying the indelible Lois Lane. According to List, Noel has passion and drive for storytelling. She also has a shared love and care for the character of Lois Lane.
“She is going to completely crush this role,” List stated.
Aaron Smolinski (unannounced character).
“Aaron was in ‘Superman: The Movie,’ ‘Superman III’ and ‘Man of Steel,'” List exclaimed. “We could not be happier to have him added to our team!”
“Lately, I’ve asked myself a handful of times, ‘what would superman do,’ Kiil stated. “In situations such as: should I spend the afternoon relaxing on the couch or go outside and be adventurous? Well, the answer was to go outside and be adventurous. Being cast for the role has motivated me to push myself a little bit more in my every day life as a husband, father, and human being. I’m grateful for the opportunity and very excited to see Andrew’s final product at the end of the journey.”
According to List, creating the super-suit for this project was a large collaborative effort that “couldn’t have been done without our entire team.”
“Our ideal Superman costume was brought to life,” List stated. “First concept art and design was by Javier Sanchez and the suit’s design was inspired by a mix of retro and modern. Taking heavy inspiration from Max Fleischer, Michael Wilkinson and Alex Ross.”
A live-action concept art piece was created by BabySpielberg after initial designing.
“The concept art was sent off to the rest of the team to complete the official suit,” List stated. “The boots were created by TillyFX. The crest was 3D modeled by Alter Ego Studios, then 3D printed by Imposter Cosplay and finally the rest of the suit was constructed and designed by UnMasked Studio.”
“I’m grateful for the support we’ve gotten so far,” List said. “It’s a long road ahead, and we’re only going to get there by working as a team. I’m forever grateful for giving me a chance to bring Superman to life.”
As of right now, “Superman: Solar” remains in its early production stages. AList Productions is aiming for a 2023 release, depending on funding.