When Lyndon Berresford spent a few nights after work creating concepts for a Star Wars fan competition, he never dreamed his ideas would land him in Hollywood, much less holding a shiny statuette from the same workshop that manufactures the coveted Oscar Awards. But that’s exactly what happened.
In 2013 Lyndon uploaded a few concept designs to a competition run by Disney.
“Nothing too much came of it but one of the images I did went a bit viral on the internet,” said Lyndon. “I had over 25,000 likes on the piece and it made the front page of Reddit, then that sort of died down and I didn’t hear anything. Then about two years ago I got an email from Noel Braham in LA, he’s a film producer and actor and he was putting together a small Star Wars fan-flick but on a relatively big budget… They were going after the Disney Fan Film Awards and he was basically looking for an Art Director; he’d seen some of my artwork and emailed me to say “Do you wanna do it?”.
The resulting film, Exile: A Star Wars Fan Film, was nominated in the Disney Fan Film Awards, showcased twice at the Historic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, screened at the HollyShorts Film Festival, and has picked up awards for Best Cinematography in the LA Shorts Awards (Feb 2017) and Best General Media and Entertainment at the Telly Awards (May 2017), the premier award honouring the best in TV and Cable, Digital and Streaming, and Non-Broadcast Productions around the globe.
The positive response has fanned Lyndon’s passion for film-making, and he and Noel are now working on their second project together, a short film titled The Millennial due for release later this year.
“It’s the biggest project we’ve all worked on and developed ourselves and I guess you’d call it a cross-Pacific collaboration,” said Lyndon.
“We’re going to release it at Film Festivals later this year in the US and Australia. A lot of these projects tend to be very locally released – if they’re made in LA, they’re released in LA – but what we’re trying to do is have a global hit for the first time with me being over here and the other team being in LA.”
Lyndon will speak about the power of collaboration in film-making at this year’s Great Barrier Reef Film Festival; and will announce a Townsville screening of The Millennial closer to the film’s release.