Friday, Nov. 21, 2014

Interview w/ Richard Krause, Director of ‘Fight the Foot’ [EXCLUSIVE]

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January 25, 2011

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Ever since it premiered this past weekend like a ninja in the night with little more than this mysterious micro-site and a YouTube link, Fight the Foot has been making the rounds and racking up a groundswell of TMNT fan support across the internet. As soon as I laid eyes on it myself I knew that I had to find out more about it: was it a teaser trailer for something more? Who directed it? Where can I get one of those awesome Turtle suits?

Well, I’m happy to say that my snooping paid off and I was able to find out the answers to all those questions and more thanks to the mastermind behind the project, Director Richard Krause. Krause, whose background in motion graphics no doubt contributed to the slick presentation of the short, was kind enough to indulge our inner TMNT nerd and provide a bit of backstory on how the film came into being and what the chances are of there being a sequel.


Surprise attack: Casey Jones versus Raphael, street rules…who would win? Go!

Using “street rules,“ Raphael would win. Once he gets into his berserker-like rage, there’s no stopping that monster!

Can you tell us a little about your background? How did you get started in filmmaking?

I was 10 years old when I started making films with my friends. It was incredible—really fun. Then later, when I was in high school, I realized that I wanted to do this for a living, and that I could. Now I do all kinds of work, from motion graphic design to directing.

Fight the Foot - Raphael's Head

You just released a short entitled Fight the Foot based on the TMNT franchise. What’s the short about and what state is the TMNT universe in?

The short is a tease for what I picture a feature-length TMNT movie could be. I don’t want to go into too many details, but in the short film’s time period, Shredder is an unknown, Splinter is still training
the Turtles, and the Turtles are not known about. However, the street gang The Foot starts causing problems for April, and Raphael feels it’s necessary to step forward to protect April, whether or not the Turtles will be understood.

How long ago did this project get started?

This project has been in the back of my mind for a long time, but I couldn’t figure out how to portray the Turtles in the way I was thinking of moving the storyline. Then it started to come together, and I started the concept art development in April 2010.

What kind of tools and techniques did you use while shooting?

Overall we had very little equipment. Originally we talked about shooting with RED but two days’ rental would have blown our limited budget. Instead, we used my Canon 5D MKII with a borrowed handheld rig and a set of Zeiss primes. Essentially, we used whatever we could get our hands on, which thankfully worked for the realistic approach to the story.

Fight the Foot - Raphael

How did you assemble your cast/crew?

People were shown one image (see above) and asked if they wanted to help out. We were lucky with the cast and crew—people were genuinely excited to be a part of it, in whatever way we needed.

The design you came up with for Raphael is pretty cool, sorta blends the original film with the Mirage comic. How did that look come about and who’s the man behind the mask?

That’s exactly what I wanted to do with the design, keep what people were used to from the original film yet add the aggressive nature of the Mirage comic. It had to be something that had an emotional weight with it, so it wasn’t just a costume. I asked my friend Adam to take on the role of Raphael, and he was more than willing. It brought more challenges than people might expect, working through the suit, and Adam stepped up.

Who did the special effects for the short? Did you work with a specific studio or team?

There were only a few effects shots and I handled those myself. A big part of making this film was to keep it feeling real, and the best way to do that here was to handle most shots in camera.

Fight the Foot - Shell Prop

Are there any plans to try and get this licensed? My thoughts go to the recent news of Kevin Tancharoen’s Mortal Kombat: Rebirth short getting greenlit as a web series.

I would be open to that, for sure. It would be a dream come true to have an opportunity to work with a real budget and to have the rights.

The Turtles have been around for over 20 years now. What do you think it is about them that has kept them interesting all this time?

Their personalities. People can relate to at least one of them in some way. They’re really likable heroes.

What’s your favorite character from the cartoons that has never made it to the screen yet?

Bebop and Rocksteady. I think a lot of us really felt their absence on the big screen.

Fight the Foot - Ending

I couldn’t agree with you more! I was so upset when they cast Tokka and Rahzar in the second film instead of them. What’s your stance on trend in Hollywood to remake, or reboot, all of these 80s franchises and if given the chance how would you put your own personal spin on the upcoming Turtles reboot?

It’s a business and it seems to be working well for the studios. I’m not against it, especially when we’re talking about a remake from someone like Christopher Nolan, someone who puts the time and respect and research into the project, into developing the characters and the material of the franchise. If I had a chance to work on the Turtles reboot, I’d want the characters to make the movie. Fight scenes can be fantastic, of course, but character development takes it to the next level in people’s minds.

How can people learn more about Fight the Foot?

You can check out FightTheFoot.com and follow FightTheFoot on Facebook and Twitter for updates. I’ll be giving away prizes to supporters of the film starting this week.

IMAGES CREDIT: Richard Krause

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About Author

Rondal

Rondal is the Editor-in-Chief of Strange Kids Club and a creative instigator who tackles each day with Red Bull-induced enthusiasm and a mind for adventure. Rondal has written for other sites including Rue Morgue, Fuel Your Illustration and Bloodsprayer. His obsession with horror movies, 80s animation and action figures is considered unhealthy by medical professionals.

  • http://www.coolandcollected.com Brian (Cool & Collected)

    I love seeing what people can do when they use their creativity and ingenuity rather than relying on high-tech CGI. Great video. Great article.

    • http://www.strangekidsclub.com Strange Kid

      Same here. I think sometimes I enjoy learning about the process just as much as the final product itself. :)

  • Jeff Gordon

    I heart everything about this. I am an avid turtles fan and I really enjoy this interview. (especially the part about the Bebop and Rocksteady flop, couldn’t agree more.) I have a hug collection, including a full sized Ninja Turtle costume. I want to be apart of this so bad it kills me! Have you seen this sight yet? http://turtledoc.fauxpop.tv/
    Peace!

    • http://www.strangekidsclub.com Rondal

      Very cool site, Jeff! Looks like it’s been awhile since it’s been updated, but the footage that’s there looks like it’d make for an awesome doc. Any idea what’s happened to the project since 2009?

      • Jeff Gordon

        Unfortunately no. The guy who showed it to me owns a store in Hamilton, ON that sells toys and collectors items. He said it was a friend of his who is working on it. I’ve tried emailing him about it but nothing is getting through. I hope it’s still in the making.

  • Jose Rodriguez

    What kind of lighting did you guys used?

  • Jose Rodriguez

    Man, god bless you, I love this short.

    • Rondal

      Same here, Jose. I really hope that Richard follows it up someday with an feature length indie film. That would kick arse!!