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AvPGalaxy Interviews James Bushe & Simon Rowling (Predator: Dark Ages)

In June 2014 the team behind Predator: Dark Ages started their Kickstarter campaign to fund their vision for a Predator fan film set in the Medieval times. It barely made the minimum they wanted, the amount that would have allowed them to do a short trailer.

Thankfully director and writer, James Bushe, and director of photography, Simon Rowling, were able to secure the remaining fund privately and that allowed them to go ahead and create this amazing fan film that has proved to be a hit, placing above Predator 2 and Predators in the IMDB rankings.

James and Simon kindly agreed to take some time to answer some of our questions about Predator: Dark Ages.

Aliens vs Predator Galaxy – One of the challenges a lot of fan films face is making the extra-terrestrial creatures look good. A lot of the newer films are tapping into a great new resource, cosplayers, something you also utilized. You tapped up Philip Lane from Sentient Creatures to perform as your Predator. How did his involvement come about?

James Bushe –  So as I mentioned I already had this medieval Predator idea in the back of my head, waiting to take to Hollywood. Then one day I was browsing Facebook and came across Phil and his costume and was amazed how good it looked. So I messaged him and asked if he had done any video work and did he fancy doing a (then) trailer. When I told him the idea he jumped at the chance to get involved and from that point the fan film became a reality.

Phil was really the main building block for the short. Without him and his costume I would not have bothered. I know some people have mentioned we should have designed and built our own costume etc, but the amount that would cost would have dramatically affected our budget and what we could do. I know another campaign was running on Kickstarter to create a suit but I believe already having our suit helped us in our initial campaign. We were able to use it to shoot a teaser and make posters. Besides I still think the Predator 1 hunter is still my frav out the lot. Yes we had to work around the suit but it was a great starting point.”

The Predator suit belonged to Phillip Lane of Sentient Creatures. He portrayed the Predator aside from the final fight sequence in which Simon was inside the suit.  AvPGalaxy Interviews James Bushe & Simon Rowling (Predator: Dark Ages)

The Predator suit belonged to Phillip Lane of Sentient Creatures. He portrayed the Predator aside from the final fight sequence in which Simon was inside the suit.

The pair talk about their background, the history of the project, how the Kickstarter campaign effected Predator: Dark Ages and much more. Be sure to head on over to our interviews section and check out the entire interview with James Bushe & Simon Rowling about Predator: Dark Ages.

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Comments: 4
  1. The_Angry_Barbarian
    I gotta say I wasn't overly impressed by this fan film, I mean obviously aspects I liked but on a whole I didn't think it was much better than some other fan films. First off I do want to say the special effects were fantastic I really couldn't fault that aspect the cloaking was as good as the originals effects and the head blowing up was really well done. The acting was decent particularly like Brother Richard and at least unlike Predators the characters were developed somewhat and the directing was good. The problem I had was story, now I like the concept and the initial build up but when we get to the Predator I think it fell a little flat. To me it seems that some aspects of the hunter were completely ignored this primarily stood out to me where it kills one of the soldiers and uncloaks itself in front of the two witnesses. This to me was a little strange as the Predator creature has always liked to track its prey, observing them at a distance before taking them out one by one when it is hunting alone. I mean granted City Hunter does take on multiple gang members simultaneously but he only uncloaks to deal with the final gang member which is the Predator allowing its prey an honourable death. It rarely bothers uncloaking before prey if it is confronted by many adversaries (I'm ignoring the comics and xenomorph encounters).

    The end was a little bit strange though I like that the Predator remained alive for once but the whole Sied sneaking up on it to then surrender. I mean I get it I understand the Predator in Dark Ages is supposed to respect Sied doing what he does but as soon as he snuck up on the Predator with a blade drawn he would have signed his death certificate. I'm going to use Poncho as an example here as he barely engages the creature at all throughout the original movie the only time really being when they all destroy the jungle following Blaine's death but after that he doesn't get much of a chance to fight it but it still kills him as he is brandishing a gun and has been seen using it. The only person the Predator willingly spares is Anna as she doesn't brandish a weapon and though she carries one and intends to fire she is stopped from doing so thus she doesn't use a weapon but what Sied does is issue a threat to a Predator by putting his knife to its throat. As soon as he puts the knife away the Predator is going to kill him. Sure it will respect his actions but all that will do is give the Predator a reason to take a trophy opposed to skinning him and that's if the Predator allows him to get far enough to put his weapon away, it would then finish off the templar.
    Ultimately I view this fan film as I view most other fan films and Predators (which lets face it is a glorified fan film) it is a rehash of the original wanting to be the same thing and tweaking a few elements to differ it, other than that its pretty good but I'm waiting for a Predator film that can take the franchise in a new direction, expanding the mythos and retaining the base elements. I don't want to keep having to sit through some heroic figure who is obviously a wannabe Dutch fight against the Predator that's why I actually liked Predator 2 it was different and perhaps not quite the right thing to do completely but at least it was a different set up to a group of soldiers are hunted in a jungle or forest and killed with someone somehow surviving. The only good thing about this fan film is they didn't kill the Predator.
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