By The Ultimate Predator on August 8, 2005
The Ultimate Predator – How long have you been a Predator fan for and for what reasons?
Cory Bauer – I think I’ve been a Predator fan since I was about six years old. My Dad was watching Predator on HBO, and he let me watch it with him, probably against the will of my Mother. I’m pretty sure I covered my eyes when the Predator took off his mask. At any rate, I watched it countless times after that and was hooked. It’s hard to say why my six year old mind was so fascinated, but I can tell you now that I think the concept of Predator is great because it knocks humans down a notch on the food chain; it makes humans out to be the hunted instead of the hunters. In this real world, there’s really not a hunt humans can partake in where they’re in any serious danger.
The Ultimate Predator – When did you start creating fan films?
Cory Bauer – When I was about twelve years old, a couple friends of mine and my little brother (against his will) spent a weekend making what we called, “Predator 3”. We were just a couple kids playing around with a camera in the woods. We made all kinds of other little films, but “Predator 3” was the only one that wasn’t an original idea. A few summers later we started an “Alien vs Predator” film, but we only shot the first couple scenes before we lost interest. We had a papier-mache Alien egg and facehuggger that we could walk like a puppet on strings.
The Ultimate Predator – Is your old Predator 3 fan film still around or available?
Cory Bauer – I have a copy on VHS somewhere, as do the other guys who were involved. Someone probably digs it out when they want a good laugh. It’s not available for public consumption. I don’t even have a VCR, so I couldn’t watch it even if I knew where it was.
The Ultimate Predator – How long did it take for you to apply the SFX for Predator: Dark Jungle?
Cory Bauer – We spent about four months editing the film and adding the special effects.
The Ultimate Predator – Was filming Predator: Dark Jungle harder than you expected?
Cory Bauer – We had done enough little films that we knew how much work it was going to be. It was still very difficult of course, but we had a very good idea of the massive workload we were getting ourselves involved in. The hardest part is always finding the time. When we did Dark Jungle, we were at the age that we had summer jobs, and trying to schedule days when everyone could be available for filming was the biggest issue. And of course in Minnesota we had the issue of finishing filming before Autumn when the leaves fall and the snow arrives. I think the total count for film days was about thirteen twelve hour days. Once the filming is completed, you can take your sweet time alone in front of the computer to do the editing and special effects.
The Ultimate Predator – What main things would you change to Predator: Dark Jungle?
Cory Bauer – Man, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Knowing everything I know now, six years later, there’s probably not a single thing about Dark Jungle that I wouldn’t change. The important thing is to take what you learn and apply that experience and knowledge to your next project. Make your film to the best of your ability, and move on to the next.
The Ultimate Predator – Will Predator: Hunters Match ever be finished?
Cory Bauer – Sorry, probably not. Hunter’s Match was never filmed in it’s entirety, and we don’t feel it holds up with just the scenes that are completed.
The Ultimate Predator – What are/were the plans for the Predator: Hunters Match DVD?
Cory Bauer – One feature that was at the top of my list for the Hunter’s Match DVD was going to be the option to watch the film with the profanities turned off. The film is ridiculously vulgar, and I know a lot of our DVD viewers are still living under their parents’ roof. Dark Jungle on the other hand is squeaky clean on the language front because we were still kids when we made it and wanted to show our Grandmas :) Other features would have included commentaries, some behind the scenes footage, a gag reel, and all the usual stuff that a good DVD has.
The Ultimate Predator – Who were the outside sources for Predator: Hunters Match?
Cory Bauer – I’m not going to get into names, but Hunter’s Match was the brainchild of a Wisconsin guy who saw Dark Jungle on our website (www.sboobtv.com) and liked what he saw. He too wanted to make a Predator fan film, and asked if we’d be interested in bringing our experience and knowhow to his film.
The Ultimate Predator – I assume that there is no way that a ‘kick-ass’ ending for Predator: Hunters Match could be filmed with the outside sources now?
Cory Bauer – No sir. Hunter’s Match was filmed in 2001, and the guy that started the project broke all ties with us after viewing an in-progress proof of the film, and gave the actors involved some fabricated excuse as to why the film wasn’t going to be finished. Oh, the drama!
The Ultimate Predator – Even if Predator: Hunters Match never sees the light of day, do you think that it is significantly better than Predator: Dark Jungle?
Cory Bauer – There are many things about Hunter’s Match which we adored, and are leaps and bounds beyond our capabilities during Dark Jungle. The Predator costume we created, the tape format we used (DV instead of VHS), our cinematography skills, and pretty much ever other aspect all appear light-years beyond Dark Jungle. But the script was out of our hands, and a solid ending was never written for the film, which leaves it all for not. I really need to mention the actors involved in Hunter’s Match; we had a blast working with them. They were motivated, cooperative, and just fun to be around. It was great just staying behind the camera and watching them act it out, instead of being one of the actors in the film in addition to being the cameraman and director. They were terrific.
The Ultimate Predator – What motivated you for making Predator: Dark Jungle and Predator: Hunters Match?
Cory Bauer – We did Dark Jungle just to put our own skills to the test and give us a creative outlet during summer break. As I mentioned, we were more or less hired to work on Hunter’s Match.
The Ultimate Predator – What is the most enjoyable part of creating a fan film?
Cory Bauer – I consider fan films a means of measuring and advancing one’s skills. Because you’re using other people’s ideas and characters, it’s a way of seeing just how close you can match the real films style, look, special effects, and costumes. Of course a good fan film is going to have a solid script that doesn’t steal too much from the actual films – you want it to be a sequel, not a remake. When you finish a fan film, the satisfying thing is hearing people say “Wow that looks just like the real Predator!” or whatever character your fan film is based on. Making fan films is like building blocks for your own original films down the road.
The Ultimate Predator – Anything else you’d like to say?
Cory Bauer – I think it’s worth noting that Dark Jungle was made in 1999, and that Hunter’s Match was filmed in 2001. We’ve really been out of the fan film-making business for some time now, but they are still a very big deal to us. I honestly can’t say I expected to do an interview about Dark Jungle six years later. The official Alien vs Predator film really gave a boost to the Predator fanbase. I really enjoy seeing the other Predator fan films that hit the internet, and I hope it’s a franchise that the fans will carry on forever. Thanks!