Matt Rubenstein made a predator fan film called Predator The Harvest which was released in 2004. We did an interview with him and asked him how the project began.
Corporal Hicks – First off, what is your name and how long have you been a Predator fan and under what reasons?
Matt Rubenstein – My name is Matt Rubenstein. I have been a Predator fan for many years. Mostly under the reasons of the movies. I always wondered why they only made 2. Plus wondering why they got Danny Glover for Part 2? Every time I see that guy I think to myself ‘he’s going to die any time now the way he sounds.’
Corporal Hicks – So what is your involvement in this project?
Matt Rubenstein – I wrote the screenplay in about 2 hours. Then decided I was going to try something I had never done before and decided to direct it. So I am also the Director.
Corporal Hicks – So why did you decide to make a fan movie?
Matt Rubenstein – This originally did not start out as a fan film. It was for a contest where the theme was Aliens Attacking the earth. My original summary Idea was totally different. But when I found a guy here at LucasArts made a Predator outfit I jumped at the chance to put it in my film. When I reworked the script I just told myself to make it fun and have the Predator do what he does best and that is kill his prey.
Corporal Hicks – So it was a competition? Any rules?
Matt Rubenstein – The competition was hosted by ILM. The rules were NO CGI could be used. Your budget was only $50 dollars. You could only use what you had lying around. The contest was just to get people back to the old days of fooling around with a camera on a near to nothing budget.
Corporal Hicks – I assume you enjoyed making it?
Matt Rubenstein – I had a great time while making this film. It got me back into making movies. I had a great cast and crew to work with. They all worked for free and the challenge of how and where to shoot everything for free was a fun problem to figure out. I mean that’s all movie making is anyway it’s just problem solving. I had an idea and just had to figure out the problems we had to make it work. So when it came time to find a location for example a permit costs about $170 a day…which would have put us way over budget. Luckily my girlfriend Katie was able to help me out and got us a permit to be in a public park after hours for free. Which was a huge step cause we were scouting out locations for about 3 months before that.
Everything was really fun until the last night of shooting. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. We got kicked out of 1 park by 2 rangers and then got into another park in which we had the actors in the scene screaming and it carried throughout the valleys to where someone called the cops. So we had 2 instances with cops showing up. Then we had issues with the fog machines along with lighting and it seemed as if nothing was going to work out at the time. But for the budget and the situations we had to overcome I am pleased with the final film.
Corporal Hicks – Tell us a bit about the story of this movie.
Matt Rubenstein – The story is very simple. 2 young couples are on their way to a nice weekend getaway to a cabin. They end up getting a flat tire and having to walk for help when they find there is no spare. While walking for help eventually day turns to night and when the couples notice a light in the field they go to see if it’s help. Only to find it’s not what they thought it was.
The short was meant to just be a fun film. No character development or heavy story is there. It’s just your basic have fun watch things die type film.
Corporal Hicks – What sort of SFX are we talking about?
Matt Rubenstein – The creature suit was made by Morgan Hastings. Another employee of LucasArts. He made the suit 10yrs ago and he entered it in all kinds of contests but never won cause people thought he bought the suit some place. Over the years the suit had taken a lot of damage and I was afraid we weren’t going to be able to use it for filming but with proper lighting and some good old fashioned packing tape it worked at well.
Corporal Hicks – Have you be adding anything to the Predator mythos?
Matt Rubenstein – No I don’t think we have added to any Predator Mythos.
Corporal Hicks – Lots of explosions I hope?
Matt Rubenstein – No there are no explosions here. Would have ran us way over budget and couldn’t get the permit for it.
Corporal Hicks – How long is the movie and how big is the file?
Matt Rubenstein – The movie is 15min and 50sec long the file is about 73.3MB
Corporal Hicks – Are you going to do any sequels?
Matt Rubenstein – Well I am currently working on another short film. It is only in the early stages of production. I am working on the script right now. The title for the film is Blackout. I am fooling with the idea of making a short or full feature. It is based more around being a Superhero film. We are trying to keep it dark and more real life then fantasy.
As for more Predator films though. I was thinking of making another one at a later date some time. Though it would be the predator fighting another fan fav character..though I will say right now that character would NOT be an Alien. So who knows? In the future we could see a Harvest Vol 2.
Thanks for the interview and I hope you all enjoy the film and comment on it cause we enjoy making them for you. Matt Rubenstein 2King Productions