Many visitors to Spider-Man Hype! (before we became SuperHeroHype) may remember the name Dan Poole! - Poole created the fan-film sensation, The Green Goblin’s Last Stand, that was the godfather of the fan-film craze back in 1999. Who can forget the sight of Dan Poole in full Spider-Man costume swinging six stories up off the side of an office building with nothing more between him and the ground than a home-made Spider-Man costume!
Well, these days Dan has created a new and original superhero film, The Photon Effect. The feature-length film centers on communication engineers Derek and Jay Powers, who are unwittingly affected by the experimental energy emissions of a private research company’s communications antenna - suddenly their high-risk world gets very dangerous. Jay’s obsessive nature sees him becoming part of the evil experiments, while resenting Derek’s attempts to rid them all of their symptoms. To save Jay from himself, Derek must learn how to harness his abilities and meet the super human crew at the research facility head on… and ultimately lead to the birth of a new superhero!
SuperHeroHype.com caught up with Dan Poole recently to catch up with the fan-filmmaker turned feature filmmaker…
SuperHeroHype: The Hype! was one of the first sites to cover your Spider-man fan film, "The Green Goblin’s Last Stand," and as a result fan films seemed to explode all over the internet.
Dan Poole: Back when SHH was SMH I’m not sure the term "fan film" existed! You guys were pulling the curtain up on the world stage to see what was happening with camcorders and costumes. What has happened since is amazing. I thought it was really cool to see other people as passionate as I was. But after a sobering few years of not getting anywhere in the film industry with these videos as my only demo reel, I began down the ‘ol road to bitterness. I actually carried a very negative view of "Fan Films" for several years.
While it was fascinating to witness the birth of what has become it’s own genre, I felt that (career-wise) working with copyrighted characters was a complete waste of time.
SHH: From Spidey to "The Photon Effect," where did the idea for your film come from?
DP: I got a phone call one day from a friend who was involved with the short lived TV show "Who Wants To Be A Superhero?" He insisted I create a character and submit it for consideration. It became really fun to think up all the different elements that go into a superhero's life as well as his alter-ego. That show ultimately did not accept my character. However, I had so much fun that I decided to write a feature-length script!
SHH: Now that the film is completed and out on DVD, and looking back, you are the writer, producer, star and director, what is that like wearing so many hats for your first big feature film? Is there enough Dan Poole to go around?
DP: I've always felt like being in charge of what I write. I envision it, so I need to produce it. Until recently I couldn't imagine anyone else directing my words, I enjoy being in front of the camera and I love to edit! I enjoy every step of filmmaking. "The Photon Effect" is finally on DVD and it is currently available on ThePhotonEffect.com as well as Amazon.com. We are working on getting distribution and hope to see it on cable TV as well as overseas sometime this year.
SHH: The film has a great message to it, that of duty, brotherhood and doing the right thing, what would you like the audience to take away from the film?
DP: When I finally got a handle on the script, I knew what I wanted the message to be. "You can't help anyone - no matter how badly you want to - if they don't want to be helped." There is so much more to this movie than special effects. There's symbolism and metaphors that some people don't see because they only judge it on the superficial (pun intended). I've always called it, "A River Runs Through It, with superheroes." Reaction (to the film) has been very positive, thankfully! I mean, you can't please everyone - but I've enjoyed a lot of great reviews by both fans of the genre and those who don't care for the superhero fare.
For more information and to get your copy of the DVD, visit the official The Photon Effect website for more details. You can watch the trailer below: