“One of the BEST fake-you-out trailers online.”

                 - WIZARD MAGAZINE 09

AKIRA: Press

Nuke Magazine interview 2001Nuke_Interview.html
WIZARD MAGAZINE 2009Wizard_Magazine.html

In 2001 - Filmmakers Juan Avilez and Joshua Siegel first met as competitors in the Project Greenlight screenwriting contest. Soon after meeting, they discovered a mutual love of anime and Hong Kong style cinema and soon began searching for a project to collaborate on.

AKIRA is that project. This, is their story. It won’t make you cry.. it wont make you go out and want to kill babies (hopefully it wont). But if you love AKIRA as much as they do, you might dig their homage to possibly one of the greatest comic book stories ever told.

To the right - Akira: Making a FAN FILM - Has everything you need to know. But just in case you want more...

Below - Juan’s pre-production book, took photo’s of its insides and had him comment on them. Music Commentary by the TODD and CGI commentary by .

AKIRA: Commentary

That envelope has all the receipts for the shoot. We said we would not go above 200.00 no matter what. And.. We shot this puppy on a Hi-8 Digital Video camera. Possibly the one regret looking back. I wish we did have a better camera, but you have to do the best with what you have.

Joshua and I put flyers pretty much everywhere we could. I think we got maybe 2 or 3 replies. All didn’t work out.. and you get sooo discouraged. You tell yourself “Okay, maybe we don’t need the bikes.” We did get someone who I just happened to see pull into my place of work with a bike, Craig Jorgensen. I had seen him before but we didn’t know each other. I asked if he could help us out.. He happened to be an actor (87.14% of all Angelinos are). He came downtown with us and rode his bike up and down the streets we picked out. Sooooo nice of a guy. When we finished shooting, he wouldn’t let us pay him for gas. He wouldn’t take it. I mean we were both glad because we were broke at the time. But I just remember him being really laid back and cool. Its sad to say that he took his life about 6 months after on Mulholland Dr.

James Holley was our make up FX guy. This is his concept for the clown gang face paint.  He also played our Head Bike gang leader and just did a little of everything. Did the pill on the red jacket we gave him.

You can plan all you want, but fire is going to do what it wants. In the Making of, you could kind of see our set up. But the idea was for Josh to be surrounded by fire.. which I felt we can get away with in a close up. I was sure it work because it would be a quick shot, but... our fire contraption (if I can call it that), it didn’t work.

Real Rocks

Fake Rocks with fishing wire attached.

I guess I could of easily just used the comic books for shot references, would of looked waaaay better. I just had to shoot my own ideas based on a movie version I created in my head. Now.. this was a lesson for both myself and Joshua. We hired someone, who (well as much as you can hire someone without paying them). We only looked for people who we thought were passionate about the process and well. obviously passionate about AIKRA. We found someone who said they would edit and do CGI FX.. and well, we waited a loooong time for a cut to be finished. Along with FX shots. Its one of those things were you just have to move on and kind of start over. This was painful when we realized nothing was going to get done. But! I mean I do feel things happen for a reason, with us going our separate ways, we found Sheldon Whittaker. And when all is said and done, the original guy did give a cool looking force field bubble.

ORIGINAL SCORE Commentary: by the TODD (aka Todd Andrew)

This punk director comes up to me and asks if I can make music for him and his film geek friends.. and for FREE? I was like for what? He said “AKIRA”, and I told him I would only do it if he tickled my dogs balls for an hour. HA! He did it. Now he’ll deny it, but he absolutely touched my dogs balls.. As far as the music goes.... this was the first score that I had done. I had never really made anything like this before, nor did I have the proper equipment. It was done on a digital 8 track player. Everybody else was using computers to record, I hadn't gotten hip yet though. I wanted to do the actual Akira theme that runs over then end credits of the original movie, though that was done on a xylophone. What I did was transcribe the notes from the xylophone and do them on guitar. It took forever, but I like the way it sounded. Then I added all the other parts like the drum and bass track in the beginning and the ambient stuff that fills it up. Later on we added the operatic vocals courtesy of Rosemary Laack. Most people would put the movie in their computer and score to that, but I just pushed play on my VCR and 8 track recorder at the same time to see if the music and video matched up. It was a learning experience, and I love the way it turned out. I'm much more evolved now in the way I do things. Since then I've done lots more, with each project I learn more and get better. My goal is to become the best composer out there. An oh, in my Oscar speech, I'm going to wear my Guerillaworks t shirt. Count on it.

CGI Commentary by: Sheldon Whitiker

San Diego Comic Con 2006

Soooo.. looking back. I think its pretty cool we got ourselves an original score. Even based on the Anime theme. There’s a lot of fan films out there.. they will tend to use an existing track. Its cool to be able to reach big that way when we were 1st starting out. Then to get the CG FX we did... just icing on the cake. Josh and I were amped to make it. In 2006 we made a few copies of the DVD and handed them out. We left 2 copies at the Wizard booth, so I can honestly say we did everything we can to get as many people to see it. Its 10 years ago now..

I wouldn’t say its the best out there, but I definitely do not feel its the worst of them. The BEST.. I feel, if you you’ve never seen it. Its GRAYSON. That fan film kicks ass, takes names, and leave the weak behind. And I do have a fondness for BATMAN: Dead End.



Todd Andrew has just released a an album with his band Yell Fire early this year. He has been playing music for over 10 years in and around the Los Angeles area. To hear more of his work, CLICK here