Roger Christian might be most famous for his set/art direction on iconic films like Star Wars and Alien, but back in 1980 he helped inspire the look for cinematic fantasy films with his short Black Angel. It had been commissioned by George Lucas to run alongside prints of Empire Strikes Back, and Roger was given a budget of $25,000 to make it. The Arthurian fantasy short would go on to inspire John Boorman’s Excalibur along with many fantasy genre films that came after including Ridley Scott’s Legend and Peter Jackson’s Lord of The Rings. It’s use of practical sets and real locations has even helped pave the way for projects like Game of Thrones to thrive without massively bloated budgets.
Christian recently revealed the short in it’s entirely, after being lost for about 30 years. He’s now looking to make a feature length version of the film, based on his original vision. Roger has started a to crowdfund a portion of the budget via an IndieGoGo campaign. In mere hours he’s already raised $30,000 out of the total goal of $100,000. He’s hoping to recapture some of the magic of using in-camera effects and existing locations for the feature vision.
Some of the cast has been revealed to include newcomer Laura Weissbecker (Chinese Zodiac), John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones, Lord of The Rings), Rutger Hauer (Ladyhawke, Flesh+Blood, Blade Runner), and others are expected to be announced within the time-frame of the campaign.
Check out the original short from 1980 below, along with the link to the IndieGoGo campaign.