“Alpha, Rita’s escaped! Recruit a team of teenagers with attitude!”
… Not exactly.
Presenting (cue the lightning bolts!) MMPR: Power Rangers reimagined!
Director/Cinematographer Dominick Sivilli and Producer Louis Maldarelli answered some questions for SNT about their latest project, which was kept strictly under wraps – until now! The teaser trailer is premiering at the Official Power Morphicon convention in Los Angeles this weekend, and is now LIVE on the web!
Questions and teaser after the jump!
1. MMPR: Evil Rebuilt, Power Reborn. Power Rangers has a very special place in the hearts of our generation, especially (kids born in the middle/late 80s). When/how did you decide to reimagine Power Rangers in this way for an original web series?
Dom: This past April, our producer Louis Maldarelli and I were at his place skimming through Netflix and we noticed that the first two seasons of Mighty Morphin Power Ranger were on instant. We decided to put it on. After about 5 minutes of watching episode one we realized how much we had grown and what made the show so special… the cheese factor. Louis and I pondered the idea of how anyone would make a “serious” Power Rangers film. We did some research on Google and found that no one had tried, though its core fanbase had been clamoring for it for years. So over the course of three months we put the best team together, shot a teaser, and are presenting it to the world on August 18. This series will be for the fans that have grown up whom watched the original.
2. What makes MMPR different? What is the style and where did the inspiration come from?
Louis: The first thing people are going to notice is that this is not the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers you watched growing up. We wanted to take these characters that are from this very colorful, childish place and put them in the real world that we are in now.
Dom: The biggest challenge for our Power Rangers adaptation was to take what the old series was and give it a more serious tone. We wanted to make it a mature, dark and gritty superhero movie. I say superhero because we will have sci-fi elements in the series, which would add a fantastical element to a real world setting. Our inspirations are films like THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, ROBOCOP, THE MARVEL FILMS, TRON and STAR TREK. Movies that take a subject matter so extraordinary and place them into a real world environment. It will be “reality plus” but we’ve still got room to have fun!
3. Tell us about your cast and crew and what it was like shooting the teaser!
Dom: I have so much to say about the cast & crew. I love them all. I have been working with most of them as a cinematographer for over two years and once I told them I was directing something they were gung-ho. They are very loyal and talented people. But once I told them I was doing a Power Ranger film, most of them jumped in the air. Shooting with them was a breeze. Of course we had our challenges on set, but we pulled through like we always do. But the best part of the whole shoot was working with Estefanía Torres, who plays a young homeless girl in the trailer. She is 7 years old, very talented, and handles herself like an adult. I see many bright things for her in the future. And Jerry Murdock who played Lord Zedd brought so much to the role. His choices he made for the character’s voice and even his walk are what brought Zedd to life. I could not have done it without all of the cast & crew’s hard work. I owe them the world. So please I encourage everyone to go our web page and look up the people who all made this possible.
Louis: Not enough good things can be said about the crew. They worked so hard and at some points, it really became a chore to get through this shoot. But everyone banded together and got through it. My hat is off to them. As for the actors, all the extras that were involved really shined in my eyes. Everyone that showed up was there to work hard and have a good time and no one disappointed.
4. What are your hopes for the future of MMPR?
Dom: I’ve sort of become the fan film guy (laughs). I recently served as cinematographer on both a HALO and a BATMAN fan film. So I knew the risk of working on an IP owned by a huge company. My hope is that we get the budget we need to make a feature film and break it up as a web series. Or at the very least, my team can get something out of this. Maybe our own original Superhero story with the same grit in the teaser.
Louis: My goal for this project is to just get it out there and have people enjoy it. I’m a Power Rangers fan too and after seeing what we put together, I can’t imagine why anybody wouldn’t want to see more of this. Best case scenario would be to get the right people to notice us and see what we can do and what we can offer and hopefully get the opportunity to make a web series out of this. We already have a story and a script planned out, we are just almost there.
5. What do you think it was about Power Rangers that made such an indelible mark?
Dom: For me it was the “larger than life“ characters. From the age of 5 I always wanted to be the White Ranger and call upon my Zord to destroy evil.
Louis: I think Dom is right. When the Power Rangers came out, it was my first time really being able to follow these larger than life characters and their adventures. It really was my first taste into this fantasy world where these superheroes can fight villians. And I think it was the same for a lot of people.
6. I have to ask – who is your favorite Power Ranger and what is your favorite version (Original, Zeo, Turbo, etc)?
Dom: I grew too old for it after the original, so definitely the original. My favorite Power Ranger was the white one.
Louis: (laughs) I stopped following around the time Zeo came out except for a few instances when I got an episode here or there. But honestly, I watched a lot while doing research for this project and I have to say, outside of the originals, my favorite Power Ranger is Kira, the Yellow Dino Ranger. I have a huge crush on her!
7. When it comes to this MMPR-creation experience, what are you most proud of? What are you most excited for people to see?
Dom: I’m proud of the team we’ve assembled. They are my superheroes. Just one person doesn’t make a movie. I want people to see what we all pulled off and where we are taking this series.
Louis: Overall, I am most proud of the hard work everyone put in. From the cast to the crew, everyone came in and gave 110%. I am excited for people to see the world we created. This trailer really brings to life the atmosphere and introduces us to a new (old) character, a side of this person we have never seen before. I am very excited (and nervous) to see what kind of reaction we get from the fans.
8. Tell us how we can get the latest updates and help MMPR to become the kick-ass web series it’s meant to be!
Dom: Our website: www.MMPRfilm.com
And they can support & invest at: www.indiegogo.com/mmprfilm
9. Anything else you’d like the public to know?!
Dom: Ummm… It’s morphin time?!
Louis: Go Go Power Rangers?
That pretty much sums it up! Thanks so much to Dom and Louis for speaking with us. SNT wishes you all the BEST and can’t wait to see more!
More shares and likes means more eyes on the trailer, more people becoming aware of the project, more support donated, and a better chance to see this amazing series come to (morphinominal) fruition! Indie creatives should always have each other’s backs! Remember every little bit helps.
always a yellow ranger at heart,
- da leopard