These Fans Love 'Star Wars' So Much That They Made Their Own Films

Friends Jeff Henderson and Nick Finch won the audience choice award for their film "The Sable Corsair."
5:51 | 08/03/16

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Transcript for These Fans Love 'Star Wars' So Much That They Made Their Own Films
So what does it take to be a true "Star wars" fan? For the people you're about to meet it includes comebatting scorching heat and sandstorms. They celebrate the movie franchise they love by creating their own adventures. Making their own tribute films. Here's ABC's Clayton Sandell. ? Reporter: Here in the sand dunes of a remote alien planet, surrounded by storm troopers and bad guys -- we're on the set of a "Star wars" movie. Action! Reporter: Not the one you think. Here there's no George Luke cat or J.J. Abrams. But you will find Jeff Henderson and nick finch. Friends and "Star wars" fans so in love with that galaxy far, far away they're making their own "Star wars" movie. They'll enter their five-minute film in something called the "Star wars" fan film award. At stake, bragging rights. If I was a kid and saw that, I would literally spontaneously combust. Reporter: And just possibly fame and fortune. The guys have spent the last six weeks raising money and recruiting about 60 friends and family for a grueling three-day shoot in the scorching desert. If you've made a checklist of all the things that could possibly literally and figuratively go wrong, we've checked all of them off but tsunami, zombies, godzilla, plague of location kulss. Reporter: And they're all doing it for free. Did you see the shot we just did? We were surrounded by storm troopers and bob Fett. Reporter: The movie is called "The sable corsair" about a spaceship that crash lands and gets into trouble. Another day, another worst-case scenario. Reporter: The strange world of fan-made movies is bigger than ever and bigger than "Star wars." You'll find hundreds online from homemade "Harry potter" adventures to "Game of thrones" knockoffs. For the most part, big studios tolerate fan films using their copyrighted characters, as long as fans don't profit. But lucasfilm, the makers of "Star wars," actually encourage them. I think what lucasfilm gets out of it above all is a healthy fan community. Reporter: The sable corsair is one of 500 entries this year alone. The clock is ticking. They're scrambling to finish editing but the contest deadline is just days away. Six months of work in ten days. Reporter: There's a lot at stake. $10,000 they raised online, B $3,000 of their own. They've also lost money, turning down work to finish the film in time. Why do it? Childhood nostalgia that you fall in love with. Once you watch the first, I don't care who you are, you watch the first one, you're hook. Reporter: Brothers Edwards hope their five-minute masterpiece, featuring special effects that rival Hollywood, is good enough to get Hollywood's attention. We hope now people say, wow, these guys can do like high-concept ideas. They can do special effects. Reporter: That may be a dream, but it's a dream that came through for Joe Nusbaum. This is big-time. Reporter: Back in 1999, Nusbaum made a fan film called "George Lucas in love." You're George Lucas, right? Reporter: Hoping to jump start his own directing career. It worked. I had a meeting at dreamworks where the head of dreamworks walked in and handed me a letter from George Lucas. The first line of which was, "Steven Spielberg sent me a copy of your short film." Reporter: Today you'll find Nusbaum on an L.A. Sound stage, directing and producing the Amazon series "Just add magic." You're telling me the short "Star wars" themed fan film led you to where you are today? 100%. In fact, I still get jobs off of it now. Reporter: Back at lucasfilm it's time to pick the fan film final finalists. One of the judges is gareth Edwards, now directing what he calls his own fan film, the next real "Star wars" movie "Rogue one." Edwards can tell making "The sable corsair" wasn't easy. Having stood in the mission of the desert trying to shoot, they suffered for that. It's going to the effort of finding that location and sticking it out in difficult conditions. Reporter: So far it's paid off. "The sable corsair" is chosen as a finalist. Crash landed on a hostile uncharted planet -- Reporter: Next, London, basically the academy awards of star wars fan films. Ced at the annual convention. Hard-core "Star wars" geeks Jeff action nick, girlfriend Alex, brother Chris, made it just in time. This has been a long road. Oh my god. The longest journey ever. It's been an epic journey. Some blood, some sweat, some tears. Oh yeah, tears. A few macsed-out credit cards. Reporter: At this moment -- The golden storm trooper goes to -- "The sable corsair," the team's won the audience choice award, voted best fan film by the fans. "Star wars" is a defining creative and professional centerpiece of our lives. How's this feel? I'm so proud of these two. And everything that they did. And everybody here. Reporter: The Edwards brothers are winners too, picking up the filmmakers select award. For Jeff and nick, taking home a golden storm trooper has made the long journey well worth it. We've touched these people who it means so much to. Even the most minuscule way. It's huge, it's huge. Because it's such a big thing. Reporter: What's next for "The sable corsair" team? For that wait for the sequel. For "Nightline" I'm Clayton Sandell in London. Billy,

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