Thursday, April 27, 2006

'Building Empire':
A Fan Documentary

'Building Empire' is a documentary created by 'Jambe Davdar'. It combines the feature length film 'The Empire Strikes Back' with behind the scenes video clips, audio from the cast and crew, alternate angles, resconstructed scenes and text facts, taking fans deep inside the process behind the making of the Star Wars sequel.

Here are some reviews:

"Every Star Wars fan owes it to himself to see Jambe Davdar's Building Empire. It's superbly done, impeccably well researched and scholarly, and will teach even the most die hard fan of the film things about Empire that they would never have known otherwise.

Davdar has called this an "Audio/Visual Commentary" for the film, which describes it quite well. It's an edit in the vein of Deleted Magic (and a fine successor to it), in that you're watching the actual film as commentary, making of footage, and reams of information are thrown at you in a highly entertaining and enlightening manner. Davdar does not cut out any scenes from the film - he manages to have something to say about each and every single scene, which is fairly remarkable in and of itself.

The quality of the video is very good...and hasn't lost its quality as Davdar superimposes information over it... The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen, which results in many pan & scan "making of" shots being shrunk and cropped at the top and bottom, and cropped further as subtitles are placed over the bottom of the screen, but this is done tastefully and you never feel like you're missing much important information in the image.

What sets this film apart, and above and beyond any fan production I've seen including my own, is the quality of the research. Davdar just happens to know a lot about the film The Empire Strikes Back, and shares it all in this edit. Of particular interest are the crackly, poor quality sound excerpts from the rarely-seen Super 8mm version of the film, which contain alternate takes of many lines.

This is the ultimate supplemental disc for the Empire Strikes Back. Fire up your PAL-compatible DVD player and show it to all your friends. The film, as a side bonus, stands well alongside the Star Wars disc Deleted Magic, and I'm embarrassed and glad to say that on a technical level it's far superior to my own effort. It deserves to be a part of every fan's collection, displayed just as proudly as your preferred classic edition of the film itself". (review by Ocpmovie, creator of 'Deleted Magic).
"Building Empire has arrived and is truly superb !

Having seen it at various times through it's gestation I can safely say that Building Empire can proudly sit alongside all other discs that evolve from this forum and others that just amaze me that they are fan based. I truly feel like I did the first time I saw Deleted Magic watching Building Empire. The care and attention gone into this project speaks volumes for the fact that none of the extras on any of the retail Star Wars discs can hold a candle to the sheer sweat and tears that must have gone into this labour of love.

The man that is Jambe can sit on laurels for a while and have a well deserved rest before Returning To Jedi kicks off." (review by Meedermow - Offical QA guy for Building Empire).
"So, last night I got ready to watch Jambe Davdar's Building Empire. I've already had seen one of the earlier versions to this which I already thought was amazing. Anyway there is so much more work gone it to this that its ridiculous, The menus are amazing and professional, very straight forward easy to use. The extras are a special added bonus which made interesting viewing.

The actually documentary has information that most of us had no clue about. There is so much to take in with the info that it cant be done with just one viewing of this DVD. The music and commentary blend and mix in perfectly.. it just make you thinks that why Lucasfilm don't do this...

Above all simply loved this amazing DVD. Thinking about the work and research that must gone into this gives me a headache!" (review by SKY)
"This final version was amazing. Everyway an equal to Deleted Magic. I thought I knew everything about the Empire Strikes Back. I thought wrong. The menus were beautiful but simple. The bonus features were great. Nice to see extras that aren't just like every other disc. Well done Jambe. Nine point two stars." (review by Sluggo)
"I'm a huuuuge ESB fan. It's always been one of my "sacred cow" films, and I've studied it like some peopel study Citizen Kane. So to say that I was looking forward to viewing Building Empire would be a bit of an understatment.

What a great job! All of your clips and choices of information were top notch. I especially liked the care you took in not using the same old interviews that we've heard over and over, but using a lot of the lesser known audio bytes available. The use of comic footage was inspired, and the on screen textual commentary was amazing (I could even have had even more!).

What I was expecting was a nice way to spend my Saturday morning, but what I wished for was a great DVD to proudly display on my Star Wars shelf. My wish was granted LONG LIVE JAMBE!" (review by Brimley)

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