Valiant, a swashbuckling sci-fi thriller about a trio of fugitive air pirates, will make its world theatrical premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival on April 28th. Directed by Robin Phillips and starring Gil Darnell, Jason Hice and Andrew Varenhorst, the 23-minute film, shot and finished in 4K and featuring more than 130 visual effects shots, is the precursor to a planned feature-length epic in the spirit of Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
Set in a dystopian future, Valiant delivers the rip-roaring adventure of three wanted men, known as the Valiant Three, who are pirates of the skies and thorns in the side of the Evil Royal Crown. These daring outlaws soar above a dying world in a tilt-rotor cargo plane while robbing from the rich and giving to themselves.
When the Valiant Three accidentally lead a Royal Currier to an untimely demise, they are left in possession of a very unusual package -- a lost child princess. Realizing the fortune this child represents, our heroes decide to make a risky trade - the girl for their freedom.
Valiant is an R.G. Pictures production; executive produced by Robin Phillips and Alexander MacLean, produced by Shyam Sundar Sengupta, Sev Ohanian, Adam Nelson, and Eric Edmonds. Phillips and Scott Baba wrote the original screenplay.
Valiant began as a USC Film School project under the supervision of producer John Watson (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Backdraft) and was funded, in part, through a highly successful Kickstarter program. The production made use of a number of novel visual effects techniques and workflow processes to create studio-caliber visuals at a fraction of the cost. The production received mentoring and support from New Deal Studios visual effects supervisor Matthew Gratzner and miniatures specialist Fon Davis. Additional support was provided by numerous other Hollywood film professionals and the Academy of Art, San Francisco, and its Studio X.
"Valiant started as an impossible daydream and was brought into reality by many amazing, kind and generous people,” says Phillips. “We set out to do the impossible with everything we had to give people something really memorable, really fantastic.”
Live action cinematography was completed at a variety of Los Angeles-area locations, including the city’s historic Biltmore Hotel and a water treatment plant near LAX. The film’s hero aircraft was a 1950s vintage Fairchild C-123 military transport plane. Principal photography was shot digitally and elements for visual effects such as pyrotechnics were shot with high-speed cameras.
Valiant’s producers are currently developing a feature film set in the same Valiant world. They also foresee possibilities for spinning off television shows, interactive games and new media content. “Valiant is an amazing and ambitious project,” says New Deal Studio’s Fon Davis. “It's a well-orchestrated adventure with outstanding production value. It’s like nothing you've seen before.