Directed by fanboy Mark Cheng, here’s a ridiculously awesome fan made G.I. Joe film called “Operation: Red Retrieval.” The 20-minute short was filmed over a period of 18 months with a Canon 7D and produced for a mere $2,500. This might be one of the best G.I. Joe fan films I’ve seen and it contains over 150 visual effects (be sure to watch until the end). A lot of love definitely went into this film and it deserves whatever accolades it gets.
Here’s what Cheng had to say about “Operation: Red Retrieval”:
This is NOT the GI Joe movie you’re dying to unsee.
This is the GI Joe movie I saw in my head more than 25 years ago. I watched the cartoons, read the comics, and collected the toys when I was a kid. Eventually I moved on from GI Joe but from that franchise came my love for war movies – Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Band of Brothers – and my deep respect for the armed services and the men and women who serve.
Through working on this film – a process that took a year and a half – I realized the significance that GI Joe played in my childhood. Batman works alone, X-men was about strength in diversity, Transformers was pure awesome robots. But GI Joe was about a team of heroes working together, taking care of one another, never giving up, and staying until the fight was won. That’s what I saw in my head, kept in my heart, and what I’ve tried to put into this film. As adults we’ve lost some of our innocence and, tragically, some of our idealism. We know heroes don’t dodge bullets by doing cartwheels. Sometimes they get hurt, sometimes they don’t come home. But under layers of dirt, grime, and blood, the hero is still there and he still sacrifices. And it’s under those same layers of dirt and blood, that the spirit of GI Joe will always live.
The other thing I wanted to capture is that feeling from when I was 8 years old lying the floor with my action figures. I’d line up my GI Joe figures next to my Star Wars figures next to my He-Man figures and next to my Autobot Transformers. It didn’t matter that the toys were of a different scale, possessed inexplicable powers, came from different brands, or lived in different universes. The ONLY things that mattered was that Good was about to defeat Evil, and that it was going to be SOOOO AWESOMEEEE.
So in a way, this is not the GI Joe movie I saw in my head 25 years ago. The film started that way, grew up like I did, got dirty like the world around us, but finds itself once again like the inner kid we all have within us.