WHEATLAND, Wyo. – Look out Wheatland -- we’re getting our very own “friendly, neighborhood Spiderman” movie, compliments of 17-year-old Quaid Cundall.
Cundall has loved the comic book character since he was four years old and started making his own movies at five, first using tape recorders and moving up to feature-length stop-motion films. Reading comics and watching the various incarnations of the character in movies gave him ideas of how he might do things differently and film his own interpretation.
“My inspiration came from good movies and aggravation at bad ones. It’s not hard to adapt something and make it correct. If it doesn’t happen in the comics, it doesn’t happen in my film,” explained Cundall. “The story has been told too many times, but never correctly or all the way through. So many Spiderman movies are, in essence, love stories. It puts the wrong focus on his motivations. He is not Spiderman because of a girl.”
He has about 25 people in the cast and it keeps growing as he continues to add more parts. He wrote the screenplay and it is 262 pages at the moment, but it might still have more revisions. Every time he reads a new comic, he gets another idea. “That’s the hardest part, writing it all down.”
Making movies is expensive. Cundall is starting from the ground up with cameras and editing software, but he has been able to borrow some equipment from Tim Womack from Impact Church. Costume costs are astronomical as he doesn’t want his Spiderman looking like he was outfitted from the Target Halloween department. He isn’t paying actors so it’s considered “no-budget,” but there are still lots of costs.
He is playing the title character, directing the action, shooting scenes (when he’s not in them) and editing the footage. His actors also double as crew with his family filling in as needed. His grandparents are Aunt May and Uncle Ben and his dad is playing the villain -- Mysterio.
“The scope is huge, it’s not what people think it’s going to be. The Spiderman scenes are grandiose,” Cundall said with an ambitious smile. “A mix of live action and stop-motion with figures and sets. A bit of CGI for the webs which is difficult but not expensive. All edited to be as seamless as possible.”
He is facing many challenges that he didn’t foresee, such as actors not showing up and how to make areas of Wheatland look like Queens, N.Y. He has really struggled to find a warehouse space for an important battle. Additional props that are needed are always popping up, as are costumes.
Cundall plans to show his completed masterpiece at Cinema West theatre and it will be able to be enjoyed by the whole family. Running time will be two and half hours long. But the release date is nebulous and is dependent on how much assistance he can get from volunteers and friends.
His parents are Jade and Molly Cundall of Wheatland. They are very supportvie and have been helping in the project in many capacities: acting, filming, transcribing, whatever it takes to fulfill his vision.
Cundall is a senior homeschool student and he hopes to pursue a career as an engineer or designer. “Creating things is my passion; movie making lends itself to that.”