Spiderman brings his new movie to premiere in Platte County
Neither Peter Parker, Spiderman nor Quaid Cundall have ever been seen in the same room together which begs the speculation that the real Spiderman may, in fact, be living in Platte County. It was Spiderman who was the only one of the three that appeared at the premiere of Cundall’s movie.
WHEATLAND – A dream and obsession of a small Wheatland child to love everything Spiderman blossomed into reality this past month as the now, 21-year-old writer, producer and filmmaker brought his very first full-length movie to the big screen Oct. 19.
Quaid Owen Cundall grew up and was homeschooled in Wheatland. In full costume for the media interview, he said, “My first name is Spider and my last name is Man.”
He had a yearning for the imaginary ever since he can remember, and he gravitated to Spiderman which was originally introduced according to around.uoregon.edu, “to the world in August 1962, debuting in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15. Created by the collaborative team of writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, Spider-Man was an instant sensation with readers.”
That, of course would mean that Spiderman was almost 40 years-old when Cundall was born. When Cundall was six he got a hold of a Spiderman comic.
“I was about six when I first got that issue and I had been reading that for as long as I can remember,” Cundall said. “So that original story was engrained in my head. I collect comics now, but I hadn’t done that initially.”
Molly Cundall, Quaid’s mom and his home-school teacher recalls quite an imagination and the heart of a dreamer from a very young age. Little did they know, his dream was to originate, screen write, produce, direct and film his first full-length film all before he was old enough to vote.
“To be honest, he’s had a camera of any kind in his hand since he was about five,” Molly Cundall said. “He would film everything from toys to his little sister. He originally borrowed his grandmother’s VHS video camera and used that for a long time. It was an old Quasar from the ‘80s. And we still have those VHS tapes.”
The young Cundall didn’t grow up sheltered as much as he had the opportunity to grow up with hands-on mentors. He openly admits that he was mentored by his parents (Jade and Molly Cundall). Molly Cundall was not only a stay-at-home mom/teacher but works part time as a custodian for C.H. Brown Co. as well as an Irish Dance teacher at Dance Wyoming. Jade Cundall works full time as a loan officer for C.H. Brown Co.
Cundall said that he began to find out how the camera worked, he started seriously filming in 2007.
“It was January 2007,” he said. “I was on the floor filming action figures just playing. I then remembered finding something on the internet that allowed me to put two and two together about how editing worked. I thought to myself, ‘oh. That’s how stories are put together.’ And that’s where the camera came in.”
He has come light years since those first tutorials about editing and now uses the premier movie-making software DaVinci Resolve which is a color grading, color correction, visual effects and audio post-production video editing application.
Cundall has done three movies and he said that you can see the progression and improvement and understanding of his editing techniques with each project he does. He said that it will be a life-long learning process.
Bottom Picture captions:
Spiderman1: Quaid Owen Cundall had a main venue to bring his movie, “Spiderman: Responsibility” to the big screen at Cinema West Theatre in Wheatland. Cundall who is a Wheatland native can be seen around town in full Spiderman garb to help promote his movies.
Spiderman2: Molly Briar Bayne Cundall, Samantha Twiford, Quaid Owen Cundall, Curtis Hofrock and Heather Weber-Ferguson were on hand as a check for money raised from the premiere of the new Spiderman movie written by Quaid Cundall was donated to Twiford for Project Safe, Inc. which is a local nonprofit organization that has a mission helping victims of crime. Their vision is to provide assistance & support to Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking & other crimes.
Spiderman4: Local Wheatland man, Quaid Owen Cundall saw his dream come to fruition last month as his original movie, “Spiderman: Responsibility” was seen on the big screen at Cinema West Theater in Wheatland. The theater did not collect a fee from Cundall for bringing his movie to the theater and patrons who paid to see the movie were actually donating to Project Safe, Inc. as all monies collected were given to Samantha Twiford, the executive director of the nonprofit
One would wonder how long it would take a one-man show to completely do a movie, having to be the sole writer, screen editor, production lead and director as well as the cameraman. It cuts out a lot of middlemen as far as ideas and what Cundall is looking to achieve, but the process can long and laborious. Especially in light of the fact that each of his movies are three-hours long.
“Writing down the screenplay took about eight months,” Cundall said. “As far as the story goes, it was already designed for me by Stan Lee 60 years ago. I didn’t have to think too hard or too long; I just had to weave everything together so it was cohesive so that took about eight months to get it all jotted down.”
Cundall said that he would have liked to have met Stan Lee, but unfortunately Lee died Nov. 12, 2018.
“In the same vein as when I had that very first comic in my hand since I was little, speaking of VHS tapes, there was one little VHS tape that was the exact same story that the comic presented in cartoon form from the 1967 cartoon. That tape had a little starting section of it with Stan talking about how he envisioned Spiderman himself. So I was aware of him as early as I was of Spidey. I always respected him and couldn’t get enough of his stories.”
Stan Lee, although a brilliant man was not always focused on the things in the classroom. Cundall has a very similar upbringing and mindset.
“It’s not so much that I had a problem with daydreaming,” he said. “I mean, there were always just other things that were engaging the creative process and sometimes school didn’t take precedence.”
It’s one thing to have a talent to film and to make the camera see what you want it to see and to edit it so that it’s clear to the moviegoer. It’s quite another to have a talent to write and write especially in the discipline of screen writing.
“That came very much from all those years in front of a camera just with the toys,” he said. “I think, for about three years I had been meticulously plotting a storyline with posing action figures which was literally just playing through middle school and high school. But through the process of a couple of those projects I sat down and started writing things so it was cohesive. That practice came from two or three years and when I sat down to do this screen play I kind of had a layout of how to get it all down. That was purely by accident.”
The first movie that Cundall created was as he said, “pretty much word for word and shot for shot of Amazing Fantasy 15. It starts exactly how you’d expect with Peter Parker in his teenage years struggling to fit in, finding his way through life and having to learn exactly what it means to be a man far sooner than any boy’s meant to face.”
When Cundall was asked how much he related to Peter Parker and that struggle, he gave a one-word answer.
“Heavily,” he said. “I find that struggle very much in my own life.”
As for movie totals, he said that officially he’s completed three full-length feature films and when he found out that Curtis Hofrock and Heather Weber-Ferguson, owners of Cinema West Theatre wanted to premiere his first movie with the rest of his trilogy debuting in 2023, he said it was humbling.
“I was always hopeful to see it on the big screen as it was designed that way,” he said. “But I never necessarily planned on that. It was always start and stop on projects, never thinking that far ahead to actually see it there. It was surreal, sitting in the back actually seeing it on the big screen because I never fully intended on that even though it was always a hope.”
Since the digital format was a little different, Weber-Ferguson said that they had to tweak the process a bit to actually get it to play on the big screen.
“We actually ran it through a hard drive, into the computer and then into the projector to get it to work,” she said.
“We had a little bit of experience with some of the trailers that we get,” Hofrock said. “They come from movies that only get to be put on a flash drive and they’re not in the proper format to be plugged directly into the projector itself. So we have to kind of go around that by shooting it up into a different part and it is still able to come out on the projector. We started planning this six weeks before it showed, so we had time to get it in here. He also had trailers that we played for two weeks before it debuted. Trial and error with those just helped us get to where we needed to be for that night.”
Although the number of patrons who came to view the premiere were not counted, the place was full and the admission was just a free-will donation that went to Project Safe, Inc. In that one night $384.75 was raised and donated to the Project Safe program.
There were also sponsorships to help raise money to bring the movie in because there is a charge for building use.
Molly Cundall was the one responsible for contacting sponsors and they were Blue Raven Realty LLC and Sarah Lockman, The Wandering Hermit and Dan Brecht, and drubeHOME with Thane and Keri Ashenhurst. In addition, much of the filming was done at C.H. Brown Co. and the movie night was donated by Hofrock and Weber-Ferguson.
A check was presented to Project Safe, Inc. Executive Director Samantha Twiford Oct. 27 at the Cinema West Theatre.
“It was amazing,” said Samantha Twiford, executive director of Project Safe, Inc. “All of the work that went into this movie in the first place is tremendous. And then to have them show it and have it benefit our program, it means that for our clients we can go ahead and help them with things that the grant monies don’t cover. The fact that they even thought of us, and to help other families in the community was tremendous.”
As for the second and third movies created by Cundall, there are plans being made to show his second and third films somewhere after the new year. It is still up in the air whether Peter Parker, Quaid Cundall or Spidey will be showing up to represent.