The trilogy continues
Quaid Owen Cundall will premiere his second full-length movie, “The Spectacular Spider-Man -Repute,” to the big screen at Cinema West Theatre in Wheatland Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. Cundall who is a Wheatland native can be seen around town in full Spider-Man garb to help promote his movies. Cundall, saw his dream come to fruition last October as his original movie, “Spider-Man: Responsibility,” was seen on the big screen at Cinema West Theater in Wheatland where Cundall will be at the premiere and will be available to meet the audience and to answer any questions they may have about the film and the film industry.
‘The Spectacular Spider-Man – Repute’ premieres in Wheatland
WHEATLAND – Many hours, a lot of hard work and much imagination has gone into the project created by local Wheatland man, Quaid Owen Cundall.
His dreams came to the big screen in Wheatland Oct. 19, 2022, as he premiered the first movie in his Spider-Man trilogy. Spider-Man blossomed into reality for the now, 21-year-old writer, producer and filmmaker who introduced Platte County to his creation.
Quaid Owen Cundall grew up and was home-schooled 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 Spider-Man which was originally introduced according to around.uoregon.edu, “to the world in August 1962, debuting in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy No. 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 Spider-Man was almost 40 years-old when Cundall was born. When Cundall was six he got a hold of a Spider-Man comic.
To just create one feature length film would be quite an accomplishment for anyone, much less a local teen, but Cundall is not just anyone, and as an overachiever, driven by a continuous raising of his own bar, he has created a trilogy of three full-length motion pictures.
The second one is going to premiere next week right here in Wheatland, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m. Just as the first one had been premiered with all proceeds going to benefit Project Safe, Inc., this second movie will donate all proceeds to the Platte County Early Literacy Project with Susan Bednasek.
Cundall said that the first movie and the second movie are very different in their natures with the first being written as a drama and this second one being written as a psychological thriller.
“It’s a stark contrast, one and two,” Cundall said. “While the story is cohesive and the filming technique are more rudimentary in the first one than the second one. But the story contrast is definitely stark. That explains the difference in the run time. There’s more to talk about and more to deal with. Two has many more facets in dealing with the themes of the emotional and psychological conflict between everybody and not just the main character. There’s a lot to unpack.”
What Cundall said, in essence was that it’s the same characters with a new episode that is very different from the first movie. He also mentioned that this second movie will pose questions for the audience that may or may not be answered until things are tied together in the third part of the trilogy which will be premiered in the next few months.
“Producing one was my favorite,” he said. “Mainly because of the directorial side of things were more enjoyable and just tamer. There was more leeway for actors to kind of play around with acting things. In the second one, there are so many beats you have to hit precisely and it jumps very quickly from one subject matter to the next. Two was probably more fun, but it was just harder.”
Cundall does it all. He produces, (along with co-producer Tim Womack and Jeremy Haroldson) he directs, he is an acting coach and he admits that sometimes he has to accept things that come forth are not exactly as he first pictured them in his mind and points out that it is not necessarily a bad thing.
Cundall who said that at one time he was thinking about creating a television series, went a little more intense and created movies. According to the people who viewed the first film, it was spectacular and so much fun seeing local actors in the production.
“I was really happy to see the amount of people we had last time,” Cundall said. “It was a little bit more than I expected. I would anticipate this time around it will probably be about the same.”
“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.
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 Spider-Man 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.”
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 this year, 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.”
As for what to expect and the bottom line for Cundall’s creation, he sums it up by saying, “It is a trilogy. It’s all tied in and it’s all the same story, but each film has a completely different flavor because they are talking about a completely different subject matter. It plays as one long film.”