The Matrix Fugitive – MFN Fan Film Retrospective – Part 1

Many of you know a bit about The Matrix Fugitive.  It was a project that I started while I was in school learning about film production.  There are two very distinct versions of this film as it went through a few different variations.  It started out as a serious fan film, in concept, and I even had an idea for it that involved a spot with many doors, and each door would open up to a different part of the Matrix, or even a different Matrix.  That concept lead to some pretty hilarious ideas where the main character would go through a door to find Back to the Future‘s Biff Tannen waxing his car, and one that we actually filmed was a door that opened up a path to Narnia.  That was also an idea that was used in The Matrix Reloaded, which was really funny to me.

One thing we never had would have helped the whole thing along: a script.  However, there was good reason for us to work on this thing without one.  We weren’t locked into certain characters, and the availability of friends.

We then started filming whatever cool and fun ideas that we had.  The new story for the fan film began to take shape and the name of the film was a result of that.  Here was a man that was on the run, someone that managed to be free of the Matrix, and plugged into it likely from a remote location that the machines could not locate.  The Matrix, in this production, likely had many different realms for holding the minds of the inhabitants, and he has access to all of them.  But his software seems to be glitching.

Everywhere he appears, there are agents attacking him.   Agents of all kinds.  There is a creepy horror film aspect to an agent that was out in the woods.  There is an agent that utilizes a dirt bike in a scene that we filmed again and again (I felt the back wheel of that bike brush past my head on one close-call take).  There is also a woman agent who we had decided to be a vampire.  This was a man that was constantly on the run, and using all of the abilities that he has to get around the Matrix while getting out of danger from all of these agents.  The swords we fought with were actually wooden dowels that we bought at a supermarket.

Here is the first trailer I put together back in 2002.

You might have noticed an agent that was yelling something.  This was a scene that we did as an improv moment, it’s absolutely hilarious, and a bit of a parody of the phone call scene in the first Matrix film.  I hope to be able to show it to you all soon.

It might not fit in the overall story, but it is one of the few scenes we have of anyone actually saying anything in the film.  There’s not much talking, otherwise.  At all.

Here was a second version of the same thing:

And then there was a new, third trailer, that we assembled from the same footage. This one was longer than the last and was an attempt at putting another spin on the story. My friends and I had just gotten into chess and we were trying to figure out a way to get it into the film. It was a very poor attempt at putting the spin of a game into a story that didn’t necessarily need it. The idea was that the main character had been captured by an Agent, and if he could win a game of chess, he would be free to roam at his leisure. There were added rules, though, that every time he lost a piece, he would be dropped into a battle with another sort of agent. That way we could explain the variety of agents.

I liked the original idea of multiple Matrix worlds better, though, and with school and work picking up, we put it on the back-burner for a couple of years.

Continued in Part 2