Fan Film, Fan Films

Princess Diana/Quantum Leap Fan Film A Hit!

quantum leap a leap to di forThe long-awaited Quantum Leap fan film by Indianapolis filmmaker Chris Allen is now online. While Quantum Leap: A Leap To Di For had its premiere in March at the Leapback 2009 convention in Los Angeles, it only recently made its internet debut, and has been getting a strong response. Dig the plot:

Project Quantum Leap has been downgraded to a mere shadow of its former self; however, Dr. Sam Beckett still leaps from life to life. Sam’s latest task finds him in Paris, France, 24 hours before the tragic death of Princess Diana. Led only by an automated copy of a replica AI, Sam is convinced his mission is to avert the tragedy.
Word of Sam’s incredible situation reaches the modern day U.S. President, and the Project’s team is reassembled, led by Sam’s daughter, Dr. Samantha Fuller. With the stakes reaching a heart-pounding crescendo, Sam is now under orders to save Princess Diana at all costs.

Sounds pretty cool, no? For die-hard fans, the fan film has the added tweak that the voice of “Ziggy” was done by Deborah Pratt, who played the same part on the original TV show.

Quantum Leap: A Leap To Di For received a strong welcome at the convention; most of the cast traveled to California for the premiere at Leapback 2009, and were reportedly treated like stars. “This was the first free screening of our fan film to an audience, and I was pleased that the laughs and tears came in the appropriate places,” said Allen. “I was taken aback by the event when everything finally came into place…showing this to one of the original producers of the TV show, needless to say, I was understandably nervous.”

I enjoyed the flick a lot, which was surprising in a way. I loved Rasco Studios’ previous fan film, Star Trek Vs. Batman, but that was a big, campy project. This one is straight down the middle—a sincere homage to both Diana and Quantum Leap. Twelve years after the fact, it’s easy to forget what a world-stopping event the Princess’s death was at the time, particularly when compared to tragic events that have taken place since, such as 9/11. Nonetheless, her untimely passing was a momentous occasion, emotionally affecting millions of people, and this fan film definitely uncovered the bittersweet sense of loss felt at the time.

The camera work and sets are great, and the acting, save for some slippery English accents that come and go, is pretty good. The lead actor, Joshua C. Ramsey as Sam Beckett, is a lot of fun to watch. I spent much of the film convinced I’d seen him somewhere before; towards the end, I realized it was his voice that I recognized—the guy sounds just like Jim Carrey; it’s uncanny. Apparently I’m not the only one to notice this; a review on Princess Diana Remembered also compared him to the comic actor as well.

All in all, Christopher Allen has crafted another fun fan film, creating a credible revival of a show beloved by a fervid fanbase. One of the things I talk about in the final chapter of Homemade Hollywood, is how studios should look at fan films and their reception by fans as a way to gauge whether it’s time to bring back a franchise; if Quantum Leap: A Leap To Di For is anything to go by, it’s time for Sam Beckett to start jumping around TV once again.

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