Batman ’66 Fan Film: “The Scheme Is Sound”
Written By: Thomas O’Donnell
I watched this fan-film at least a dozen times and each time I find myself smiling and just feeling good. It was done so well, it feels like this could’ve been a lost episode.
“Batman: The Scheme Is Sound” is Parkview Music Club’s nostalgic tribute to the 1966 Batman TV series.
The Music Club of Parkview Elementary School located in Van Buren, Arkansas is made up of 4th and 5th Grade students. I was fortunate to get to interview the director Kevin Croxton and the cast!
Watch the video below and then come back to read the interviews!
Some of the cast members were nice enough to answer a few questions I had for them.
DCN: You guys nailed the impressions, so I would assume you all watched a lot of the original series episodes. What was your favorite episode?
Alex Lessley (Batman): I watched most of season 1, “False Face” was my favorite episode, Lots of twists and turns always had me guessing!
Collin Cummins (Robin): I couldn’t remember the name of the episode but it was the episode when Batman and Robin went to a fast food place and asked for a burger and then the waitress said that they had Batburgers,….And I like a good Burger!
Josiah Hamby (Riddler): My favorite episode is the first one because it includes the Riddler and because the Riddler out smarts Batman!
Bryson Keirsey (Penguin): My favorite episode was season 1 episode 5 “The Joker Is Wild“ with Joker playing baseball, that was a great scene.
Mia Tucker (Catwoman): My favorite episode is season 3 episode 2 “Ring around the Riddler”.
DCN: Follow up question, Favorite character or performance from the series?
Alex Lessley (Batman): Riddler was my favorite character, I really liked how cartoony he was!
Collin Cummins (Robin): My favorite character is Batman because he always knew the answer to a riddle and let Robin figure it out to teach Robin.
Josiah Hamby (Riddler): Of course my favorite character was the Riddler (Frank Gorshin), because that was my character and because he has a lot of silliness, character and emotion.
Bryson Keirsey (Penguin): My favorite character was of course Penguin.
Mia Tucker (Catwoman): My favorite character or performance from the series is Robin.
DCN: Alex, Did you get to ride in the Batmobile, and how long did it take you to get the Batusi down?
Alex Lessley (Batman): Yep, did get to take a couple laps around the block in the Batmobile!!! It only took me about 15 min to learn the batusi, it came somewhat natural since it was an awkward dance!
DCN: Josiah, Frank Gorshin/Riddler was my favorite actor/villain on the show, you nailed his look, laugh, and they way he moved. Did it come easy and if not how difficult was it trying to mimic him?
Josiah Hamby (Riddler): It was pretty fun but not so easy at first. I had to watch a lot of riddler laughs on YouTube and practice Frank Gorshin’s laugh many times, but then while I was practicing, the laugh came to me and I got it down. But the energy of the riddler came to me while we were filming. I enjoyed it a lot and it turned out to be amazing. And also I love to tell riddles and jokes. That part was perfect for me
I had a few questions for Director Kevin Croxton.
DCN: Was the reason the Riddler was used as the first villain featured a callback to the Riddler being the first villain in the TV series?
Kevin: When I started prep work to make our film, I re-watched the TV Series, so the first villain I watched was the Riddler. When I started writing the story, I wanted a great location for the opening scene, and there’s this old drive in called Ed Walker’s that’s a landmark in our town. From the time I started writing the story, I envisioned the Riddler coming into the drive in just as it happened in the film!
DCN: What inspired you to use the Batman ’66 series as the theme?
Kevin: Before school started last August, I spent the whole summer contemplating what the theme would be for our next music video/fan film. We were coming off our most popular film to date, a throwback to 1966 Star Trek, which we filmed on replica U.S.S. Enterprise sets from the original series…At the end of the first week of school last August, I was praying about what I could possibly do to follow up Star Trek, and I started thinking about the Batmobile…After researching, I discovered that a gentleman, Lee Pfeifer, had a replica Batmobile in our area! He graciously and generously worked with us!!
DCN: How long did you work on the project from conception to completion?
Kevin: We started working on it in Mid to late August and we released it in Mid May, so about 9 months….almost the entire school year! We spent the fall creating the audio track for the film…I arranged and recorded all the music in my studio, casted speaking parts, recorded singing and voice overs with the kids and added sound effects….We also had to acquire costumes, props, and scout for filming locations. Our main heroes and villains costumes were adult sized, as the kid’s costumes did not look authentic, so a grandparent, who is a seamstress, downsized them to fit the children. We filmed from mid February through early April, and finished editing in Mid May.
DCN: Is there a sequel in the works?
Kevin: Not at this time. Every school year I work with the 4th and 5th Grade students in our Parkview Music Club on a music video/fan film to teach the kids about the process of film production and music production, and I try to do something completely different each year…We’ve done everything from Star Wars, to Harry Potter, Star Trek and now Batman!!! Next year we will do something completely different!!
DCN: Have you thought about introducing your own take on characters that never appeared in the original show, such as Two Face, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn?
Kevin: When I was writing the script, I had a discussion with the children, and Harley Quinn came up….As I was writing the story, we contemplated about including her, but opted to leave her out to remain true to the originals.
Wow, a lot went into the production of this short “Batman ’66” film. I really enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what else the school does in the future.
What did you think of the film? Sound off in the comment section.