Actress Katee Sackhoff speaks exclusively to Nerdcore Movement about her role in the Power/Rangers fan video and the reaction from the fans after the video pulled in more than 10 million views in less than 24 hours….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It took less than 24-hours for a fan made video called ‘Power/Rangers’ starring Katee Sackhoff and James Van Der Beek to become a viral phenomenon across the internet as filmmakers paid homage to the classic martial arts action series ‘Mighty Morphin Power Rangers’.
The updated version was set in a dystopian future with Van Der Beek playing the Red Ranger while Sackhoff donned the Pink Ranger outfit for the 15-minute video that gave an extreme ‘R’ rated update to the long running kids series.
The reaction across the world was unanimous in support of the video, which featured a huge number of effects and plot twists with filming for the project only taking a total of seven days and the cast and crew working on the movie for free.
Unfortunately the film was pulled down from Vimeo after Saban Brands, the company who owns the rights to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers complained that the video was copyright infringement. Saban has harassed the director of the short according to several messages posted on Twitter but the fan community continues an outpouring of support considering there literally thousands of other videos made just like this one that flood video sites like YouTube everyday with no one asking for footage to be yanked.
As of now ‘Power/Rangers’ has over 10 million views on YouTube and the video is still posted as of this story.
Following the initial release of the ‘Power/Rangers’ film, Nerdcore Movement spoke with star Katee Sackhoff about her involvement with the project. Sackhoff originally teased the film with a few pictures on Twitter last year while she was working on the movie and now she can finally talk about her role where she became Kimberly, the Pink Power Ranger.
Sackhoff is currently in New Zealand and will be starring in ‘Longmire’ season 4, which will air on Netflix later this year and she spoke with us about the project, the reaction from the fans and other future ‘fan videos’ that might interest her in the future.
Nerdcore Movement: The Power/Rangers video has been out for about a day now. How has the reaction been for you? It seems like everyone is really excited about this project.
Katee Sackhoff: It’s kind of weird because I’m out of the country so I feel like I’m sort of removed from everything that’s happened but I keep getting phone calls from people going ‘holy crap it’s got a million views and then 1.5 million views!’ and I had no idea that a little fan video that I did for free would inspire people as much as it has. I was such a huge fan of the franchise when I was growing up and when someone calls you with this kind of idea it’s like absolutely! It’s one of the only times you’ll go ‘of course I’ll work for free!” it’s an amazing fan video.
How exactly did this entire project come together?
KS: I love Adi Shankar, I’ve known him for a couple of years and I took a meeting over at his company and he and I just really hit it off. I saw what he did with the ‘Punisher’ fan video and I thought that was pretty amazing. So he literally just called me and said ‘I’m thinking about doing this with the Joseph Kahn, who is friends with your friend William Lee’ and he goes ‘he wants no one other than you to do this fan video for free’ and I was like ‘sure!’. He said ‘Power/Rangers’ and I said ‘awesome’.
Doing a fan video is kind of the biggest honor you can give a franchise. It’s something that inspired you so much that you want to create. You can’t turn that down.
So you were a fan of the Power Rangers growing up?
KS: I was, absolutely I was. I was right at that age. I was born in 1980 so it was on TV when I was a kid. My nephews were obsessed with it as well in later years. I remember back in the day when I first moved to Los Angeles in 1997 and I had an audition for Power Rangers and I wanted to do it so bad and my people were like ‘absolutely not, you cannot do Power Rangers’. I was like ‘but, but, but’ and they’re like no, you need to do this series with Richard Dreyfus (The Education of Max Bickford), you can’t do Power Rangers’. So this is kind of full circle for me. It’s amazing.
I know when you were filming this last year you tweeted out a couple of pictures from the set just to get people guessing as to what you were working on. Everybody was trying to figure out what you were doing so was it hard to keep it a secret this long?
KS: It’s so weird, too, because the poor people at Marvel they’re so sick of me at this point. It was hard to keep it a secret and so man people were guessing. The only thing I kept saying over and over and over again was it’s not Marvel because that’s what everyone assumed.
One of the things I liked the best about the Power/Rangers short was the adult nature of the film. I think back to the shows from my youth like ‘Transformers’ or ‘G.I. Joe’ and how those movies have been remade and I thought watching the Power/Rangers short, why couldn’t they do that with more of those series from the 1980’s?
KS: Here’s the problem — everyone’s under the assumption that 14-year old boys are the only ones who go and see movies. So they can’t make an ‘R’ rated version because they can’t get in. So you can’t make the movie for the people who grew up watching it because in the realm of the advertisers, they’re not as important as making it more mainstream and more generic for a younger audience.
So that being said it doesn’t make sense financially to make projects geared towards the generation who grew up with it. So they try to walk that line and they usually end up watering something down quite a bit. Power Rangers was a kid show, that’s what it always was and what it’s probably always going to be in every amalgamation of what it could be so to make something for people who are grown up now and want to watch it is kind of awesome in my mind. That’s all a fan video is — what you wish something could be in your own mind because you’re such a huge fan of it.
This video was just so well done that immediately you start thinking what if they did that with Transformers or G.I. Joe…
KS: And that’s what fan videos are all about. Fan videos are paying respect and honor to a show that you grew up watching and a franchise you love and knowing you have no control over what it’s going to be. That’s kind of what this was. In our minds, this is the way we’d love to see this and knowing it probably won’t be. And that’s fine. That’s why everyone worked for free
Now I’m not going to boil down your career to two projects because obviously you’ve done so much more in your career, but you did ‘Battlestar Galactica’ and became Starbuck and now you’ve done Power/Rangers and become the pink ranger. At this point do you kind of feel like you have to do the Marvel thing because you just need one more and you’ll have the ultimate trifecta of science fiction and fantasy on your resume.
KS: (Laughs) Right? Listen if I had it my way…but maybe I’ll just go make a fan video.
I’m sure it would be awesome and I think the reaction from this video proves it. People were so excite to see this 15-minute video and it’s been blowing up all week long.
KS: When my brother calls me, you know it’s cool. My brother is the non-communication brother that you have. He’s so cool, like anything I do is never going to be cool enough, which is part of the reason I did ‘Riddick’ because beyond being a massive fan, I did it to prove to my brother that I could actually do cool movies that he would watch. He called me this morning and he was like ‘holy fuck that was awesome!’ because we used to watch Power Rangers together when we were kids. Any time he calls, I know I hit the mark. And now my nephews want me to do superhero movies, so we’ll see.
My last question — I know you are already the queen of Comic Con whenever you are in town but do you feel like after this video has been released that for at least the next year, you’re going to hear an awful lot of people screaming ‘go, go Power Rangers!’
KS: That’s so funny. I’m actually doing a convention here in New Zealand with my boyfriend in like two weeks so we’ll see what happens.
If you haven’t seen it or just want to watch it again, here’s the Power/Rangers video starring Sackhoff alongside James Van Der Beek. Trust us, it’s awesome.