Point Loma High School cinema instructor Anthony Palmiotto knew he had a special film student after Ace Davis graduated and turned in a project that actually improved upon an unreleased 1994 “Fantastic Four” feature film titled, "Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman's the Fantastic Four (2015).”
Corman is a 94-year-old American independent film director, producer, and actor who has been called “The Pope of Pop Cinema."
Corman mentored such high-profile film directors as Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, John Sayles, and James Cameron. He also helped launch the acting careers of Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern, Sylvester Stallone, Diane Ladd, and William Shatner.
An aspiring filmmaker, Davis has been making his own movies since he was a preteen. He is the creator of an independent film production company, Smiling Devil Productions, where he has crafted a plethora of short films.
Palmiotto and Davis spoke about the origin of Davis’ successful re-mastering film project.
“I assigned the students in my cinematic arts class to watch a documentary of their choosing,” said Palmiotto. “[Davis] chose one about this unreleased film. That documentary led him to find the trailer online, and also a low-quality version of the film on YouTube. He then took it upon himself to re-master the trailer with an iMac. So if the whole point about last school year going online was the pursuit of mastery – this student proved it.”
“I was still at PLHS in Mr. P’s class,” said Davis, adding he was inspired to redo the Corman ‘Fantastic Four’ film trailer after viewing it because “the original 1994 film is not the best. So I worked on it and showed [Palmiotto] what I had and he said, ‘This looks great. Let’s keep working on it.’ Then we did some of the comic book stuff, the panels, and I recut the trailer so it looks way different. I used the original trailer as a skeleton, a framework, and worked off that. I used effects very similar to CGI action.”
Palmiotto was impressed.
“I am blown away by this young man,” the film instructor said. “He probably spent at least 200-plus hours on his own, re-editing the trailer, sound designing it, creating new titles, adding comic book panels, color correcting the film, etc. He basically just finished this working on it every now and then four months after he graduated high school.”
“For me, it was a fun thing to do,” said Davis of remastering the Corman trailer, which he characterized as a “portfolio piece.” He added his ambition is to attend film school.
“The plan is to obviously go to college and network there meeting some new people,” Davis said. “And I’m going to keep making films and submitting them to local film festivals, like the San Diego International Film Festival.”
A perfectionist, Davis got interested in filmmaking early-on.
“I’ve been making movies with a Sony Camcorder since I was a little kid, 6 years old,” he said. “I used to pull out Legos and make stop-action movies.”
Of the film directors he’s been inspired by, Davis cited Sam Rami, who did the original “Spiderman” movie, as well as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg. He hasn’t settled on a film genre yet though he noted, “I’ve tried to dabble in horror and psychological thrillers, action, and drama.”
Thankful to Palmiotto for his coaching, Davis concluded of his fledgling film making career, “It’s all a work in progress. You just keep working at it until you get it.”
The original Fantastic Four trailer is at Fantastic Four  – Trailer. The remastered version by Davis is at ReMastered Fantastic Four Trailer. Davis also has a YouTube channel at youtube.com/channel/UCG8AGnvrQNfrmQp7l1oWqqw/.