The concept for the short film was born in early 2021 following a photoshoot with costumer Guillermo Mejía. Filmmaker Johnny K. said this:
As a kid, I worshipped Anton Furst’s production design and Tim Burton’s vision for Batman (1989). I had all the magazines, the behind-the-scenes books, and I wore out the Danny Elfman score on cassette. Recreating a small piece of that world on a micro-budget using practical effects has been a dream of mine since I was a kid playing with my Batman toys.
I’d never had any interest in making a fan film with someone else’s property, but after the photoshoot with Guillermo and seeing some of the test footage, I decided that a Burtonverse Batman project would be way too much fun to pass up.
The Oath: A Batman Fan Film
The Oath is a non-profit Batman fan film produced by Kaotica Studios and released on YouTube in 2022. Written and directed by filmmaker Johnny K., the short film stars Jerry Morgan, Oz Keenum, Chris Konke, Guillermo Mejía, and Michael Stumbo, and is set one week before the events of Tim Burton’s Batman (1989).
Months after its release, The Oath racked up a half-million views and won awards for Best U.S. Fan Film, Best Lighting, Best Performances, and Best Portrayal of an Existing Character.
The Oath takes a trip back to the mean streets of Gotham when “the Bat” was just a rumor chased by reporter Alexander Knox and the city was powerless against crime bosses like Carl Grissom.
After nine months of pre-production, filming commenced in November 2021 with consecutive 12-hour night shoots in freezing temperatures. Filming continued through summer 2022. A series of behind the scenes videos are available on YouTube.
The Oath was shot in Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia with a small but dedicated cast and crew who traveled from throughout Virginia; Washington, DC; Georgia; and Maryland, and the production was featured on the front page of the local newspaper.
Produced by Kaotica Studios, the team behind the award-winning short, The Killer of Grassy Ridge, Red Eagle-1, and Farragut Forward, The Oath is a labor of love… created BY Batman fans, FOR Batman fans!
A successful crowdfunding campaign concluded in January 2022 for this non-profit project, with every dollar raised going toward production costs, hotels and travel for cast/crew, permits, insurance, props, wardrobe, location costs, and more.
The cast includes several talented Virginia and Georgia-based actors. Jerry Morgan has worked on the feature film Sledgehammer, the short film Piece of Mind, and the Showtime mini-series The Good Lord Bird. Oz Keenum comes to us fresh off his work on the feature film Recollection. Chris Konke joins us from his work on shows such as Homeland and House of Cards, and Guillermo Mejía dons the cape as Batman! We might even have a cameo or two up our sleeve!
The Oath features the music of Italian composer Francesco D’Andrea, whose works have been featured in many popular productions including “The Big Bang Theory”, “Mad Men”, “How I Met Your Mother”, “Law and Order”, and many more!
The batsuit featured in The Oath was created by The Cave: Creature Workshop in Colombia, South America. Key props including the Batarang and Grapnel Launcher were produced by NECA Toys and used with permission.
Re-creating the iconic leather Gotham City Police Department uniforms from Batman (1989) was particularly challenging, including the creation of custom Gotham police badges and modifying leather jackets shipped from the U.K. (where Batman ’89 was produced).
See The Oath now on YouTube!
** Batman and all related marks, logos, and characters are solely owned by DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment. This non-profit fan production is not endorsed by, sponsored by, nor affiliated with DC Comics or Warner Bros. Entertainment.**