Your upcoming movie Relationships with Inhabitants of Celestial
Bodies - in a few words, what is it about?
The overall theme of the project is that, pretty much, our technology
has advanced beyond some of our wildest ideas. Our planet could be
gone within a few minutes notice, and for what? In this film Iím
blending three of the brightest minds weíve ever known into an alternate
history of the making of our first atomic weapon, devised with
extraterrestrial technology of course.
Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla, Relationships
with Inhabitants of Celestial Bodies features three scientific
heavyweights as lead characters - so how much research did you put in the
science side of things, and to what extent are your
characterisations based on the actual historical figures?
glad you asked actually. When this idea first came to me, I told
myself that if I were to develop this into a film, I wanted to make the
characters, i.e. Oppenheimer, Einstein, and Tesla, believable. Most
of the time we see these guys, theyíre usually some sort of caricature
of themselves and I want to make them feel authentic and human even though
the story is fiction. As far as research goes, I put in about 6
months of nothing but research. Originally, I wanted to make like a
5 minute short and for shits and giggles, I figured Iíd try to make it
accurate and believable even though itís fiction. So, I started
researching Oppenheimer, and with my luck, I discovered links to
extraterrestrials with Oppenheimer and Einstein. Iíve always been
a little obsessed with Tesla, and he also has connections to
extraterrestrials, so, I figured, why not throw these three brilliant
minds into a room to make sure the world doesnít blow up when something
goes horribly wrong when building the bomb?
inspirations when writing Relationships with Inhabitants of
The biggest inspiration that I have
in making this film is the extraterrestrial aspect. Without going
into much detail, Iíve seen two UFOs in my life, and one of them has
some very eerie facts surrounding it, and while Iíve always been more of
a horror filmmaker, I always wanted to make an ďalienĒ film and after
a very odd vehicle accident I was in last November, also linked to my UFO
encounter nearly 12 years ago, Iíve been pondering ideas and what kind
of story I wanted to tell. Iíve always been obsessed with alien,
UFO culture and now that Iíve had my own encounters, I wanted to tell a
story that very well ďcouldĒ be true. I personally believe that
a lot of our technology came from reverse-engineering Alien technology.
If we look at things such as fiber optics, lasers, and stealth
technology, thereís a story waiting to be told.
With your movie being a period
piece set in 1937, where do you see the challenges?
a film in the past always presents a variety of challenges. Luckily
this film will be told through two primary narratives: one in present day,
the other between the years of 1937-1947. The modern day narrative
will play out more like a mystery than a science fiction film, being told
through found film footage from the aforementioned years. The
biggest challenge is using these three historical figures originally while
still holding on to some semblance truth to these characters.
can you tell us about the film's intended look and feel as such?
a portion of the film is told through found film footage, the footage will
have to look original and aged. Since the footage will be crude vignettes
shot by an amateur, also cutting briefly into important scenes, Iím
thinking about shooting all of the footage during those scenes with one
wide angle lens. I want this footage to feel authentic, so I feel
that using one wide lens will give the impression of a fly on the wall
during these pivotal, historical scenes. This is a part of history,
alternate or not, we werenít privy to exactly what happened during the
planning and building of the bomb.
extraterrestrials and the atom bomb suggest their fair share of special
effects. So how do you plan to go about that aspect of Relationships
with Inhabitants of Celestial Bodies?
The movie is much
more about the atom bomb and extraterrestrials, the challenge lies in
telling a story around these two plots. The movie involves the atom
bomb, the plans, the making, and the potential for a world nuclear
explosion. I never said if the world blows up or not. At the
moment in planning, I am having multiple ideas as to how to go about
making our alien(s). At the moment I am interviewing special effects
artists. One thing that I do plan to do for my extraterrestrials, it
will be practical special effects make-up. I donít see having a
CGI alien thatís shown on footage from the 1930s. The effects will
have to be convincing and original. All artists in the New Mexico
area, please contact me.
can tell us about your cast yet, and why exactly these people?
The majority of the casting is yet to be done, but I did reach out to
two actors regarding playing the historical figures in the film. One,
a local (New Mexico) actor, by the name of Tom Schuch, just wrapped up a
successful one man show where he played Einstein. Iíve spoken
with him and he has agreed to play Einstein in the film. Very
happy I found him!
The other, Iím pretty jazzed about. I reached out to my
friend Bill Oberst jr [Bill
Oberst jr interview - click here], who, if youíre into the indie
horror world, is
in everything right now! I thought about him from the beginning as
playing famed physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer. He agreed and we
are honored to have him. I canít think of anyone better to play
him. This also gives Bill another chance at tackling an historical
figure. Early in his stage career he played president John F.
Kennedy and some years later, he rocked the hell out of Abraham Lincoln
vs. Zombies! Bill is a multifaceted actor who can play the creepy
guy really well, but he also has a very tender side - dude does Hallmark
movies too! Over the past year Bill and I have gotten to know
each other and I helped get him involved in the amazing film Slay
Utterly by Stuart Wahlin [Stuart
Wahlin interview - click here], in which I will be working as
assistant director. I am happy to finally be able to work with Bill, and the
production is going to be all the better for it!
far as I know, Relationships with Inhabitants of Celestial
Bodies is still in pre-production - so what's the schedule, and any
idea when and where the film might be released onto the general public yet
(and I do know it's probably waaay too early to ask)?
script will be finished by the end of the month. Then I have
preproduction to go through as far as financing and casting goes. We
are slated right now to shoot spring 2015, but if we get financed quicker,
then, the film will be made quicker. You can probably look at a festival release date around
summer/fall 2015. I havenít fully
decided if I will release it for festivals or not. In doing so, you
usually have to only show it at festivals, and at certain ones at certain
times. Iím toying around the idea of releasing it as a webseries,
but Iím going to have to explore the options to see if it is financially
viable. Stay tuned!
future projects beyond Relationships with Inhabitants of
Celestial Bodies you'd like to share?
Again, I cannot say enough about Slay Utterly. Inspired by dozens
of gruesome murders that shook the Midwest in the early 1900s, Slay Utterly follows a modern-day federal agent on the
bloody trail of a ritualistic serial killer who spares no one in his
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
The filmís Facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/InhabitantsofCelestialBodies
Iíll be shooting a teaser for crowdfunding in a few weeks and will
have our funding campaigns live. Any of that information will be
announced on our Facebook page.
Anybody interested in getting involved, we are looking for producers on
every level. If you're interested or have any questions about the
film, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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for the interview!
Thank you Michael, I appreciate your
time and support!