ALIEN ABDUCTION was the winner of BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE from the 2022 SCI-FI/FANTASY Festival.
1 What motivated you to make this film?
Philomena and I wrote a song about our first abduction experiences. We were in Nashville shortly after doing some live performance videos with filmmaker Marcel Chagnon. He heard the song while we were there and asked if he could film an alien themed music video for it. When we went to film the music video, we were instead coaxed into doing scenes for a short alien abduction art film. That’s basically how the whole thing started. Marcel gave us all of the footage we shot and eventually we found filmmaker Jared Sagal who helped us finish the project.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
The footage we shot with Marcel was done in November of 2014. I didn’t know what to do with it as first. About a year later Philomena and I sat down and wrote out all of the things we could remember in chronological order from that first experience. From there we developed a story line for the experience. Then we shelved it kind of at their request after we had another experience with the same aliens in June of 2015. Then in January 2019 we had a third encounter which acted as a catalyst of sorts to get the film finished. We enlisted Jared Sagal and after a bit more work we finished it in April of 2020 just as the lockdowns started.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The biggest obstacle was finding the right time to finish it and then what to do with it. It’s a discussion Philomena and I have all the time because it’s our story and we have to live with it once it’s made public. The reality is that once the film is fully released to the public, we have to own it publicly, so it’s been a story which we’ve been in no hurry to tell.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Having a compilation video of audience members reacting and talking about each film is a brilliant idea and one that can be a great help to all the filmmakers you’ve done it for. It really puts your festival “over the top” in terms of “cool” for the filmmakers. I sent the link of the compilation you made for us to my music and video promoter who in turned forwarded it to a top entertainment attorney that we both have been talking to and it really helped. Your video helped Philomena and I acquired top representation for our film just this past week. Many thanks and hopefully something good will come out of it.
Watch the Audience Feedback Video:
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I realize I liked filmmaking about the time I finished this film. I never really considered being a filmmaker until then I was just trying to get it done. By the tie we were done, I had acquired most of the basic filmmaking tools in terms of cameras, tripods, lights, and software. Since I had everything, I needed, I started to film and edit my own AV Super Sunshine music videos. I’ve done 10 music videos since and I am currently filming and editing the 11th. You can see them, as well as music videos other filmmakers have made for us, by visiting my AV Super Sunshine YouTube channel.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
When I was young, I watched Star Wars over and over again on an old Sony Beta. When I knew just about every line in the film by heart, I forced myself to stop watching it.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
As far as creating and supporting an online festival experience, you got everything right. We haven’t had any experience with live, in person festivals yet, since we finished the film when the pandemic had just started. Because of that it’s hard to give feedback. Not having that experience to compare to and the fact that nothing beats being there in real life, seeing the audience reactions, talking to folks afterward and learning from their reactions. I can’t wait until everything gets back to normal so we can have that experience.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway is awesome. No problems whatsoever. It’s a very impressive platform.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Grilled cheese, tomato soup and a side of canned green beans.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Right now, I’m launching music singles to the global airplay charting radio stations. I presently have a song that’s on the DRT Global Top 50 Rock Airplay chart and another that’s on DRT Global Top 50 Gospel/Inspirational Airplay Chart. Between the two we’ve had over 2400 station downloads so we’re doing really great with radio spins. Also, as I mentioned earlier, we now have representation so we’re hoping to get the film on some streaming services or similar that in turn we can promote thru the media. If that’s successful we like to do another film which tells more of our story and our share our experiences thru special effects so the audience has a better feel for what we’ve been thru including the technology we’ve been shown. In other words, try to create something real special.