The upcoming After Dark Original
The following is documentation of my correspondence with actor and director Jason Connery (son of Sean). Our contacts at After Dark Films were kind enough to use their seemingly secure channels to patch me through to Connery to discuss 51, his sci-fi thriller debuting January 28 from After Dark Originals.
Here’s the thing – I think Connery was speaking to me from Area 51 (the location of his film). At the outset of our talk, weird noises could be heard in the background. Six minutes later, as we were really getting some interesting details about the film – particularly the “alien” element – communication was cut off. Any attempt to reach him on the phone minutes later was fruitless. Was Connery silenced by an extraterrestrial force? Who the hell knowsâ¦but here’s what we’ve got.
Jason Connery: We shot the movie in ostensibly 15 days, but I managed to snag a camera to get some more coverage. It’s been quite fun. We’ve got some aliens and lots of running around. I’m literally working with the composer this week for the music which, in these types of movies, is so important.
Shock: This isn’t a found footage film, correct?
Connery: No, it’s not. The idea of the film is that for the first time ever, the U.S. Air Force is allowing journalists into Area 51 and into Hangar 18. Of course, they’re saying, we’ll show you everything, you’ll get complete access, but that’s not the whole story. There’s a bit of homage to see you stuff on the Internet, we play with some of the stuff you see online a little bit.
Shock: How did the script come your way?
Connery: After Dark had open director assignments. They have the script, they put the money together and you come in and essentially tell them what you’d like to do with the film. I pitched them my idea of how I’d like to shoot it. They liked the idea, I wasn’t changing the integrity of the story, I was just enhancing it.
Shock: 2011 is going to host a bevy of alien films. Do you feel good knowing you’ll be leading the pack?
Connery: [laughs] From what I’ve heard, the J.J. Abrams film [Super 8] has a considerably bigger budget and the idea is that something escapes from Area 51. I hope people are excited to see our film. The conspiracy theory surrounding Area 51, and cloak and dagger stuff that goes with that, lends itself to a bit of good drama.
Shock: So, what’s your personal theory on Area 51?
Connery: I don’t know if they’d open it to the public. Perhaps Wikileaks can get something out there. There’s been some talk about Roswell recently. When I look at it, without sounding too kooky, with the size of the universe, the idea that there are not other life forms out there seems kind of silly. I truly believe there must be something out there, but I can’t say if they’ve visited us. Maybe they will. [laughs]
Shock: As an actor yourself, is casting a film particularly fun for you?
Connery: It is one of my favorite elements. Especially when you get a group like I have on this film. It’s a tight schedule, but I could experiment. Bruce Boxleitner’s enthusiasm was incredible. Great voice, great look. 60 years old but runs around like a kid. Having that on the set with Rachel and Jason London, who I used in Devil’s Tomb. He’s got a natural ability. For me, the cast really makes it all work, you care about them all.
Shock: Is this a scary film or is it heavily steeped in the realm of sci-fi?
Connery: It straddles the line, it gets into horror, but it’s more action and sci-fi. Although, there are a ton of aliens and they all have personalities. The people who are in jeopardy find themselves in sometimes horrifying situations. One alien in particular is fairly nasty so there is some blood and guts.
Shock: Who did the design work on the aliens?
Connery: Vincent Guastini. His team was fantastic. He was in L.A. and I was in Louisiana, which is sometimes difficult in terms of communication, but he was amazing. We had a good back and forth about the design. If I’m going to use CGI, I want a practical creature. And I like to enhance practicalâ¦.
Source: Ryan Turek, Managing Editor