• by director R.W. Goodwin
One day, a few years ago, my friend Jim Swift told me his secret—for
years he’d dreamed of making a 1957 sci-fi movie. Over a couple
of decades, he’d conceived the idea, made up a story and worked
with a first-time writer he met in Seattle named Steven Fisher to create
an elaborate outline. There were a few scripts, which had their challenges.
But the story idea was great. Jim took three classic ’50s sci-fi
movies—War of the Worlds, It Came From Outer Space
and The Day the Earth Stood Still—cut a little here,
then pasted a little there. He culled some of the best scenes, characters
and storylines, gave them some sly, funny twists, and came up with a
charming original story that truly resonated of that decade.
He asked me to get involved, to help with the script, and if the movie
ever got made, to direct and to co-produce with him.
I asked for some time to think about it and spent the next several days
revisiting those great ’50s sci-fi films I’d seen in wide-eyed
terror as a kid. What I saw was wonderful. In the ’50s,
the filmmakers—directors, writers, producers, actors, staff and
crew—were as serious as they could be about making the best, scariest
science fiction films they could. But styles and technologies have changed
so much over the last 50 years, that now just about all of those films
are really funny...inadvertently funny.
I thought if we could make a film that stayed true to everything about
1957—the acting style, the camerawork, the special effects, the
rubber monsters—we could potentially make a film that was intentionally
It took Jim, Steven and I about a year to craft a script we were happy
with, and unbelievable to us the script quickly attracted our first
choice for leading man—the amazing Eric McCormack, and soon a
very talented group of people joined together with us to make the movie.
Alien Trespass is not a spoof or a parody of a 1957 sci-fi
film, it is a 1957 sci-fi film. We just made it more recently.
All of us—actors, crew, producers, writers, director—placed
ourselves firmly in 1957 and were earnestly intent on making the best,
scariest sci-fi film we could, while adhering to the styles and technologies
of the time.
It was a great challenge and even more fun. We think we’ve crafted
a movie that is sweet, funny, scary, suspenseful and full of wonderful
characters portrayed by an incredibly talented and delightful cast,
led by Eric along with Jenni Baird, Dan Lauria, Robert Patrick, Jody
Thompson, and a bunch of other gifted actors. Everyone behind the scenes,
including cinematographer David (“Moxy”) Moxness, production
designer Ian Thomas, costume designer Jenni Gullett, editors Michael
Jablow and Vaune Kirby, composer Louis Febre and many others, have brought
forth a truly flawless depiction of the ‘50s—a time that
was gentler, more optimistic and when life was simpler. The only thing
you really had to worry about then was instant nuclear holocaust. But
fortunately the Red Scare got sublimated into some pretty fantastic
So picture yourself with your boyfriend or girlfriend at the drive-in
in your ’56 Chevy. Turn up the volume on your speaker...and enjoy
your escape to the past.