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Interview with Eric Forsberg
By Dag (2005-05-31)We have talked to Eric Forsberg about his new movie Alien Abduction.
We have talked to Eric Forsberg about his new movie Alien Abduction.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about "Alien Abduction", why a film about aliens and how did you come up with the idea?
A: The original concept was a little different from what made it into the final film. The first version came to me in 1999 after seeing The Blair Witch Project. I came up with the idea of an Alien Abduction where four kids making a home movie at a family picnic see a space ship land and are eventually captured by aliens. Of course one of the kids holds onto the camera and the entire abduction is documented. So I wrote a short script. It seemed like a good idea at the time until ever person I met also had their own Blair Witch Spin off ideas and eventually it was almost embarrassing that I had one too. So I didn't make the film. Then, in 2003 I was asked by The Asylum (a growing company of Horror movie producers) to write and direct a science fiction. So I rethought my original Alien Abduction film and wrote a script about four kids who video taped their own abduction by aliens. I came up with idea of a what we think is a government conspiracy and the film/s ending and soon one thing lead to another until I had the script that the movie you saw was based on (some of which had to be rewritten on the set due to budget problems, lack of cast, missing costumes and so on).
Q: What has been most challenging in making this movie?
A: The most challenging thing was the budget. Even though it was shot on 35 mm, this film was made for very little money. That meant that we could not afford many days of shooting. We had to cut the number of days down to eleven in order to afford the cast and crew. Also there was almost no special effects and art direction because we didn't have the time or the money. Our art director had to create a space ship out of a few hundred dollars worth of materials and the rest of the sets were what ever we could find in the abandoned building and an old warehouse in downtown Los Angeles that the producers had rented for us to use. So I decided to embrace the dilapidated look, much like the nightmare sequences in Jacob's Ladder. I chose rooms with Glass and plaster all over the floors, filth and debris everywhere for the mental institution and the bowels of the hospital. This way we had a great, dirty and very disturbing set to add to the horror. Luckily my second unit director, Charles Schneider had some old monster costumes in his closet and he let me use and ruin them all. Also, our costumer came through with some great military uniforms. After the shooting was complete I had two weeks with an editor and that was the film. The producer barley got my sound effects on it before it was released. So the toughest thing was the profound lack of money and the lack of time it caused.
Q: How has it been working with The Asylum on this project?
A: I love the Asylum. They are devoted to giving directors and writers a chance. Also, during the development process they were very available. The toughest thing was that there were three producers and they all have their own wants and needs and they often expressed them separately so there was a lot of deciphering that I had to do. A lot of guessing. Sometimes I guessed right and other times I guessed wrong. But I am sure that most producers are much harder to work with and I will be happy to write and direct another flick for these guys. They're great.
Q: You're coming to World Con in Glasgow later this year. How do you think it will be to show your movie to a European audience?
A: I look very forward to going to World Con 05. Audiences in Europe and America have been very energized by this film. Either they love it or they hate it (much like Eraser Head and other David Lynch films). The reviews for this film have been very good, which I appreciate. In general the European audiences have given Alien Abduction a slightly higher score than the American audiences. But I feel, as the film moves from the Horror movie audience to hard core science fiction fans, this movie will be liked more and more. The corner stone of Alien Abduction is a good script. It is not a typical story and I feel that it speculates about the government and about war and about alien life in an intelligent way. Science fiction fans are intelligent and interested in unusual perspectives so I think that they will look past the low budget look and enjoy this film. Also, Megan Lee Ethridge does a great job as Jean, and Jean is a solid girl hero who kicks her way out of her troubles and takes charge of her fate. Too many horror movies (not so much sci-fi films) abuse women and show them as victims more than men, even sexual victims. This is not the case in Alien Abduction and I believe that a European audience will appreciate it.