By Jessica Lovell
It is a classic tale of alien abduction with a twist. In this tale of close encounters, the alien becomes the abducted.
“It was one of those easy ideas that just sort of came to us,” says Matt Granger, co-writer and co-director of Alien Abduction.
The film is not yet made, but with a little fan support, Matt and his brother Mikey Granger – known professionally as The Granger Bros – hope that it will be.
The Guelph natives, who now live and work in the filmmaking industry in Vancouver, B.C., have entered their film idea in the Cinecoup Film Accelerator in the hopes of scoring the $1-million prize and seeing their film on the big screen.
“They say it’s not a contest, but it’s kind of structured like one,” says Matt, explaining the Cinecoup concept.
It starts with the filmmakers submitting a two-minute trailer for a feature film concept. Through social media and the Cinecoup website, fans are asked to vote for their favourite projects. Meanwhile, the filmmakers continue to complete weekly challenges – such as creating movie posters – aimed at keeping the fans interested.
“We’ve been hovering in first or second place the whole time,” Matt says.
Ultimately, it’s not just votes, but the filmmakers’ performance on content and promotion that will determine if they advance.
So far the Granger brothers have been advancing, recently securing their place in the top 10, and soon they will be looking for more fan support to get them into the top five.
The top 10 projects are already optioned for development by Cinecoup. The top five as selected by votes from the public will go before an industry jury in early June. The first place winners’ film will get production financing of up to $1 million and a guaranteed release in Cineplex cinemas.
The brothers have had success with a filmmaking contest in the past, taking the top prize in MTV’s Bastardize Tarantino contest for their short film spoof of a Pulp Fiction scene.
Alien Abduction will also be a comedy. It tells the story of a man who plots to abduct the alien who has been periodically abducting him all his life. That’s when the man, who is described as a “slacker,” finds out that the fate of the human race will be decided based on a judgment of how he has lived the first 30 years of his life.
“When Mikey and I lived in Guelph, we actually saw a UFO one day,” says Matt.
As the story is told by the brothers on the Cinecoup website, that experience prompted the idea for the movie.
Fans can check out the story, the film trailer and a lot more stuff about the movie at www.cinecoup.com.
The Granger’s film already has a worldwide fan base, says Matt, but he wants to make sure Guelph fans check it out, too – especially because voting begins in just a few days.
If the film makes it into the top five, the Grangers are confident about the next step – a Dragon’s Den-style pitch before a live audience in Banff.
“We’re going to pitch these projects in front of all these people, and that’s how they’re going to pick the winner,” says Matt, adding “We’ve got a great pitch.”
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By Jessica Lovell