Imagine for a moment, that George Lucas didn’t bother to create Star Wars. Now imagine that back in 1966, Gene Roddenberry didn’t think the world was ready for Star Trek. Certainly, Sci-fi would not have been fully evolved without their contributions. Together, they inspired the world to imagine gadgets and technology outside the scope of most imaginations. Alternate travel and alternate communication have inspired todays devices and space flight, as well as time travel.
One such sixteen minute and 30 second film, FTL explores the possibility of travelling faster than light. Adam Stern wrote it, directed it and was a producer on it. The film is headed to the Sci-fi London Film Festival, which runs from April 27 – May 6. Adam was very generous to find time on his busy schedule to tell me all about short film and the big inspiration behind it.
FTL is the story of a NASA astronaut and decorated pilot. Recently retired from active duty to spend more time at home with his wife and young son. As he tries to adjust to a quieter life on the ground, he’s approached to fly one last mission… testing the first faster-than-light spacecraft. The world watches as Kane takes The Longshot on its maiden voyage. Ty Olsson plays the test pilot, Ethan Kane. Adam worked with the casting director Tiffany Mack to find Aliyah O’Brien to play Ty’s wife, Abby Kane. Ethan’s son, Jack Kane is played by John Torrance. Karin Konoval plays the Sarah/Flight and Mana Mansour plays the reporter.
Adam founded Artifex in 1997 for a place to work, as well as a place for a few more visual effects artists. Currently, they are responsible for creating visual effects for over 60 feature films and television projects and has earned an Emmy nomination for it’s work on FOX’s Almost Human.
“Can you tell me where the inspiration for FTL came from and when did it happen?”
“I love sci-fi and wanted to create something that I would want to see on the screen. Artifex created almost 130 visual effects for this sixteen and a half minute film. It demonstrates what the team at Artifex is capable of creating. I would love the possibility of making a feature FTL film in the future..”
I attempted grade 12 physics once. My tutor still won’t return my emails.
FTL was captured on a RED Epic Dragon and they also utilized a drone.
“How long did it take to shoot the film and how many locations were necessary?”
“We shot for three days last July and August in Vancouver and White Rock. Two days were spent in studio on a green screen stage. Having such an amazing group of talented and dedicated crew throughout the production of FTL has made it a lot of fun and has resulted in an amazing looking film. There were between 50-60 people that contributed their time and skills. From start to finish the film took approx. 6 months to create. We spent a month prepping the shoot. After shooting it, we cut it in late August and early September. From there we went to post from September to November.”
Artifex was fortunate to have a short window of time between two large productions. Once it was finished in post, Adam held a very private screening for the actors, crew and everyone else involved. The screening was held in the screening room at Artifex.
Apart from a rolodex of visual talents, Adam has an incredible musical background. He studied as a pianist and composer at Berkley before launching Artifex. He composed the moving score for the film. It is an integral part of the film. He confesses that one of the great side effects of making a film is that he gets to create the musical score for it.
Unfortunately not every festival is receptive to sci-fi films, so the list of potential festivals is shorter than some other genres. Its North American premiere will be at the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival in New York. Held from May 25th to 30th.
Todd Giroux and Sara Irvine-Erickson are also producers.
Leo award winning Stirling Bancroft is the cinematographer and award winning television and film editor Jamie Alain, best known for his work in Daydream Nation, Flowers In The Attic, That Burning Feeling, Continuum and Olympus is the editor.
After the film finishes its run with the festivals, it will be posted online for everyone’s viewing pleasure. I’m not so sure I can wait. Perhaps I’ll take a look at those 3D images.
What’s the worst that can happen?