Written & Directed by Adam Spinks
Starring: Adrian Annis • Aislinn De’Ath • Lauren Hutchings • Noeleen Comiskey • Robert Dukes • Toby Oliver
Brought to you by Initiative Motion Pictures and Sunglass Films
An old friend of 5D contacted us this week to see if we’d be interested in having a look-see at his newly released Sci-fi short film, Spaceman. So, in light of the fact that my meds have now kicked in, the straightjacket had been slightly loosened, the restraining orders had finally elapsed and the allegations of 5D collusion with Russian electoral interference have finally been disproven, I found I had some valuable film-watching time on my hands.
With the world a matter of hours away from a cataclysmic asteroid impact, Myles believes he has found a way to spare his family from certain death.
It’s abundantly clear for all to see that we live in turbulent, crazy times. Whether it be impending financial meltdown (thank you Brexit voters), impending Nuclear oblivion (yes I’m looking at you North Korea), encroaching climate change (yes it is a real thing you idiots), increasing racial intolerance (forget that alt right crap – they’re bloody Nazis) or that thick-as-two-short-planks lunatic who is apparently the President of the U.S.A……. yep, we’re screwed, right?
Well if we are indeed screwed then one answer may be to dispense with some of our adult conditioned cynicism and return back to a younger, more optimistic self. You know, back to a time when you believed you were going to live forever and that achieving anything in the future was possible….especially when we were promised personal flying jet-packs, hover boards and summer vacations on our holiday home on Mars. Some of us grow up and forget that youthful optimism – no matter how many wine bottles we may empty in an effort to find it.
Spaceman (2016) is a delightful salute to that very youthful optimism and sense of wonder. We see Myles, a young boy who in the face of planet wide catastrophe refuses to join the adult’s in accepting their fate. Instead decides to persuade his family that their may well be an escape from destruction…… if only they will believe.
Spaceman has screened at over thirty international festivals, picking up a string of awards and nominations for the film itself and associated cast and crew. It ran on the circuit continuously for over 18 months
Adam kindly agreed to answer some legendary piercing 5D questions and chat about his film which is lovingly drenched in Spielbergian influence.
Q) So where did the inspiration for Spaceman’s story come from?
I originally wrote the idea for CREATE50 and it was rejected! So I expanded the two-minute script into the full scope of what I wanted to say and ended up with an 8 page screenplay, renamed to Spaceman quite late in pre-production. The idea I wanted to explore was that death is such an inevitability to an adult in that situation but to a child, maybe not so much, and maybe that approach opens up a more interesting way to view death?
Spaceman is 100% an homage to the films I grew up watching and its true that most of the ones that left an impression were directed by Steven Spielberg. There’s just something about the way the man shoots, and how he captures those moments, that feels so grounded and real whilst never losing the spectacle and wonder of the moment too. I’ve often felt that, if he wanted, he could have made a scene about taking out the trash cinematic and spectacular. Making this film was my tribute to those inspirational films, like E.T or Close Encounters, whilst also exploring how he constructs those moments from a technical perspective.
Q) Why a short film, could it be regarded as a Proof of concept?
Originally, I had felt it was a singular story within a set time period but I’ve recently been developing something that I’d say is definitely ‘inspired by’ Spaceman, which we’re tentatively calling ‘The Great Beyond. I got back into making shorts coming off the back of two features and felt I wanted to rediscover my voice as a filmmaker, there’s something about short, self-contained stories that is incredibly difficult to master and the challenge appealed to me.
People seemed to really get on board with Spaceman from the outset which was wonderful. Raising the finance for the project came from a mixture of personal investment from myself and my producer, Kristina, but also from a crowdfunding campaign and a couple of private investors as well. It was a joy to be a part of, it felt so focussed on the creativity and passion behind the project.
Q) What are the special challenges filming a short as opposed to feature length?
Short films are very difficult to get right. You have very little time to establish your characters, let alone tell their stories to any kind of detail, so it’s a delicate balance between the two. I have found it has really been an amazing learning curve for me as a filmmaker to tread that line.
For me it’s all about the story, if that happens to be a horror then that’s what it will be. I do seem prefer stories with a genre element to them and sci-fi does appeal to me. I think it’s because it’s less tribal, we can create spectacular alternative worlds and then use those as a canvas to project our own insecurities, issues, fears and opinions about the real world. It makes us forget our ‘houses’ so to speak, such as our religion or our political leanings, and lets us just be ‘humans’, which is really important.
Q) Spaceman has just come off a successful festival run. What was that experience like?
Everytime we thought it was over, another couple of festivals would get in touch and the run would continue. I kept thinking ‘pinch me’! It was also wonderful to win the two awards at Harrogate, quite late in the run, and there’s still a few smaller festivals that we’re waiting on hearing from!
Q) Spaceman is now available on Film Shortage from this weekend. What was the thinking behind using this forum for people to see the film?
Film Shortage has such a wonderful curated collection of shorts from around the world, so it’s a huge honour for us to have found a space within that.
Q) What are the future plans for Adam Spinks?
I’m currently supporting a brand new short ‘Like Glass’ on a festival run and then I plan to follow that with some new feature films, which are a whole new challenge! But the time and the stories behind the ideas, feel right.
You can see Spaceman on FILM SHORTAGE
BTW, 5D now also has a YouTube channel which includes conversations with actors, directors & assorted luminaries from the world of Sci-fi, fantasy & horror. The channel also includes the 5D Podcast and competitions – You can find it (& maybe subscribe if you feel so inclined) at