Plan 10 from Outer Space
Date: Tue, 8 Nov 94 14:23:19 PST
Subject: Plan 10 from Outer Space
[I wonder whether AT&T will be able to keep up with Hollywood on this
particular series... -psl]
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Donn Seeley <donn@BSDI.COM>
UTAH'S ALIEN INVASION
S.L.'s Eccentricities Bring Director Trent Harris Home
By Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune
Most Sunday mornings, downtown Salt Lake City is so quiet that
someone could stand in the middle of Main Street for several minutes
without being disturbed by a passing car.
But on one recent Sunday morning, panic filled the air at the
intersection of Main and 200 South. People were shrieking, running
hysterically, casting terrified looks at the skies.
The spaceships were landing. The alien invasion was beginning.
Why is this galactic peril only now coming to light? Is the
government covering up this alien threat? Who knows the truth
behind this cosmic mystery?
Trent Harris knows. After all, he concocted the whole thing.
'There's a flying saucer,' Harris tells the crowd in a matter-of-fact
way. 'And where it is is basically right here,' he adds, raising
his hand right above the lens of his ladder-mounted camera.
Harris is directing some 30 extras -- dressed in everything from
work clothes to prom dresses -- to scream and scurry on cue for
scene in his new movie, the science-fiction comedy 'Plan 10 from
Outer Space'. ...
This is guerrilla filmmaking, shooting fast and loose. Anyone can
get into the act. When a couple of unsuspecting pedestrians walk
by, Harris calls to them: 'You guys want to be in the shot?' ...
Harris began writing 'Plan 10' after completing his first film:
the oddball comedy 'Rubin & Ed', about an introvert (Crispin Glover)
who enlists a hapless salesman (Howard Hesseman) to bury his frozen
cat in the Utah desert. Harris, who grew up in Utah and worked in
KUTV's news department before going to Hollywood, made 'Rubin &
Ed' in Salt Lake City and near Hanksville on a $1.25 million
'Plan 10 from Outer Space', on the other hand, is an independent
production, made almost completely with Utah talent. The budget
is much smaller: about $60,000 to $70,000 in cash, plus deferred
payments and donated services, Harris says.
Harris says he wanted to do a film about his hometown of Salt Lake
City, a place with more eccentricities than its residents sometimes
want to admit.
'Salt Lake has an image, and a lot of people are embarrassed about
it,' he says. 'It's time to quit being embarrassed about this
place and start celebrating how wonderfully wacky it really is.'
The script's origins sprang from Harris' interest in the early
history of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints [sic], 'the
history that the church never tells you when you're in the church
-- which is far more interesting than the stuff they tell you. If
they had told me all this stuff, I would never have quit.' ...
'Plan 10' is pioneer history reductio ad absurdum. The film tells
of a mad Mormon prophet named Norman Talmage who buried the mystical
Plaque of Kolob -- which told of an alien conspiracy to conquer
the Earth -- near the shore of the Great Salt Lake. Talmage believed
the Angel Moroni, who gave the golden plates of the Book of Mormon
to Joseph Smith, was really an alien from the planet Kolob.
'Historically, I have tried to keep it very correct,' Harris claims,
tongue somewhat in cheek, 'which may sound like science fiction to
people who aren't Mormons.' ...
[Leading lady Stefene] Russell says her 'Plan 10' character, Lucinda
Hall, is an earnest woman who writes bad poetry. When Lucinda
turns her hand to journalism, she learns about the myth of Kolob.
She also discovers that aliens in beehive-shaped spaceships, led
by a character played by Karen Black, will land on Earth to establish
a female-dominated society in Utah.
'She has to let the world know about this diabolical conspiracy',
Russell says. ...
'"Plan 9" is supposedly the worst movie ever made,' Harris says.
'So what are they gonna say? 'Not as bad as ["Plan 9"]' or ar they
going to say it's worse? That would be great.' ...
Harris hopes to get 'Plan 10 from Outer Space' shown at next year's
Sundance Film Festival, and the film may premiere in February at
Salt Lake's Tower Theatre (where Harris' handprint is immortalized
in concrete). ...
© 1994 Peter Langston