Shahin Sean Solimon, Persian-American filmmaker known for writing, directing, producing, and starring in SINBAD: THE FIFTH VOYAGE (2014), a independently financed cinematic love-letter to the heroic sailor and to Ray Harryhausen’s timeless Dynamotion special effects wizardry that brought his adventures to life on-screen, is here today with HNN to shed light on his newest passion project: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE.
Marc Cardenas: It’s been 57 years since the release of the original. Tell us all about your new film currently in-development, the modern reimagining of Ed Wood Jr.’s B-movie opus: PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. Will your film share the same iconic story elements as the original: mysteriously amazing narrator, exceptional zombie strongman, Alien Commander Eros, Space Station 7, Vampira, Solaronite?
Shahin Sean Solimon: Yes, it has been a long time, and being a huge fan of the whole genre, as well as a fan of the passion that Ed Wood had, also having experienced making indie movies myself. I decided to add to the existing Universe that is Plan 9 from Outer Space.
I think Sci-Fi fans will love this title. It is a kind of unique post-apocalyptic story, very character driven. It will be a classic noir, not campy, action packed, with romance, aliens, and zombies. Yes, some nuances from the original will be in there as well, hopefully.
MC: You and Ed wood Jr. are both writer/producer/directors/actors. Thanks to Tim Burton’s ED WOOD (1994) audiences know full well the amount of hustle and ingenuity it took for Ed Wood Jr. to make his films outside the Hollywood studio system. Discuss what it was like making your films.
SSS: So, we are currently in development on PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, and hoping to raise funds to make this very ultra cool project. I think everyone knows that the studio system (which I am all for, as well as any other system that allows cool movies to be made), is quickly becoming more and more blurred. Artist have a much bigger advantage when it comes to making movie, or other aspects of entertainment, even more so than they did back then. And it’s only going to get more and more blurred, which is good for the fans.
MC: Your SINBAD: THE FIFTH VOYAGE (2014) featured fantastic “Super-Animotion” special effects, an homage to Ray Harryhausen’s iconic stop-motion “Dynamation.” Will we see more “Super-Animotion” effects in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE or will you be paying homage to Ed Wood’s signature DIY visual style this time around (paper-plate saucers and all)?
SSS: Yes, we have some concepts planned. I can’t discuss yet, but let’s just say yes there will be some fun stuff like that. However, this version will be very non-campy, and more character driven. It will definitely be interesting, hopefully, with a little luck and good energy!
MC: Having made SINBAD: THE FIFTH VOYAGER (2014) and now in development for PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, you’re definitely inspired by the Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror classics. Share with us your earliest movie-viewing memory and what film(s) made you want to become a filmmaker.
SSS: My earliest movie-viewing memory would have to be (believe it or not) old VHS tapes of “SPACE: 1999,” that ultra cool space ship “The Eagle” and Martin Landau and his very sincere acting style. From there we can talk about, STAR TREK (The Cartoon), and then of course STAR WARS.
MC: If you had the opportunity to reinvent another classic film, what would it be and why?
SSS: I have several that I would love to re-invent. Right now all focus is on PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE: THE SECOND COMING. But, I also have some original concepts that I would like to give birth to at some point. I am very nostalgic, but also love coming up with new concepts that can take people into another world…or dimension.
MC: Lastly, what can audiences expect when they watch the new PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE?
SSS: I would say they can expect to see a stylized old school Sci-Fi movie with nuances of the original. Should be fun! With a little luck and help from our fans!
Fans can find our IndieGoGo campaign page (linked below). There they can get the full nine yards and get involved. We are very excited to launch towards the end of this month.
Thank you to Shahin Sean Solimon for this interview.
PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE Indiegogo page:
For more info on filmmaker Shahin Sean Solimon please click the link below:
Shahin’s official blog: http://www.shahin-sean-solimon.com/
Interview by by Marc Cardenas