In the near future, three astronauts endeavor to complete a journey of unprecedented ambition. Though they may leave Earth behind, they will soon discover that the past is not as easy to escape.
Three astronauts – PETER BENNETT (Stephen J. Maas), MARK RILEY (Eric Clifford) and ALAN KENNETH (Jayson Argento) – appear on Late Night Saturday with TIM KAVANAGH (Himself) to discuss their monumental journey.
Aboard their spacecraft, they fall into a routine. Their clashing personalities begin to reveal themselves and things aboard the ship start to go very wrong. Bennett communicates with BEN WARNER (Sterling Hardy) of ground control, while visions of his former lover MARTY SCHROEDER (Logan Howe) creep into his quiet moments.
While the fascinating science behind the ship and theories on terra-forming Mars are discussed, the focus of the story remains on the human element. What is it like to be in a confined space for an extremely long time? What if everything goes wrong? What if you have to remember someone , that you’ve loved and lost, who begged you not to go?
This film was a true love of mine before I read it. When I put the pages down and dried my eyes after my first read of the script, I knew that Tin Can was meant to be my first feature. It had all the elements of what truly interest me.
Science Fiction is not often taken very seriously as a genre. Too much can be lost in the focus on special effects, that the story is left to flounder. Believing that the characters themselves are most enthralling in the art of storytelling, not the set nor the complexity of gadgets, we met the challenge of a self-funded budget by collecting junk. There is great pride in the Cercopes set. The colorful, glowing art piece that is based in current scientific theory on long distance space travel was built in a one-car garage!
While the fascinating science behind the mechanics of the ship and the theories on terraforming Mars are discussed, the focus of the story remains sharply on the human element. What is it like to be in a confined space for an extremely long time? What if you cannot stand the people you are with? What if something goes wrong? What if everything goes wrong? What if you have to remember someone you’ve loved and lost, who begged you not to go?
As an actor, I had certain ideas about what a director was and could be, and even about what the most idyllic acting experience might be: somewhere you could feel that was real. This came into play enormously when planning the set of the ship. So that our production technology was least apparent to the actors, recording access was limited to be through vents that would naturally be on the ship. The idea was to add to the visual feeling that they were being watched. It is a very subtle element of how the film was shot but I feel it adds great weight to the end result.
I’ve always liked stories that took me a while to figure out. Wanting to watch a film a second time is the best compliment a viewer can give, so the answers to questions have to be vague, and hinted at, in order to draw the audience back. “But, when did she know?” “Did he live?” These are wonderful questions to leave your audience with and have been a goal of the piece that I hope carries through to the end result.
The most enjoyable aspect of filmmaking to me is the collaborative one, especially in an independent situation where people can wear as many hats as they want. So many of the ideas that were presented on set made it into the film. I’ve been the luckiest of directors in this experience, with an ideal team whose passion has brought more than I ever expected to this project and whose dedication makes it obvious on the screen.
- Logan Howe